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Ange Postecoglou: From Bank Worker to Premier League Manager

Ange Postecoglou on the sidelines for Celtic

The appointment of Angelos (better known as Ange) Postecoglou as Tottenham Hotspur boss in June 2023 was met with mixed reactions. Sections of the fanbase welcomed him, acknowledging the work that he had done with Celtic while other fans were against it, claiming that he had not accomplished enough on the European stage to be given one of the most important jobs in English football.

In the five months since then, the appointment looks to have been a masterstroke by Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, as Postecoglou won three back-to-back-to-back Premier League Manager of the Month Awards, with the Lilywhites sitting just two points off the top of the table after twelve games. How exactly did Postecoglou get here?

Ange Postecoglou: From Bank Worker to European Success

Watch: How Postecoglou replaced Kane’s output

Brief but Impactful Playing Career

Postecoglou was a one-club man as a player, making 193 appearances for South Melbourne between 1984 and 1993, scoring an impressive 27 goals from defence. However, due to a persistent knee injury, his career was cut short, and the Greek-born Australian international was forced to retire at age 27.

Read More: Best 11 Players that Spurs Missed Out On

Legendary Hungarian striker Ferenc Puskas, who coached him during this brief career, had a significant impact on his own coaching philosophy.  Postecoglou spent a considerable amount of time with Puskas, often acting as his translator and even driver.

After retirement, he was employed as a bank teller until 1996 when he got his first job as head coach of a football club, with South Melbourne.

South Melbourne and Australia Youth Teams

He was appointed as head coach of South Melbourne in 1996 and tasted success soon after, winning the National Soccer League (NSL) in two consecutive seasons, between 1997 and 1999. In doing this, Postecoglou became the first man to be involved in all four of  Melbourne’s NSL winning teams, twice as a player then twice as a coach.  He also won the Oceanic Club Championship in 1999, which in turn led to him participating in the Club World Cup in 2000, where he came up against Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble-winning Manchester United side in the group stage.

In that same year, Postecoglou would step down from his position as head coach of South Melbourne when he was appointed as U17 & U-19 boss of the Australian National Team. He held these positions until 2007 and had a now infamous on-air spat with football pundit, Craig Foster. Following this drama, Postecoglou returned to the country of his birth to coach Panachiki in the Greek third division.

Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory and Australian National Team.

Returning to the Australian game, he was given the task of rebuilding a stuttering Brisbane Roar team. This would later become a trend in his career, being given a club that had been underperforming and being tasked with refreshing the team. This proved quite successful as he led them to the Premiership and Championship title in 2010/2011, losing only one game in a run that saw him embark on a 36-match unbeaten streak. He followed it up with another league title in 2011/2012, making him the first manager to win back-to-back top-division Australian titles.

Read More: Tottenham Hotspur Loan Wrap-Up 

In 2012, the 58-year-old took up the position as manager of Melbourne Victory, where he also started a rebuild, refreshing the squad by shipping out unwanted players and bringing in a host of others who better suited his style of play. His stint at Victory was short-lived however, as he was named as Australian head coach in 2013.

In charge of the Socceroos, Postecoglou achieved significant milestones including; managing them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, getting them qualified for the 2018 World Cup and most notably, winning them the 2015 Asian Cup, the country’s first silverware.

Yokohama F. Marinos and Celtic

In 2017,  Postecoglou took his first foreign top-flight assignment when he took charge of Japanese club, Yokohama Marinos. Facing relegation after a poor start, the coach guided the club to their first-ever J-league Cup final along with a 12th-place finish in the league. Again in his second season in charge of a club, he ended a title drought by delivering Yokohama their first league title in fifteen years in 2019.

Postecoglou stayed at Yokohama until 2021 when he became the first Australian manager to manage a major European club by joining Celtic in Scotland. An eye-raising appointment to say the least, he soon won over any doubters by reclaiming the league title from bitter rivals Rangers in his first season. He followed this up with an even better second season, guiding the Hoops to their record-breaking eighth treble in 2023, winning the Scottish League Cup in his last match in charge.

Assumptions of Ange Postecoglou

This brief overview of the life and career of Postecoglou shows us that he is a record-breaker and a trendsetter. Throughout his entire career, he has been strict with his philosophies and principles, never abandoning them regardless of country, league or circumstance. He has also shown a great knack for taking clubs in trouble and propelling them to success, particularly successful in his second seasons. He’s even capable of ending trophy droughts, a concept that will of course get any Tottenham Hotspur fans excited.


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