Ange Postecoglou’s appointment at Celtic has been lauded by many across the Australian sporting landscape. However many fans overseas are sceptical of the Aussie taking over their club. So what exactly does Postecoglou have to do to be successful for the Glasgow giants?
Qualify for the Champions League
This will be Postecoglou’s first chance to impress the Celtic faithful. Qualifying for the biggest club competition in the world. Having to navigate six matches to secure qualification already seems like an uphill battle for the Australian coach.
At the time of writing, the Scottish giants are seeded based on their club’s coefficient. Because of this, in the second round of qualifying, Celtic will be facing one of three teams. the Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray, FC Midtjylland, and Rapid Vienna all of which present a different set of problems for Postecoglou’s side.
The qualifying matches will take place in just over a month. If Celtic manages to secure victory, then they will move on to the third round of qualification. In doing so will be guaranteed European football.
The Champions League, Europa League, and the Europa Conference League will all be attainable. Although the Champions League is what the fans want.
Get Celtic playing the “Ange way”
Every manager has a specific way they want their teams to play football. As most people will know when it comes to Postecoglou, he has a certain way he sets his teams out. Being proactive, play forward, be vertical in possession, create overloads in midfield, and have a high pressing game to win the ball back quickly.
At the time of his departure, Postecoglou had Yokohama FM sitting third in the J-League. Winning 10 of their 16 games while having the second-best attack with 32 goals and having the third-best defence in the league.
It is worth mentioning that Yokohama has four games in hand of second-placed Nagoya and five in hand over Kawasaki who currently sits on top. So it can be seen that Postecoglou has got his team going in the right direction.
However, when it comes to the Scottish Premier League, it is a different beast. Having a side that finished second in the table with just the five losses for the campaign, had the second-best attack with 78 goals scored and the second-best defence with only 29 goals conceded seems like a dream job. However, having their first trophyless season in the last decade, Postecoglou will need to get his ideas across quickly to ensure the results follow.
Deal with Celtic expectations
Expectations are huge when you manage a club the size of Celtic. In his first season as manager, Postecoglou will be expected to have his side challenging Rangers for the title. Going toe to toe with a team that did not lose a single league game last campaign is a tall order. However, that is what is facing Postecoglou and his Celtic side.
Along with the league expectations, Postecoglou will be widely expected to guide Celtic into European football. Given the hasty nature of football and in particular Scotland, Postecoglou will be expected to hit the ground running in Glasgow.
The harsh reality is that football is a results business. If he fails to guide Celtic to the Champions League, Postecoglou will already be under severe scrutiny before a ball has even been kicked in the domestic competition.
It is paramount that he gets off to a good start. Many will expect him to win a trophy in his first year as a minimum.
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Ensure he gets time to prove he is the right man for the job
The world of professional football is fickle at best. If a team is playing poorly, the manager is the first one out the door. In Postecoglou’s case, the fact that he has a 12-month rolling contract doesn’t exactly instill confidence from the Celtic board.
Ordinarily, a manager will get a two or three-year deal and will be given time to get the team playing in their image.
However in this case, with essentially only a year to show what he can do, he must get results. Losing one game is a cause for concern for Celtic so if he happens to lose two or three on the bounce, then it is likely he will be under pressure of which he has not faced before.
It is a results business, so Celtic will be hoping that they can at least match it with Rangers this season.
Postecoglou will come up against Steven Gerrard just four matches into the league season, so he will get a test of his credentials early on. Time is his enemy at the minute but the more he wins, the more time he will be given.
It is a credit to Postecoglou and his managerial credentials to get a job of the magnitude of Celtic. However, it will be one that will be laced with scrutiny, pressure, and fans unlike he has ever seen. Everyone wants to see him succeed and to do so he will need every bit of his experience to ensure he remains Celtic boss beyond his first year.
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