The Ange Postecoglou era is over at Celtic.
The confirmation of his departure to Tottenham confirmed and no one can blame him for his ambition to manage at a higher level.
The English Premier League is miles better than the SPFL, and it is the hot ticket to financial security for many managers.
Even the failures can retire on a healthy pay-off. The league, the money and the lure of greater competition was more than enough for Ange to end his brief love affair with Celtic. I have no problem with that at all.
However, I fear for Ange joining the poison chalice that is Tottenham. Spurs are a club notorious for curbing manager’s ambitions and thwarting their desire for progress.
Daniel Levy and the Tottenham board have sacked some of Europe’s best managers and they have a team that lacks the bottle or quality to be in the mix for silverware next season.
There are big changes needed if Tottenham are going to challenge in any competition. Those changes may include the loss of one of their greatest ever strikers in Harry Kane. Good luck replacing him with Kyogo!
Whether Ange can turn their fortunes around and change the mindset and staff of a club geared for failure while playing the ’Spurs’ way is another matter.
He will find it very strange dealing with a Chairman who will bump you at a moment’s notice when you hit a bad spell.
The Premier League is unforgiving when it comes to managers pleading for time. Tottenham’s track record is even more ruthless and less tolerant than most clubs in the top flight in England.
The list of good managers all sacked by Levy is impressive. Pochettino led them to a Champions league final, five months later, gone! Mourinho, the man who delivers trophies wherever he goes, seventeen months into the job and days away from a League cup final, bumped! Antonio Conte let rip at a team of individuals lacking a winning mentality and a board that had won nothing in twenty years. The Italian was shown the door shortly after that rant.
Levy has dismissed 11 managers and put five caretakers in charge during his spell as CEO and Chairman. The culture in this club is the manager is the victim but the chairman stays on. There is no karma for Levy, the manager gets the sack every time.
What will Spurs be getting with Ange? A good manager with a clear style of high press, high intensity and hard work, and he demands that of every player in the squad. If you don’t step up, you are out!
On a personal level, I have been in the former Celtic manager’s company on more than a few occasions and found him to be a thoroughly decent man, not affected by the madness that can sometimes engulf someone managing Celtic or Rangers.
He has a good sense of humour and in the right surroundings when you catch him off guard, he likes a good laugh, as I found out at many of the Celtic foundation charity dinners.
When he was in work mode, as you would expect, he was on full alert and ready for some of the weaker members of the press corps.
If there was a curve ball thrown at him at any press conference, pre or post-match, he would bat it away in a manner even the late great Aussie, Shane Warne would have been proud of.
If there is a mix in his DNA of his place of birth Greece, his Dad’s values mixed in with that dry Aussie humour, it served him well when firing any stupid questions or criticism of his strategy out into left field.
He will find the press conferences in London more difficult than what he’s used to up in Glasgow. There will be tougher questions and a shorter timeline for him to convince the fans, the owner and the press that he is the real deal.
The evidence domestically in Scotland was impressive, but in England there is nothing but disdain for medals and trophies won in the top flight Scottish Premiership.
On the home front, this season’s treble speaks for itself.
Five trophies out of the last six on offer is impressive and the football at times was good to watch as were his first batch of signings.
However, if there is a sense of unfulfillment surrounding Mr. Postecoglou’s departure it has to be Europe.
Celtic supporters were really looking forward to seeing which players Ange would recruit and how they were going to play in year three of his Champions League plan.
Sadly, for the fans, it didn’t materialise. All that is left is a list of facts which show failure, despite some plaudits for apparently having a go at the big guns, he failed miserably.
There’s no point in highlighting sixty minutes of good football against Real Madrid, they lost.
They had chances to sink Shakhtar home and away and failed.
They got a taste of their own medicine with RB Leipzig too.
Big spenders spanking a team that can’t match them financially was Celtic’s story domestically, but it was role reversal against Europe’s better teams.
In his first season, Celtic were bumped out of three European competitions, but to be fair to him, it was only in season two that his signings really started to knit together in the Scottish Premiership.
The first season, slow start and then better, the second season really good in all three domestic competitions. The third? We will never know.
I wish Ange Postecoglou the best of luck in his new job.
If he brings success to Tottenham, he’ll have the pick of some of the best teams in Europe as his next stepping stone, but I can’t see it happening.
As long as Daniel Levy and the current board remain, a P45 is never too far away.
The stats don’t lie, Tottenham are club that sacks their manager regularly and win nothing.
If you don’t believe me, ask Antonio.