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John Hutchinson says Celtic boss has 'weight of Asia' on his shoulders


John Hutchinson knows a thing or two about Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

After all, the former A League star got his biggest break in coaching through the Celtic manager. At a loss during the pandemic, Hutchinson contacted Ange on LinkedIn. Not long after, the current Hoops boss offered him a job with Yokohama F Marinos.

The experience was excellent for the Aussie coach, and he’s ridiculed those that made daft predictions about the Celtic manager when he arrived in Glasgow. Not only that, he’s expressed the need for Ange Postecoglou to do well at Celtic, given his influence on Australian and Asian managers.

Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images

So, no pressure on Postecoglou at all, then.

Hutchinson, in a wide-ranging interview with Keep Up, said: “When he was going to Celtic I saw a couple of comments, like some guy on radio laughing and saying: who is this guy?

“I was laughing because I was like: you don’t know who you have coming to your club.

“Here is our guy, who everybody in Australia and Asia should get behind and back because he is changing the game for us. He has the weight of Australia and Asia on his shoulders right now. We need him to do well because as a coach, I want avenues open.

“I would never have coached in Japan as a head coach unless it was Ange. That is where everyone should be backing him. He has this unwavering willing ability.”

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Ange Postecoglou knows Celtic expectations are intense, but he’s also got Australia and Asia to represent, says John Hutchinson

Obviously, these are comments that are fulsome in their praise. Hutchinson, now manager of El Paso Locomotive in the USL, owes a great deal to Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

Quite a statement, though, isn’t it? It’s a lot of pressure to put on one man. But it’s borne from success, and winning trophies in a distinctive style in Australia and Japan. Postecoglou changed the game, in a literal sense.

That, amongst other reasons, is probably why it was so frustrating for Australian and Asian football fans when Postecoglou was being mocked early on at Celtic. There’s an incredibly Euro-centric point of view at play, and managers from outside Europe tend to be eyed with a far deal of suspicion.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

So, when Hutchinson says Postecoglou has the weight of Australia and Asia on his shoulders, it isn’t far from the truth, if not the truth itself. The Celtic boss could open the door for a lot of Aussie managers, Japanese managers and others who’ve followed his style.

That would be great. The beautiful part of football is that anyone can interpret it, and play it their way. Euro-centrism and myopic thinking don’t create progress. Brave thinking does.

Will Postecoglou success at Celtic see a change in our domestic game? In Europe? We’ve got to hope so. Because if more Australian and Asian coaches make waves over here, it’ll because of a legacy left by Ange at Celtic.

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