Ange Postecoglou was dismissed as a ‘JOKE’ when he arrived at a Celtic reeling from Eddie Howe’s rejection, but after five trophies in two years and some thrilling football, he’s ready for his Spurs test

For Ange Postecoglou, a petrol bomb on the streets of a wealthy Glasgow suburb ignited the fuse which led him to Tottenham Hotspur.

The 57-year-old is on the verge of taking over as the new Spurs boss after agreeing terms on a deal of up to three years – with confirmation expected on Wednesday – but not long ago he was being dismissed and mocked after moving to the SPL.

In May 2021, Scottish champions Celtic were laying the foundations for the appointment of Eddie Howe as their new manager.

A doomed obsession with winning a tenth consecutive league title had ended in rancour, recrimination and the departure of Neil Lennon.

Anxious to appease the anger of supporters, attempts to secure a firm commitment from Howe were dragging on.

They came to a sudden, terrifying end when a fire bomb attack on the family home of Celtic’s Chief Executive – now chairman – Peter Lawwell in the dead of night raised a red flag in the mind of the future manager of Newcastle.

The news of Howe’s withdrawal, after weeks of planning and negotiation, forced Celtic to turn to a figure no stranger to being the plan B, C or D on football club shortlists.

When Ange Postecoglou pitched up in Scottish football there were shades of Ted Lasso about the whole business.

The fictional coach of an American college team, Lasso’s home-spun charm, warmth and humour eventually won over the hierachy of AFC Richmond.

In the harsh, macho, gritty world of British football charm has never been a major selling point.

Speaking after Saturday’s Scottish Cup Final secured his fifth domestic trophy in two seasons Postecoglou wound the clock back to a period, two years ago, when he was dismissed as ‘a joke.’

Last month a picture appeared on social media of a little boy, trussed up in a shirt, tie and a woolly cardigan, holding aloft a number.

For the five-year-old Angelos Postecoglou the number 24 was the passage to a new way of life.

Born in a suburb of Athens, his father Dimitris lost his business in the Greek military coup of 1967. By 1970 the family had set sail for Melbourne, Australia.

Growing up Down Under was both the greatest blessing of his life and the biggest obstacle to his progress.

Aussie Ange spent most of his career being ignored by football’s old boy network, nothing he achieved as a coach making much impact in Europe.

He won Australian titles with South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar. He became boss of the Socceroos and won an Asian Cup and managed at the World Cup finals. In Japan he took Yokohama Marinos to a J-League title.