"The biggest trouble with Celtic is trying to keep hold of Ange. In three or four years, you're going to have the same situation. He has won multiple titles and he will be trying to get a move to England or one of the big leagues. That is his pathway."

Ange Postecoglou is cut from the same cloth as Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri – an emphasis on a high-octane style of attacking football, with an unrelenting belief in their philosophy.

But his appointment as Celtic manager has caused a stir in Scotland. Fans have questioned his ability and credibility to make the step from Asian to European football.

Postecoglou has been tasked with leading an embattled Celtic back to the Scottish summit after the Bhoys were dethroned by bitter rivals Rangers in 2020-21.

There are some parallels to legendary manager Arsene Wenger. Like Postecoglou, the Frenchman had history in Japan, having spent a year with Nagoya Grampus before being brought to the UK by Arsenal in 1996.

Social media was not around at the time of Wenger's Gunners arrival, though it would be safe to assume he would have been subjected to similar criticism from a supporter base desperate to wrestle the trophy back to Celtic Park.

Those questioning Postecoglou's pedigree should look no further than his CV – the most decorated coach in Australian football history, having also transcended and changed the landscape of the sport Down Under.

From South Melbourne to Australia and Japan, Postecoglou has won it all – a pair of National Soccer League championships, back-to-back A-League titles, a record 36-match unbeaten streak at Brisbane Roar, plus a ground-breaking 2015 Asian Cup triumph with the Socceroos and a J1 League crown with Yokohama F.Marinos, while silencing his doubters.

A former Australia international, Postecoglou – who delivered two NSL trophies within three years of his tenure in charge of boyhood club South Melbourne – truly announced himself at the helm of 'Roarcelona'.

After a brief and unsuccessful stint in Greece in 2008, followed by a short spell in the semi-professional state league in Victoria which resulted in relegation, Postecoglou landed in Brisbane the following year.

Postecoglou oversaw a rebuild and after asking to be judged a year from the time he replaced ex-Socceroos boss Frank Farina, his project culminated in the development of arguably the greatest footballing side in the history of Australian football.

Playing an entertaining and possession-based brand of football, the Roar won the championship in 2010-11 and successfully defended their trophy the following season amid a 36-game unbeaten streak – an all-time Australian football code record for the longest undefeated run, surpassing rugby league outfit Eastern Suburbs' record set 74 years prior.

Postecoglou also coached Melbourne Victory before his Australia appointment in 2013. In the A-League, his teams scored 1.7 goals per game; only one head coach (minimum 30 games) has a higher average in the competition's history (Graham Arnold - 1.8).

The Greek-born boss left Australia's domestic competition with a 51 per cent win percentage as head coach – the joint-fifth best of any manager in the competition's history.

Erik Paartalu was one of Postecoglou's first signings as Roar coach and the ex-Australia international told Stats Perform: "He will be absolutely buzzing. He isn't the type to take a job on lightly. He would've researched beforehand. I'm sure he's probably been offered jobs of this calibre before but wasn't ready.

"Ange has always been ambitious. This guy just doesn't stop. Any other Australian coach that would've won the J.League would've just stopped there and chilled out in Asia. The guy is in his mid-50s. He would've researched this whole situation at Celtic, who is leaving and who is coming, who can I get in? I know he's already thought about his next step from here."

"With Ange, it was the tactical side of it where he explained and broke things down so easily on the pitch, whether that be playing 11-v-seven, so you would have a huge overload and confidence in possession. Or if it was in a video session, always pointing out the good things about people," said Paartalu as he reflected on his Roar days. "He always pumped up the smaller details of the team. His way to getting us to feel, you just felt so confident."

Postecoglou, like Manchester City's Guardiola and former Chelsea and Juventus boss Sarri, pushes the boundaries. Firmly set in his belief of how football should be played, Postecoglou's approach never waivers and success follows the 55-year-old in his pursuit of excellence.

"That's what we loved about him," Postecoglou said. "We went on that unbeaten streak and then lost five in a row. Never even mentioned getting close to the record. It was just like 'if we play the way we play, we'll wipe this team off the park'.

