With the treble secured, what next for Ange Postecoglou?

During the construct to Saturday’s Scottish Cup ultimate, Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou was loath to debate his future — or the rest that might distract him and his squad from the job at hand.

“Do you think the person who wins The Masters or Wimbledon thinks about all these other things? Or does he think about winning?” Postecoglou retorted, in typical style, when it floated that he may each give attention to the ultimate and take into consideration his next profession transfer

“I’m talking about elite sport here. Maybe you don’t understand or conceptualise that.”

Now although, with a 3-1 victory over Inverness in the bag — securing the Hoops their eighth treble and the fifth piece of silverware beneath Postecoglou — one wonders how lengthy he’ll be capable of shut his ears to the more and more cacophonous drumbeat surrounding his future.

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Sources have instructed ESPN that Premier League heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur have made Postecoglou their most well-liked candidate for their vacant managerial function after being snubbed by Feyenoord boss Arne Slot. Rumours from earlier in the yr had him linked with the likes of Chelsea, Leeds United and Leicester City, whereas reports from France have pegged the 57-year-old as a possible alternative for the outgoing boss Igor Tudor at Marseille — however it’s the Spurs job that retains developing.

Celtic are anticipated to make an improved contract provide to the Melburnian supervisor, who’s at present on a 12-month rolling deal and would be capable of go away the membership with out the want for any compensation however, if momentum is a real factor in these issues, it seems to be more and more like Postecoglou shall be taking his abilities south of the border.

The response from each media and Tottenham supporters alike, inevitably, has been combined, with views largely colored by one’s loyalties, nationality, data of Postecoglou’s soccer, or Wikipedia looking expertise.

Having seen him quickly revitalise the membership and return them to the Scottish summit, Celtic followers are seemingly going by the levels of grief as their coach strikes in direction of the exit, caught in numerous ranges of denial, anger, bargaining, despair or acceptance as rumours over Postecoglou’s future swirl. Ironically sufficient, they’re doing all this whereas huge swathes of the Spurs fanbase repeat virtually the similar conversations their Celtic counterparts did when the preliminary information broke that Postecoglou had been tapped as Neil Lennon’s alternative in 2021, simply with a Premier League twist.

Postecoglou has by no means labored in England, in one in every of the huge 5 leagues in Europe, or gained outdoors the Scottish duopoly are the frequent themes, as is the grievance that, at 57, the Australian would not characterize the type of “young” coach that might doubtlessly overcome a perceived lack of expertise on the huge stage. Given the charge that the Premier League tends to spit managers up and spit them out, perhaps they’re legitimate issues.

What Postecoglou has accomplished, although, is constantly succeed at virtually each single membership that has employed him; with silverware flowing into cupboards and an imprint left on the hearts and minds of supporters which have watched on. His Spurs candidacy is not constructed upon some type of flash in the pan at Parkhead, however on over three a long time of methodical and continued success at an more and more increased legacy of competitors. It’s telling that these sceptical reactions from Tottenham followers are a mirror picture of those who occurred when Celtic got here knocking; it appears like at each cease Postecoglou makes, he arrives with doubters, solely for them to have change into a part of his choir by the time he strikes to the next problem.

“Challenge” in fact is the operative phrase, as a result of Postecoglou has not often taken the simple route in his profession. He gained his first titles as a supervisor together with his beloved South Melbourne at a time of mass upheaval in Australian soccer: the National Soccer League (NSL) was in the technique of collapsing resulting from administrative incompetence and neglect. Upon lastly receiving a chance to educate in the NSL’s successor competitors — the A-League Men — he turned Brisbane Roar into one in every of the most interesting groups Australia has ever seen, guiding a aspect later dubbed “Roar-celona” to a report 36-game unbeaten run and two titles in a salary-capped competitors that was designed to make sure that actual form of dominance doesn’t happen. A maiden Asian Cup was subsequently gained as boss of the Socceroos earlier than league titles have been delivered first with Yokohama F Marinos in Japan after which Celtic in Scotland.

