The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement

Ange Postecoglou's latest triumph proves what can be achieved with a bit of self-belief

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
Replay
Cancel
Next
Expert
1st May, 2022
66
1347 Reads

Rangers may have frustrated Celtic in their 1-1 draw at a rocking Celtic Park on Sunday, but the stalemate has only delayed the inevitable as Ange Postecoglou gets set to lift the Scottish title.

Celtic bossed the first half in the Glasgow sunshine in another frenetic Old Firm derby, and they surely would have sealed the title had former Yokohama F. Marinos man Daizen Maeda not blazed over with Allan McGregor’s goal at his mercy shortly after the half-time break.

Maeda’s miss seemed to re-energise the visitors and after Fashion Sakala had equalised for Rangers with an unstoppable left-foot finish, the Zambian striker almost won the game when he burst clean through on goal, only to see his shot bounce back off the foot of Joe Hart’s post.

The draw was a fair result between two of world football’s most bitter rivals, even if there’s little doubt Celtic will ultimately be crowned champions.

Sports opinion delivered daily 

   

Advertisement

That could happen against Hearts at Celtic Park next Saturday, with Celtic currently six points clear of Rangers with only three games remaining.

It will mean Postecoglou adds the Scottish Premiership to the League Cup crown he collected in December, with only a Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Rangers – who else? – preventing Celtic from fighting for the treble in Postecoglou’s first season in charge.

It’s an impressive feat for a manager most Scottish fans had never heard of before his arrival in Glasgow, and while it might be tempting to view Celtic’s triumph as some kind of vindication for Postecoglou, the truth is he’s been doing this his entire life.

Advertisement

The question now isn’t so much where Postecoglou goes from here – the English Premier League surely awaits – but whether Australian football will actually learn anything from his achievements.

Ange Postecoglou

(Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Because it’s not like we haven’t seen this before. Postecoglou has now won the National Soccer League with South Melbourne, the A-League with Brisbane Roar, the Asian Cup with the Socceroos and the J.League with Yokohama F. Marinos.

And just like the critics who’ll insist the Scottish Premiership is nothing more than a two-horse race, who won’t count the title in Yokohama because they find Japanese football too difficult to comprehend, and who believe the Socceroos had it easy in the Asian Cup despite facing a South Korean side containing Son Heung-min in the final, so too will this latest triumph be dismissed by those unwilling to admit that an Australian manager could ever be world-class.

Advertisement

But it won’t be dismissed by as many as usual – at least not in Australia – because if there’s one thing we’ve learned in Australian football, it’s that overseas success is a surefire way to shake off our cultural cringe.

Postecoglou himself said the lack of appreciation for the magnitude of Australia’s Asian Cup win was one of the reasons he was keen to move on from the Socceroos job.

Advertisement

That’s a lesson Football Australia would do well to heed, not least because Australia is co-hosting a FIFA Women’s World Cup next year that plenty of politicians will put their hands out for free tickets to while doing nothing to ever advance the cause of football in this country.

And there’s another important lesson we can learn from a manager who has simply ignored the critics and blazed his own path.

Our football can be successful. It’s just difficult to succeed without a little bit of self-belief.

On a weekend in which plenty of Aussies tuned into the Old Firm Derby, it seems like far fewer watched any A-League Men action. And just two weeks out from the finals, the Australian Professional Leagues had better come up with some compelling storylines.

Advertisement

Because Ange Postecoglou needs to be the first of many successful Aussie coaches.

Our football has always been good enough. But right now the domestic game sorely needs an injection of self-belief.

close