"In the first grand final [2011 against Central Coast Mariners], the goal I scored in the last couple of seconds [of extra time, 120th minute to force penalties after 2-2 draw], it was the build-up before that showed everything that we're about. [Michael] Theo had the ball and could've gone long, but he throws it to [Massimo] Murdocca and we build up from the back and get a corner. That was so typical of the way he wanted us to play. Even in training, it was like, 'don't put the ball above waist height or in the air'. If you did that, you had to give the ball to the other team. So we were drilled into knowing short passes, through lines, everyone in the right position, movement off the ball, entry points on the edge of the box, guys overlapping, 4-3-3 and don't cross the ball in if you're not sure. That was his blueprint. We were going to play his way all the way to the death. When we lost five in a row, he never got angry. He was so clear, saying keep doing it, be confident, keeping passing the ball.

"He definitely improves players' game intelligence when they work under him. You feel 10-feet tall and just know your job inside and out because of the way he prepares you."

Handpicked to introduce style and substance to the Socceroos in 2013, Postecoglou led Australia at the 2014 World Cup. Undaunted by the 'Group of Death', Australia left Brazil emptyhanded, but took it to Chile, the Netherlands and holders Spain in stunning fashion.

Postecoglou delivered a first Asian Cup to Australia in 2015, while he secured qualification for the 2018 World Cup before stepping down prior to the Russian showpiece.

The Socceroos scored 86 goals in A-Internationals under Postecoglou – the second most they have scored under any manager since the beginning of 1965 (Frank Farina - 197). Australia won 22 games during his tenure; only two managers have won more since the beginning of 1965 (Frank Farina - 34 and Holger Osieck - 23).

Postecoglou eventually landed at F.Marinos – part of the City Football Group – in 2018.

Physical performance coach Gregory King was part of the team Postecoglou put together to accompany him on his journey in Japan, where he ended F.Marinos' 15-year wait for league glory in 2019.

Postecoglou left F.Marinos with the highest winning percentage (49.2 – 58 victories in 118 games) in the history of the club. Since joining the Yokohama club, only two managers have a better winning percentage than Postecoglou; Toru Oniki (65) and Go Oiwa (50) from a minimum of 10 games.

Despite the language barrier, F.Marinos bought into the Postecoglou way. Since 2018, the team ranked first for passing accuracy (86.5) and possession (63.2), while they were second for goals per game (1.9), expected goals per game (1.8), shots per game (15.2), shots on target per game (5.3), shot conversion rate (12.6), shooting accuracy (47.2), chances created per game (11.4), passes per game (619.4), passing accuracy in opposition half (82.4), big chance total per game (2.4), big chance created per game (1.8) and big chance scored per game (1.1).

"He definitely has a really good understanding from conditioning, strength and sport-science point of view," King told Stats Perform. "His attention to detail is optimal. You know you can't pull the wool over his eyes. He knows everything going on within his team but he lets you run your own department. He gives you a license to achieve the objectives of the team in your own way."

During F.Marinos' triumphant season in 2019, Postecoglou's men covered the greatest distance in the J1 League (116.48), ahead of Oita Trinita (114.79km). They also tallied the most total sprints with 191, more than FC Tokyo (174).

As Postecoglou prepares to take pre-season training with Celtic, King said: "They're definitely in for a lot of hard work. Really quality football sessions based around the principles of how he wants to play. But, there's no holding back in terms of intensity.

"I think they will enjoy the sessions, however they will be pushed physically. The football we played in Yokohama was extremely high intensity. The physical qualities have to be at their peak. We expected our best players to play regularly, so to be able to do that, the players have to have a lot of good hard work behind them and to be able to cope with it."

"I'd be very surprised if he wasn't looking closely at injury history, how many games they've been able to play over the past seasons in terms of durability. Speed is obviously a massive factor from the forwards and also the centre-backs being able to play really aggressive and a high line. You can only do so much when you have them. We feel we can improve them all physically but from a conditioning point of view, you have to recruit players strong in those areas already to be able to play the way we did."

Adelaide United progressed to the A-League semi-finals with a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar, but look set to be without winger Craig Goodwin for a clash with Sydney FC.

A first-half double from Tomi Juric saw Adelaide into the last four, with Brisbane unable to complete a comeback despite Alex Parsons pulling a goal back in the 56th minute.

They now face Sydney for a place in the Grand Final, having come through their elimination match minus Goodwin.

Goodwin suffered an ankle injury in training on Saturday and coach Carl Veart said: "He'll have a scan on Tuesday.

"He's had an X-ray, there's no break there but the way he went down, the pain he was in, it didn't look good.

 

"We can keep our fingers crossed and hopefully it's not too bad but he was in a lot of pain so I think it will be fairly serious."

On loan from Saudi club Abha, Goodwin has been instrumental for Adelaide this season.

