For two long, arduous months, it appeared that Eddie Howe would become the new manager of Celtic.
However, we should know by now that, when it comes to the Hoops, things are never done the easy way.
Celtic have wasted no time in assessing their alternatives. Their plan B is to lure Australian boss Ange Postecoglou to Parkhead instead.
The 55-year-old is currently managing in Japan and is believed to be in advanced talks with the Bhoys over moving to Scotland.
Considering that he’s never managed in Europe, it would be a gamble from Dermot Desmond and co to hire him. That being said, it would appear that Celtic have performed their due diligence on the manager.
According to the Daily Record, the Bhoys have been tracking Postecoglou ever since Neil Lennon resigned back in February. The Yokohama F Marinos boss is reportedly very keen on becoming the Hoops’ new manager and Dominic McKay is now treating the matter with great urgency.
Although Postecoglou has never ventured onto European shores, it’s hard to deny his outstanding qualities.
When he won the Japanese top flight back in 2019, Marinos’ wage budget was one-seventh of the richest team in the division. In Scottish terms, that would be the equivalent of an Aberdeen taking home the Premiership.
Effective on a shoestring budget, his football is also particularly eye-catching. During the course of the current campaign, his team have registered the most possession of anyone in the division, with a tally of 64.7%.
Celtic are a team used to dominating possession but even the Hoops enjoyed less of the ball than Marinos in 2020/21, averaging 61.9%. Already you can start to work out why Postecoglou is so highly coveted by the Bhoys.
Another impressive aspect is the way he gets his teams to press from the front. Marinos are relentless in the way they hound and hassle the opposition, leading a pressing charge of several players.
Postecoglou seems to thrive on that modern style of football and it has proven incredibly successful for him.
Ange Postecoglou – Press & Suppress
Press & Suppress a big part of how he plays. Win the ball high, cause defenders to panic & create high quality chances
Here the pressing trap works creating a 5v5 attack in the final 3rd. Defenders panic leaving gaps.
Like & Retweet🍀 pic.twitter.com/uiO8nY8MvW
— Bhoys Analytics (@BhoysAnalytics) May 29, 2021
Described as “infectious” by former Everton star Tim Cahill, he has caught the eye of both Pep Guardiola and Raheem Sterling.
Following a match against Manchester City, Guardiola was left impressed, saying: “Yokohama played some incredible football and they were an incredible test for us.”
After a friendly between England and Australia, Sterling echoed his club manager’s thoughts, commenting: “They’re probably one of the best teams I’ve seen play out from the back and they played some great football so it was a great test for us.”
Adept at getting from one pitch to the other with quick passing and relentless pressing, there are huge positives to agreeing a deal with Postecoglou.
It’s a gamble from the Celtic board but, if his brand of football comes off, they should undoubtedly look a more impressive outfit next season, assuming he is handed the reins.