When it emerged that an Australian manager with no flamin’ experience of managing in an elite or particularly competitive league was in the frame to take over as manager of the Queen’s Celtic, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that plenty of the Grand Old Club’s fans were unimpressed. On Thursday morning their worst fears were realised, when the Glaswegians announced that former Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou will be taking over their vacant hot seat on a one-year rolling contract and therefore continue to have – you can see this bargain-basement shot coming, can’t you? – no experience of managing in an elite or particularly competitive league for the foreseeable future.
While he may not have earned his stripes leading a small south-coast club through the divisions into the Premier League and repeatedly keeping them there before eventually leading them back out again, Ange is no mug. He has won A-League titles and the Asian Cup with Australia, who he also managed at a World Cup. He has won the J-League title with Yokohama F Marinos, who he’s just left to take up this post. He has an ardent admirer in Brendan Rodgers, who used to have 60,000 ardent admirers at Queen’s Celtic Park. He has a very fixed idea of how the game should be played and his teams are a delight to watch. Like many of his compatriots he has an Alf Stewart-low level of tolerance for flamin’ galahs and bull, coupled with cast-iron self belief.
The one thing he is not, however, is a miracle-worker and if he is to successfully instil his philosophy at the Queen’s Celtic, a club in dire need of a complete overhaul, he will almost certainly need time. Sadly, should he fail to hit the ground running from the start of next season, time is something he will almost certainly not get from the naysayers who are already convinced he is not a sufficiently big name to be in charge of their club. “The opportunity that has been given to me is one of the greatest honours in football and the responsibility to lead our magnificent football club into the future is one that I will cherish dearly,” said Ange, making all the right noises as he prepared to leave Yokohama for Glasgow, where he will spend 10 days in the splendid self-isolation ahead of pre-season.
His quarantine may afford him the opportunity to get cracking on studies for his Pro-Licence, a qualification Ange has not previously needed and does not have, but is a pre-requisite for any manager wishing to manage in Uefa competitions. His new employers have already applied for an exemption and if they don’t get one, he may not be allowed to sit in the dugout for any Euro adventures next season. It would seem like unfair dinkum to The Fiver, but the straight-talking Australian has overcome far worse adversity in his time.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“On this occasion, we got it wrong. For that, and any offence caused, the club apologises” – Norwich City ditch their new sponsor BK8 after a revolt by fans over the gambling company’s dubious marketing, which included “sexy Baccarat” and videos of suggestive hot dog-swallowing contests.
Get ready for Euro Not 2020 with Football Weekly Extra.
It’s David Squires on … the home nations’ glorious Euros history.
“Instead of these competitions to help young sportswriters (yesterday’s Still Want More?), who are full of potential and with lots to look forward to in life, can we not have one finally aimed at bored middle-aged people stuck in dead-end jobs that they have no chance of escaping? Asking for a (ahem) friend” – Noble Francis.
Send your letters to [email protected] And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Rollover.
NEWS, BITS AND BOBS
Luis Enrique insists there is no confirmation that his Spain squad will be vaccinated against Covid-19 in time for the Euros. “We would like it to happen as soon as possible because there could be symptoms and issues,” he said.
Uefa has told Ukraine it can keep a map showing Crimea on its new national shirt despite objections from Russia, but must remove the phrase “glory to the heroes” due to military connotations.
The Croatian FA has decided to let its players decide whether to take a knee before their game against England. “This gesture does not hold any symbolic ties to the fight against racism and discrimination in the context of Croatian culture and tradition,” it said.
A month and a day after suffering ankle-ouch, Harry Maguire is back in training. The Fiver can almost taste his hangdog apology following a meek England subsidence.
Football being the entirely normal endeavour that it is, after Roma replaced Paulo Fonseca with José Mourinho, Spurs are now set to replace José Mourinho with Paulo Fonseca.
And Georginio Wijnaldum will join PSG from Liverpool on a three-year deal. “I’m joining one of the best squads in Europe and I want to bring all my desire and commitment to this ambitious project,” he trousered.
STILL WANT MORE?
Get yer latest EN 2020 team guides: today, France and Germany.
Get yer latest EN 2020 player profiles: today, Lucas Hernandez and Lukas Klostermann.
Roberto Mancini has turned Italy from mess into machine, and while wearing an unusual grey blazer too. Nicky Bandini has more.
England’s best players are attackers but attacking football rarely wins tournaments. Jonathan Wilson has some thoughts on the matter.
He’s never had a pint, but he does fancy himself against Luka Modric. David Hytner gets in and around Declan Rice.
The Wales squad are relaxing in Baku, playing cards, table tennis and computer games as tradition dictates. Ben Fisher has the skinny.
Coaching cast-offs from the English game looking to make a splash at EN 2020.
Everton quite fancy getting themselves some USA! USA!! USA!!! fans, which is good of them. But it’s not easily done, as Matthew Hall explains.
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