He has scored eight goals and provided five assists, with his 53 chances created the eighth-most in the A-League.

Central Coast Mariners will host Macarthur in a home A-League elimination-final next weekend after beating Western United 2-0 following Brisbane Roar's defeat to Sydney FC.

Brisbane were beaten 2-0 by second-placed Sydney in their final match of the regular season at Moreton Daily Stadium on Saturday.

Goals from Kosta Barbarouses and Harry Van der Saag opened the door for the Mariners to move above the Roar and take third place, an opportunity they grabbed with both hands.

Jack Clisby struck in the first half and Marco Urena sealed the victory in stoppage time at Central Coast Stadium.

Alen Stajcic will pit his wits against fellow former Matildas coach Ante Milicic in an all-New South Wales clash next Saturday.

The Roar will have an extra day to prepare for a home showdown with Adelaide United a week on Sunday, when a place in the semi-finals will be up for grabs.

Newcastle Jets moved off the bottom of the table courtesy of a 1-1 draw with Perth Glory, A Jonathan Aspropotamitis own goal giving them a point after Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring.

That point moved the Jets above Melbourne Victory, while Perth remain ninth.

Brisbane Roar confirmed their place in the A-League Finals thanks to a 2-1 win over Perth Glory, whose own top-six hopes were ended on Wednesday.

Glory required a win to remain in contention for a spot in the Finals, but found themselves trailing early in the second half.

Jonathan AspropotamItis could not get out of the way of a cross and diverted it into his own net as Brisbane edged closer to the Finals.

Riku Danzaki ultimately got the goal that sealed their qualification in brilliant fashion.

He raced on to Alex Parsons' pass in behind the defence on the break and, although Daryl Lachman caught up, Danzaki produced a clever turn to leave him in his tracks before slotting into the bottom-left corner with 17 minutes to go.

Perth pulled one back through Brandon Wilson, who volleyed in from close range in the 85th minute, but it was too little, too late.

Liam Reddy's 90th-minute penalty save earned Perth Glory a 2-2 draw with Wellington Phoenix at Eden Park in a result that leaves both sides' A-League Finals hopes hanging in the balance.

Phoenix opened the scoring in Sunday's match through Tomer Hemed's fifth goal in four games.

That well-taken strike was cancelled out by substitute Bruno Fornaroli's composed finish past Oliver Sail, before Callum Timmins completed the turnaround with a sensational long-ranger.

Perth were unable to hold on for a first away win in seven attempts, though, as another Wellington substitute in Jaushua Sotirio curled in an equaliser six minutes later.

There was still time for more late drama as Cameron Devlin went down under a challenge from Nick D'Agostino, only for Ulises Davila's resulting penalty to be kept out by Reddy.

Wellington are now unbeaten in a club-record 10 A-League games, but they are one point outside the top six having played a game more than Macarthur, while Perth are two points further back.

Brisbane Roar still have work to do if they are to seal a Finals berth, meanwhile, after losing 2-0 at Western Sydney Wanderers in the second of Sunday's matches.

Wanderers had lost three games in a row heading into the contest at Bankwest Stadium, but goals from Bernie Ibini and Bruce Kamau kept their slim top-six hopes just about alive.

Daniel Margush starred for the home side with six saves, including a couple of fine stops to keep out Riku Danzaki either side of Ibidi's 20-yard shot into the bottom-left corner.

The visitors pushed hard for an equaliser and had a penalty shout rejected when Jesse Daley went down inside the box under contact from Ziggy Gordon.

With players committed forward, Roar had a chance to pick off their opponents late on and Kamau made the most of his opportunity by chipping the ball over Jamie Young at his near post to seal the win.

Jay O'Shea scored two penalties as Brisbane Roar cruised past A-League premiers Melbourne City 3-0 on Tuesday. 

Melbourne made a host of changes to their starting XI after lifting the Premiers Plate on Saturday and they were comfortably beaten at Moreton Daily Stadium. 

O'Shea put the hosts ahead after just six minutes, tucking home from the spot after Daniel Georgievski had brought down Alex Parsons in the penalty area. 

Parsons then added a second seven minutes before the interval with a low strike that flew past stand-in goalkeeper Matthew Sutton. 

O'Shea rounded off the scoring seven minutes after the restart, again firing home from the spot after Alec Mills had fouled Jesse Daley in the area to cap a win that moved Brisbane up to fourth in the table.

Jay O'Shea scored two penalties as Brisbane Roar cruised past A-League premiers Melbourne Victory 3-0 on Tuesday. 

