The club’s faithful now like to present themselves as being full square behind every decision made by the Australian since he pitched up from Japanese club Yokahama F Marinos last June. Yet, though they might now consider the 56-year-old anointed as his on-field revitalisation of Celtic has engendered hopes of claiming a treble in his first season, brushed over is that they felt his first call was wholly wrong.
There was universal furore over Postecoglou, at odds with all modern football conventions, failing to bring any coaching staff with him and instead electing to work with John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan – coaches the support wanted run out of the club following their perceived failings as the record 10-in-a-row bid the previous season disintegrated under Neil Lennon. Speaking in a lengthy interview with former Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on Optus Sport, Postecoglou rebuffed the suggestion that his endeavours over the past nine months are all the more impressive because he did not seek to recruit coaching allies to his backroom team. Instead, he believes this allowed him to remain on the “super high alert” he believes is vital to him retaining the sharpness required to restlessly push him.
“I don’t know if that’s impressive, it’s just me,” he said. “I’ve taken only one person with me. I took Peter Cklamovski. from Victory to the national team with me and then to Japan. He was the only person who was attached to me. Everywhere else I’ve either inherited people or worked with people I don’t know. I just love working with people with different ideas and me, coming literally on my own into a building, I’m on super high alert. And that keeps me sharp. Because I’m checking everything. I’m looking round every corner, watching every behaviour because I need to make sure everyone is on board. That’s where I work my best.
“I always talk to the players about never getting comfortable because the day you get comfortable is the day you stop pushing yourself and someone you don’t even see will be working harder than you. And I feel the same. Until I finish, I want to be at my best. And I’m at my best surrounded by people that I need to convince about my vision and what I want to do. That wasn’t daunting for me. I know why people will look at it and think it is bizarre and different. But there is also part of it to me that says there are people in this building had success of nine years in a row and won a lot of trophies. So there must be decent people in here because you don’t have that success in isolation. And they also went through a bad period last year and you sometimes learn more from the failure. So I thought, as long as there are people open-minded here that is a good group to work with. Because they have had the highs and then the lows and hopefully they are open-minded enough to get us back to the highs.”