Ange Postecoglou is the toast of Glasgow’s green half after successfully sealing a 52nd Scottish title with Celtic.
- Celtic now lead arch-rivals Rangers by nine points with a vastly superior goal difference
- The league title will give Postecoglou a second trophy in his first season at Celtic
- All goals in Hearts win were scored by players signed by ex-Socceroos boss
The Australian Bhoys manager was all smiles at Parkhead after watching his side come from behind to beat Hearts 4-1 on Saturday and – almost mathematically – claim the Premiership crown.
The win puts Celtic nine points clear of sworn rivals Rangers, who have three games to play but have a vastly inferior goal difference of 22.
The ecstatic scenes at Celtic Park are testament to the remarkable influence former Socceroos boss Postecoglou has had since taking over a demoralized club in June last year.
Celtic had strayed as Rangers – under former boss Steven Gerrard – ruled the Scottish roost, but Postecoglou, initially received at Parkhead as the “Angel who?” became a cult figure after rejuvenating their fortunes.
The 56-year-old has restored the club’s attacking identity while bringing in new ideas and personnel and his new Celtic look now has his hands on his second trophy in his opening season following the Champions League success. League in December.
It seemed fitting that Celtic’s victory on Saturday was due to goals from four of Postecoglou’s inspired signings – Daizen Maeda, Kyogo Furuhashi, Matt O’Riley and Giorgos Giakoumakis.
Hearts had spoiled the festive atmosphere early on with a third-minute goal from Ellis Sims before Maeda and Furuhashi – both identified by Postecoglou during his successful spell in Japan – fought back before the break.
England-born Denmark Under-21 international O’Riley then fired in the decisive third after the break, before Greece international Giakoumakis sealed the deal at the last minute.
His latest success only solidifies Postecoglou’s position as the most successful Australian rules football manager ever produced.
He has coached champion sides in his homeland in South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar, in Japan with Yokohama F Marinos and now in Scotland, as well as taking the Socceroos to the World Cup after guiding them to the Cup title from Asia.