Melbourne made a host of changes to their starting XI after lifting the Premiers Plate on Saturday and they were comfortably beaten at Moreton Daily Stadium. 

O'Shea put the hosts ahead after just six minutes, tucking home from the spot after Daniel Georgievski had brought down Alex Parsons in the penalty area. 

Parsons then added a second seven minutes before the interval with a low strike that flew past stand-in goalkeeper Matthew Sutton. 

O'Shea rounded off the scoring seven minutes after the restart, again firing home from the spot after Alec Mills had fouled Jesse Daley in the area to cap a win that moved Brisbane up to fourth in the table.

Adelaide United boosted their hopes of progressing straight through to the A-League semi-finals with a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar.

Craig Goodwin's 23rd-minute strike was the difference between the two sides, with victory leaving Adelaide a point behind Central Coast Mariners in the race for second place.

The Roar had a golden chance to level from the penalty spot six minutes before half-time, but Joseph Champness' effort was kept out by a low save from James Delianov after Ryan Kitto handled in the area.

Sydney FC and Macarthur are level with Adelaide on 35 points as the season nears an exciting climax.

Brisbane remain in sixth, the final quarter-final place, despite their defeat as seventh-placed Western Sydney Wanderers were thumped 5-1 by Perth Glory.

The Glory prevailed thanks to a masterclass from Andy Keogh, who scored four goals for Perth to move them three points behind Brisbane. Joel Chianese rounded out the win deep into injury time.

The day's other game saw Wellington Phoenix go within three points of the Roar as they held league leaders Melbourne City to a 2-2 draw.

Jamie Maclaren's free-kick nine minutes from time put City 2-1 ahead to seemingly secure maximum points, only for Tomer Hemed's second in the 88th minute to ensure a share of the spoils.

Bruno Fornaroli scored a free-kick as Perth Glory earned a key 3-0 home win over Western United as they continued to emerge from their A-League slump.

After going six straight matches without a win, Perth have now won two in a row to keep their Finals hopes alive.

Fornaroli put them ahead on Wednesday with an early free-kick into the top corner before Chris Ikonomidis scored his third goal in as many league matches.

Substitute Joel Chianese wrapped up the points with a fine finish 13 minutes from time, to leave Western floundering given they lost 5-0 to Western Sydney Wanderers last time out.

Perth's win, though, may have been fortunate as they scored three times while only registering an xG of 0.5 compared to 0.8 for the visitors.

 

Second-placed Central Coast Mariners racked up 20 attempts on goal but were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw at Brisbane Roar, who are sixth, six points ahead of Perth in 10th.

Joey Champness hit the crossbar for Brisbane, while Central Coast thought they had won it when Oliver Bozanic chipped goalkeeper Jamie Young in stoppage time, only to be denied by the woodwork.

Alen Stajcic's side are one point clear of Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Macarthur in a tight table, though leaders Melbourne City are eight points clear of them at the summit.

Melbourne City moved nine points clear at the top of the A-League after a battling 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Des Buckingham's side were 2-0 up after only 17 minutes, Connor Metcalfe blasting past goalkeeper Jamie Young before Scott Jamieson doubled the lead via Brisbane's Kai Trewin.

The visitors, who felt a handball should have been given against Craig Noone in the build-up, responded impressively to draw level before half-time through a fine Joey Champness strike and a Macaulay Gillesphey header.

City, who fired in 33 shots across the 90 minutes, failed to capitalise on their chances until some brilliance from Scott Galloway, the full-back's superb run sending him into the box where he hooked a clever finish into the left-hand corner after his cross had been blocked.

City are nine points clear of the chasing pack, with Sydney FC, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur all on 32 points.

In the later match, Perth Glory beat Melbourne Victory 2-1 at HBF Park to move seven points clear of the bottom two and keep their top-six hopes alive.

Robbie Kruse missed a first-half penalty for the visitors, who were given an uphill task when Nicholas Ansell was sent off 48 minutes in for a crude challenge on Callum Timmins.

Diego Castro combined well with Ciaran Bramwell to set up Bruno Fornaroli to open the scoring, with Chris Ikonomidis volleying home the second. Rudy Gestede grabbed a consolation for Victory after Kruse hit the crossbar.

Perth are nine points adrift of Western Sydney Wanderers in sixth but have two games in hand.

Western Sydney Wanderers claimed an enthralling 3-2 derby win over Sydney FC to keep Melbourne City's four-point lead at the top of the A-League intact.

