Aussie football god Ange Postecoglou has inked a life-changing opportunity, managing Premier League superpower Tottenham.
It was a journey all the way from the A-League; he’ll be Australia’s first coaching product to pilot an English football club. And was it a surprise to see the wildly successful manager discounted and discredited, as the news solidified? Probably not.
But anyone familiar with Postecoglou’s incredible management record know that Spurs are lucky to have him.
If we’re being honest here, Postecoglou is too good to go to a mid-table club with mess to clean up. Prior to this news, it seemed more fitting that he’d either take a club from the brink of relegation to the Champions League, in an incredible rags to riches story.
Or one day heads to Liverpool, his childhood favourite club, pending the prospects of the Reds’ 2023-24 season. A mid-table club, particularly one with a recent history of sacking managers like Spurs, just feels beneath Postecoglou at this point.
But for the Spurs fans who still aren’t convinced that the club could stand to do a lot worse than Ange Postecoglou, let’s take a chronological walk down memory lane and look at everything he has achieved.
Ange Postecoglou’s monumental management record
Postecoglou kicked off his coaching career at his boyhood club the South Melbourne Hellas. He started as an assistant coach but took over the head coaching position in 1996.
Almost immediately, Postecoglou broke the team’s seven year losing streak, leading South Melbourne to two consecutive National Soccer League (NSL) titles in 1997/98 and 1998/99. He also won the 1999 Oceania Club Championship and led South Melbourne to securing a place in the 2000 FIFA Club World Championship.
After a cracking start to his management career, Postecoglou quickly went from club level to national level, serving as the Young Socceroos coach in 2000. He coached the U20 team until 2007, but was replaced after Australia failed to qualify for the U20 FIFA World Cup that year.
It was during this time that his infamous on-air argument with former Socceroo-turned-pundit Craig Foster tarnished his reputation and employability — prompting Ange to return to third division management and a side hustle running coaching clinics.
But by 2009, Ange Postecoglou was ready to make a comeback, and rebuilding Brisbane Roar was the perfect place to do it.
Taking over Roar after Frank Farina’s departure, Postecoglou gutted and rebuilt the team from the ground up.
He led Roar to both the Premiership and the Championship the following season, after losing just one game all season — breaking the record for an unbeaten run with a massive 36-game streak.
He then followed it up with another championship in 2011/12 before leaving the club on a high at the end of the 2011/12 season with two championships, a premiership and an AFC Champions League qualification. Not bad for his return to top flight football, to say the least.
After rebuilding Brisbane Roar, Ange’s next project was Melbourne Victory in 2012 — where he signed a three-year deal. He had 14 players depart and signed 15 new players in a complete overhaul of the club — many of whom went on to do great things for Victory and in their individual careers.
Although his time at Victory wasn’t as successful as his time at Roar, the club has not missed a finals series since Ange took over, so it could be argued that he got the ball rolling for a more long-term overhaul of the club.
However, his time at Victory was short-lived — having not finished his contract after being poached for the top job with the Socceroos.
Ange took over as head coach of the national team in October 2013 on a five-year contract and was given the difficult task of rebuilding the team that was – at the time – dependent on the Golden Generation players.
In the Socceroos first game under Ange, Australia won 1-0 against Costa Rica.
Australia had a rough go at the 2014 World Cup, although its worth noting this was within the first 12 months of Postecoglou’s reign — and against an extremely tough group stage draw with Spain, the Netherlands and Chile.
Things continued to be rough for the next few months, but it all turned around in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup — which Australia won, giving the nation its first Asian title in history and qualifying the side for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup.
Postecoglou then took the team through to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but resigned as coach after the position in Russia was secured.
Yokohama F. Marinos:
Just weeks after announcing his departure from the Socceroos, it was announced that Postecoglou would take the helm at Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan.
While his start to his first season wasn’t stellar, finishing 12th in the league, he did take them to the final of the J-League Cup — and had the club finishing with the second highest goal count in the league.
Thankfully, his second season at Yokohama was much better — proving that Postecoglou made the right decision by sticking with the club and not taking an offer to coach the Greek national team.
In 2019, just one season after finishing 12th and spending half of the season battling relegation, Ange Postecoglou coached Yokohama to their first J-League win in 15 years.
On a personal note, this made Ange the first Australian manager to ever win a title in Japan, and sparked the start of his recent rise.
Ange took up his current role at Celtic in June 2021 on a rolling 12-month contract, following Celtic’s loss of the league title to Rangers. With the weight of being the first Australian manager to score a major coaching role in Europe on his shoulders, Postecoglou did what he always does and got straight to work.
He drowned out the background noise of critics questioning his credentials and mocking him and proved them wrong the only way he could — by winning.
By the end of his first season, Celtic had won the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Premiership in an incredible debut for the Aussie that nobody knew.
Personally, Postecoglou won Manager of the Month a whopping five times in just one season, as well as PFA Scotland and SFWA’s respective manager of the year awards.
Now, in his second season he has already won the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup. The cherry on top was securing Celtic the treble; the Glasgow club claimed the Scottish Cup final on June 3.
To put it simply, wherever Ange goes, success follows.