This is the extraordinary 2007 car accident TV interview where new Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou lost his cool while being questioned about his failure to lead Australia to the Under-20 World Championship.
Postecoglou has been in talks for weeks about taking over from Parkhead and the little-known coach has finally been appointed as Neil Lennon’s successor after a frustrating few months of searching for a replacement.
But while the 55-year-old may not have the greatest reputation in the football world, he is notorious in Australia for his heated debate with pundit Craig Foster, who called on him to step down from his position as Socceroos youth coach. .
Ange Postecoglu has been appointed as Celtic’s new manager to succeed Neil Lennon
At the beginning of his career, Postecoglou was involved in a fiery fight on live TV
Born in Greece but raised in Melbourne, Postecoglou began his early managerial career as manager of the Australian youth teams, taking charge of both the U17 and U20s in 2000, before coming under pressure after seven years in the role.
His team had suffered a morally damaging defeat to South Korea in 2007, with the Aussies failing to qualify for a U20 World Cup for the first time since 1989, and was invited to the Australian TV show The World Game to discuss what was up happened.
The interview started quietly, with the lead host asking him to explain what he thought had gone wrong – Posetecoglou insisted the South Koreans were just too strong – before former Crystal Palace player Foster intervened and accused him of his players blame the failure.
“I’m not pointing at the players, Fozzy. Wait a second. Did you just hear what I said? Am I pointing at the players? This is what annoys me – if you want to criticize me, do it right.’
He was urged to resign by pundit Craig Foster, who criticized his coaching abilities after failing to lead the Australian youth to the U20 World Championship.
The pair then continue to bicker before Fosters asks him to take responsibility for poor results before questioning the quality of his coaching.
“I take full responsibility for it, I’ve always done that in my career. As for the quality of my coaching, I would like you to come to a session mate, because in the six years I’ve been in charge, I haven’t seen you in a qualifier, I haven’t seen you in a World Cup.’
Foster proposes to Postecoglou to quit his job, to which the coach responds: ‘Of course I’m not going to resign. I always put my future in the people who make these decisions. The people I’m much more credible in than your assumption…’
Foster insists he’s not trying to attack the manager personally, with the youth coach sarcastically replying: ‘That’s great, I feel much better because you’re a really good buddy. I don’t care what you think of me, Fozzy.
Postecoglou bickered with Foster for about 13 minutes before hitting him for being ‘disrespectful’ and aiming ‘trash’ at him
“We’re not here to be friends,” Foster says. “I’m not here to be your friend. I say you get paid to get results and you didn’t get them.’
The back-and-forth line lasts nearly 15 minutes, with Postecoglou complaining, “If you go through, what’s the point of this interview?” He ends the segment by scolding the hosts for being “disrespectful” and targeting “garbage” on him.
He was eventually relieved of his duties that same year and took the time to work as a TV pundit.
But he returned to management with Greek third division team Panachaiki and later with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, before returning to the Socceroos with the Australian senior team.
He was relieved of his position but managed to return as Australia’s senior team coach six years later
He sent the team to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where he gave a brave demonstration but failed to break out of the groups – although he did win the Asian Cup the following year.
Postecoglou has since admitted that the TV series “made me out of a job” because he was forced to rebuild his career and claimed he couldn’t even get a job as an assistant.
“I just didn’t think it was necessary, didn’t feel like it was productive. I knew that interview wasn’t going to go well because we just hadn’t qualified for both the World Cups and our first time in Asia, and my reason for doing it was to explain to people what was coming.
“The responsibility was already mine, but what it did, it made me unemployed. I couldn’t even get an assistant coach role.
He admits the aftermath of the car accident TV interview made him ‘unfit’ for other clubs
Postecoglou has signed a 12-month ongoing contract with Celtic, calling the club ‘a giant’
“It was the reason I went to Greece for a year because I wouldn’t let Australian football hold me back from my ambitions as a coach. It was disheartening because I felt that everything I had done with South Melbourne as manager had been forgotten.
“Like all things with life, we take our punches and move on, and it’s safe to say it didn’t hold me back for too long.”
Postecoglou, who has signed a 12-month ongoing contract with Celtic, called the job “one of the greatest honors in football” – calling them “a giant” and “a true football institution” – and vowed to restore the club to glory.
“The opportunity given to me is one of the greatest honors in football and I will cherish the responsibility of leading our great football club into the future.
He said he understood the club was a way of life and vowed to bring back the glory days
‘Celtic is one of THE names in world football, there’s no doubt about it – a giant of a club, a real football institution and so much more – real history, real content, real authenticity and real soul.
“I know Celtic is a real way of life for so many people and I know the demands of this position – I’m willing to do everything I can to meet those demands.
“I will do everything I can to get our great club back on top while delivering the kind of football our fans appreciate. We want to entertain our fans and we want to win, those are the goals I always set for myself and what I’m going to work on now.”