Steve Corica's men had designs on eating into that advantage but were caught cold by their neighbours at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

Bruce Kamau clattered home Ziggy Gordon's low right-wing cross via the upright in the 12th minutes and it was soon 2-0 when Mitchell Duke found the bottom corner on the end of Bernie Ibini's deft flick to crown a wonderful team move.

Sydney FC avoided any further damage before the break and Alex Wilkinson headed home Alexander Baumjohann's corner two minutes into the second period to breathe fresh life into the contest.

Wanderers substitute Scott McDonald was the beneficiary of further slack set-piece marking 16 minutes from time and the hosts appeared to be safe as the game ticked towards 90 minutes.

Sydney FC produced a remarkable late rally, though – Bobo blazing an 82nd-minute penalty over after the VAR penalised Western Sydney skipper Graham Dorrans for a challenge on Trent Buhagiar.

The experienced striker made amends by pouncing for his 50th A-League goal in stoppage time and there was still time for Anthony Caceres to smash a shot from outside the box against the underside of the crossbar.

Saturday's other matches lacked for similar drama as Macarthur's trip to Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar's home game against Wellington Phoenix each finished goalless.

Brisbane Roar hammered out-of-form Central Coast Mariners 4-0 in Wednesday's A-League clash to move within striking distance of the top six and earn a slice of history.

Goals from Macaulay Gillesphey and Joseph Champness had Roar two goals ahead, and a straight red card for Marco Urena just after the hour preceded more Mariners woe with subs Alex Parsons and Masato Kudo on target late on at Central Coast Stadium.

A third straight win sees Roar up to seventh, just one point shy of sixth-place Western United, while the Mariners are still third but now have just one win in their past eight.

Victory also means Roar are undefeated in 19 games against the Mariners (W15, D4), marking the longest undefeated streak of any team against a single opponent in A-League history.

The breakthrough arrived after 19 minutes when Gillesphey volleyed home at the back post after Jay O'Shea's right-wing cross was deflected into his path.

Champness brilliantly drilled home a 25-yard effort for his first A-League goal in two years shortly before Urena saw red after a VAR check for a poor tackle on O'Shea.

Parsons bent home his first A-League goal in the 89th minute and the scoring was completed with a near-post finish by Kudo in injury time.

Western Sydney Wanderers winless run was extended to five A-League matches as they went down 2-1 at home to Brisbane Roar.

Josh Brindell-South's maiden A-League goal put visitors Brisbane ahead 18 minutes into the contest, with the defender lashing home on the rebound after Dylan Wenzel-Halls' effort was kept out.

Bruce Kamau's controlled finish restored parity within five minutes, but Brisbane had lost only one of their last seven A-League matches against Western Sydney heading into the game, and the hosts were behind again before half-time.

Joe Champness was the creator with a wonderful first-time, left-wing cross to Riku Danzaki, who duly tucked away.

Western Sydney had 19 shots in the second half as they looked to equalise once again, but ultimately fell short as they slumped to a first home defeat in four matches.

Brisbane Roar ended an eight-match winless run in the A-League as they beat Macarthur 2-1 at Campbelltown Stadium.

The hosts had won their past three league matches on home soil but succumbed to goals in each half from Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Riku Danzaki, with Lachlan Rose netting a late reply.

It represents a measure of revenge for Brisbane, who suffered a 2-0 reverse to the Bulls in February, which proved to be the starting point of their long victory drought.

Macarthur stay third, with the Roar climbing to seventh, six points behind their hosts but with two games in hand.

Wenzel-Halls put Warren Moon's men ahead after 12 minutes, arrowing a fine strike beyond Adam Federici from the edge of the box.

Danzaki's close-range finish put the game beyond Macarthur's reach just before the hour mark, ensuring Rose's first A-League goal was a mere consolation. 

Brisbane Roar saw their winless A-League run reach eight matches after Saturday's 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers.

Riku Danzaki's 49th-minute goal cancelled out a good opener from Kwame Yeboah as Roar stretched their unbeaten streak at Moreton Daily Stadium to six matches.

However, they could not find a winner in a contest that featured 27 shots including 12 for the home side in the second half alone, with visiting goalkeeper Daniel Margush saving well from Joey Champness, Golgol Mebrahtu, Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Scott McDonald.

Wanderers are fifth in the table, six points behind leaders Central Coast Mariners, with Brisbane six points further back but with two games in hand.

They will hope to break their winless streak, which runs back to February 6, when they face Macarthur next Friday

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