The man himself warned us not get too attached to our heroes.
But we did it anyway.
And now he too has headed to pastures new.
The news that almost every Celtic fan had been dreading – but expecting – was finally confirmed this morning with the club releasing a statement at 10.32am which finally drew the Ange Postecoglou era to a close.
The nature of his exit has angered some sections of the fanbase, but in truth is there ever a way for a Treble winning manager to leave that won’t cause upset and disappoint in equal measure?
A Dignified Departure
Parallels have been drawn with how previous Manager Brendan Rodgers left the club – himself an early front-runner to replace Postecoglou – but these are wide of the mark.
Whilst Rodgers’ coaching credentials aren’t in question, his decision to leave mid-season with a third consecutive Treble very much in the balance still leaves a sour taste for many fans.
Postecoglou’s departure has been notably different.
Whilst it’s fair to assume that contact had been made with the Spurs hierarchy well in advance of Saturday’s history making success at Hampden Park, he ultimately completed the task in hand before making his move.
A crucial difference.
There’s some annoyance that the Australian never fronted up about the approach from North London in advance of the Cup Final – but in truth what else could he do?
How could he have confirmed this in a way that wouldn’t rock the fanbase ahead of one of the biggest games of the season.
His call for full focus on the game at hand was the right one.
Two Years of Trophies
Around the same time as Celtic confirmed the news this morning Spurs released a statement of their own welcoming their new manager and confirming a 4-year deal at the creatively named Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Of course it’s disappointing to lose such a talent, there’s no other way to dress it up, and for many it’s as much about losing Ange the man, as losing Ange the manager.
For perspective however, consider the following scenario had it been put to you back in June 2021.
Following the Eddie Howe sage we’ll appoint a relatively unknown manager from Australia.
After a shaky start he’ll turn things around in unbelievable fashion by reclaiming the Scottish Premiership at the first time of asking, and will add the League Cup for good measure.
He’ll do so playing some of the best football we’ve witnessed in years with a swashbuckling, attacking style of play.
A new crop of heroes will emerge including goal-machine Kyogo Furuhashi, the mercurial Jota and man mountain Cameron Carter-Vickers amongst others.
And finally he’ll follow up that debut season by leading the team to an unprecedented 8th domestic Treble with the last trophy delivered on a sun drenched evening at Hampden Park.
Would you have signed up for all of that?
Of course you would.
Let’s not forget what Postecoglou inherited on arrival at Celtic Park.
The turnaround in his relatively brief time in the hot seat has been nothing short of incredible.
A Tough Act To Follow
The search is now underway as Celtic prepare to appoint the 20th permanent manager in our 135 year history.
But following the pain of Ange’s exit some fans have vowed to never again get emotionally invested in a manager.
That isn’t football. That isn’t life.
Go all in.
Get carried away.
That’s what it’s all about.
And what’s the alternative anyway?
For two years Ange Postecoglou gave Celtic fans hope. He gave us trophies. And he gave us memories that will last a lifetime.
If the next appointment is half as exciting, I’m all in.
Michael Nicholson, it’s over to you.
Tune in to the latest episode of The Celtic Exchange Weekly as we analyse Ange’s Celtic Departure, Assess the Early Front Runners To Replace Him, And Discuss How It May Impact The First Team Squad.
Available wherever you get your podcasts, by clicking the player below, or by listening here at The Celtic Exchange website.