One of the country’s most talked about managerial changes was finalized on Tuesday. Ange Postecoglou has left Celtic to join Tottenham Hotspur.
The move comes just days after Celtic secured the treble in their Scottish Cup victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
The move had been rumoured for weeks, but it won’t ease the blow of seeing ‘Big Ange’ housing a Tottenham scarf above his head.
There’s a seat to be filled at Parkhead. And the list of candidates will have a tough act to follow.
In 2021, Celtic lost out on winning the Scottish Premiership to old firm rivals, Rangers, for the first time in a decade. Heading into the new season, the Parkhead club hired Ange Postecoglou, making him the first Australian to manage a major European club.
The appointment was underwhelming for fans who had their hearts set on Eddie Howe. There were doubts across the fan base, doubts the Australian would soon put to bed.
Infamously, Talksport pundit and Celtic fan Alan Brazil mocked the new coach only to be forced to make an on-air apology at the end of the season.
Postecoglou lost his first Premiership game of the season to Hearts 2-1. But he wasn’t on the losing end many more times that season.
In December 2021, a 2-1 win over Hibernian saw the Hoops win the Scottish League Cup. A 3-0 thrashing of Rangers in February saw Giovanni Van Bronckhurst’s 13-game unbeaten streak come to an end and saw Celtic reach the top of the table for the first time that season.
Then a 1-1 draw with Dundee United on May 11th sealed Premiership glory for Postecoglou and Celtic in his first season as head coach.
Ange picked up right where he left off for the 2022/23 season. A 2-0 win over Aberdeen at the start of the campaign set them up to take a seat at the top of the table. A seat they never left the entire season.
Postecoglou dominated Scottish football in 2022/23. He won the League Cup and the Premiership, and just days ago, became the fifth Celtic manager to clean sweep Scottish Football by winning the Scottish Cup.
Now, the Australian takes another leap in his managerial career by becoming the first-ever Australian manager in the English Premier League.
He is tasked with bringing Tottenham the success he did for Celtic. He is the fourth permanent Spurs manager since their Champions League final appearance in 2019.
His departure leaves a void at Parkhead, a void that many managers will be licking their chops to get a foothold in.
The bookies have released their favourites for the new manager job, so I take a look at who could replace Ange Postecoglou.
Brendan Rodgers – 5/4 Odds On As Next Celtic Manager
A shocking return to Parkhead is the bookie’s odds-on favourite for the new permanent head job.
Brendan Rodgers led Celtic to back-to-back trebles during his two-and-a-half-year stint in Glasgow before his bitter departure from the team near the end of the 2018/19 season when the Hoops were 8 points adrift at the top of the table.
The departure left a sour taste in the mouths of Celtic fans as they were on the brink of their third consecutive title win.
But can the fans let bygones be bygones and welcome former Celtic manager Rodgers back with open arms? Or would Rodgers even be open to a return to Parkhead?
Rodgers left Leicester City by mutual consent in April during a relegation battle. Rumours have been swirling that Rodgers wants to take some time away from football. But returning to Celtic, who looked primed for further success next season, could reign him in from that idea.
Enzo Maresca – 5/2 Bet Odds
Mikel Arteta, Xavi, and Vincent Kompany have all found great managerial success after leaving the wings of Pep Guardiola. Could Enzo Maresca be the next Celtic manager?
Enzo returned to Manchester City in June 2022 after a short stint as Italian Seria B side Parma manager. While his first managerial stint at a senior club wasn’t successful, returning to the Etihad to spend more time as Guardiola’s understudy could set him up for a triumphant return to a managerial role.
David Moyes – 6/1 As The Next Permanent Manager
David Moyes guided West Ham away from the Premier League dropzone this season while simultaneously leading the Hammers to win the UEFA Europa Conference League.
West Ham fans will be desperate to hold onto Moyes as their head man. But a return to Scottish football may be on the cards for Moyes.
Moyes hasn’t been involved in Scottish football since his playing days when he made five appearances for Hamilton in 1992/93.
Moyes has the experience to continue Celtic’s success. His recent European success will also have Celtic fans clamouring for him to sign his name on the dotted line.
Kjetil Knutsen – 12/1 Outsider For Next Celtic Manager
Kjetil Knutsen is a name that not many will be familiar with. But Celtic fans may recognize the familiar face.
Knutsen managed FK Bodo/Glimt to back-to-back Norweigien Eliteserien titles in 2020 and 2021. And during their 2021 UEFA Europa Conference League, Knutsen and FKL Bodo/Glimt beat Celtic in the Knockout stages. They thrashed Jose Mourinho’s Roma team 6-1 in that same campaign.
Celtic found major success through their appointment of relatively unknown Ange Postecoglou. They may look to capture lightning twice with Knutsen. While on the other hand, the Celtic job would be a major step in the managerial career of the Norwegian.
Des Buckingham – 12/1 For Football Unknown
Another name that Celtic could pull from the relative unknowns is Des Buckingham.
Buckingham is the current manager of Mumbai City, who play in the Indian Super League – the top tier of Indian football. The Englishman has been a successful head coach in Australia with Melbourne City and Wellington Pheonix. He also managed New Zealand U20s and U23 international teams. During that time, Buckingham became the youngest-ever manager of the A-League – the highest level of football in Australia.
I’m sure Buckingham would welcome the opportunity to return to Europe and manage a team set up for success.
Seeing the Old Firm with two young managers battling for Scottish supremacy instead of using their respective teams as a stepping stone would be good for both teams.
Buckingham would be another underwhelming appointment from the Celtic board. But we know how their last underwhelming appointment went.
Other Bookmaker Names In The Hat
With the club in the hunt for a new manager, you can expect some of the usual suspects to appear such as Neil Lennon, and Scott Brown, along with Graham Potter to pop up. Even Scotland boss Steve Clarke is being mentioned as someone who could replace Postecoglou.