Not solely is the trajectory clear, however it’s additionally troublesome to see the place precisely Postecoglou may have skipped a step or two to reach at his present scenario at a youthful age. Further, there’s an apparent development to be seen with this development: although each step up the ladder brings extra challenges, increased stakes, and larger leagues, success has been a continuing. And whereas his passport has inevitably thrown limitations into his path, that is merely one thing that has helped inspire his rise and sense of competitiveness.

If something, Spurs fan’s adversarial response to the information of his potential employment might present an additional incentive for him to simply accept the job: there’s nothing in soccer that Postecoglou relishes greater than proving the effectiveness of his beliefs in the face of scepticism. At the similar time, although, it is that very same spirit of defiance that might present a glimmer of hope for Celtic followers. Those in his homeland that grew up watching, taking part in, reporting, and dealing with Postecoglou speak of how essential the Champions League was for him and, with Spurs lacking out on European soccer, how a chance to implement classes realized from this season’s foray onto the continent with Celtic would enchantment.

Admittedly, it’s miles from a assure that he would succeed at Spurs. Since the departure of Mauricio Pochettino, it is a membership that has chewed up and spat out two of the most extremely credentialed coaches of all time in Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. That two coaches of such pedigree (sandwiched, as they have been, between newly topped Saudi league champion Nuno Espirito Santo) have been unable to deliver any type of noticeable success to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium means that it is not the absence of a glittering resume that may crush a possible Postecoglou period in North London.

And maybe bolstering his enchantment with a Spurs administration that’s being handled with growing disdain by its fanbase, whereas Mourinho and Conte seemingly could not get out of London quick sufficient at the finish of their tenure, Postecoglou would arrive acutely conscious not simply of the scale of the alternative being afforded to him — teaching on the largest league on the planet, for a membership with the ninth largest revenues in soccer, with world-class services, gamers, and assets — but additionally the significance of it. For simply as a lot as he’s a coach, Postecoglou is one thing of an apostle for soccer, somebody who understands that the recreation and the golf equipment that play it are usually not simply entities that sit above their communities however, as an alternative, characterize part of them. That for many, their membership is simply as shut, if not nearer, than their very own households.

As a newly arrived Greek migrant, whose household struggled with English, South Melbourne Hellas, because it was then recognized, offered a spot of connection and neighborhood throughout his childhood and early maturity, and to listen to him talk about these instances it is virtually not possible to suppose he hasn’t been drawn to related environments ever since. As an outsider at Celtic, he by no means tried to fake that he may correctly perceive the generational connection and love for the membership that its followers had, however he handled it with reverence, endearing him even additional to the Hoops devoted.

And household is essential to Postecoglou. It must be remembered when predicting his future that he has youngsters that he wants to fret about, youngsters who’ve already needed to examine in two completely different nations and can want stability in future years. Indeed, any Spurs fan that wishes a correct perception into the mindset of Postecoglou should read a tribute piece he penned five years ago to his late father Jim, who he describes as the “greatest man I know” and whose mantra “Κάτω η μπάλα” — which roughly interprets to “Keep the ball down” — impressed his outlook on soccer excess of something from “Barcelona or Liverpool or Pep Guardiola or Johan Cruyff.” It’s a chunk that explains not simply what drives him, however why any transition to the Premier League would not lead to him shifting away from his aggressive, high-pressing 4-3-3 outlook that emphasises dominating possession and fixed ahead motion.

Postecoglou may not have been Spurs’ first selection or perhaps even their second. He might be not their followers’ one thousandth selection. He in all probability would not care. But if he does land in London, he’ll accomplish that with an extended historical past of success that, regardless of the lack of identify recognition, exhibits that he’s a coach that has earned a chance to check himself on the world stage. And he’ll do it his method.

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