It has often been said that Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou 'gets it'.

Whatever 'it' is... he does. He's a people person, is Postecoglou.

He gets the human side of football. He understands football players. He gets the whole psychology surrounding sport.

He's also a wonderful orator and a powerful leader.

Above all else, he's tuned into what he believes to be the most important people involved in a football club - the supporters.

"The best fans on the planet", he raved on the final day of last season when Celtic were presented with the Scottish Premiership trophy in the 6-0 defeat of Motherwell.

In the space of 12 short months, Postecoglou has united a football club.

He has made the dysfunctional Celtic family of 2020-21 seem an almost distant memory.

By 2022-23 the Celtic management team, players and supporters are largely a bunch of happy campers. That in itself is no mean feat.

The Celtic fans are also deliriously happy because they believe they have finally got a man at the helm who is of suitable stature and worthy of holding the highest managerial office on planet football.

Postecoglou has cleverly tapped into that consciousness too. Take, for example, last season after Celtic had battered Rangers 3-0 on a memorable Glasgow Derby occasion in February at Paradise.

The Aussie came away with this powerful and enduring soundbite: "We’re upholding the values of this football club, not just in terms of winning but the way we play our football.

"I want them (supporters) to be proud of us. I hope they are proud on the journey home tonight.

Celtic Way:

"As I said to the players, we had 60,000 in tonight and I’m sure a lot of them walked in with some problems in their life. For these 95 minutes, we made them forget that and feel good and that’s something special.”

Something special indeed. Celtic hit the top spot of the Scottish Premiership that night. It was a position they were never to relinquish.

Come May, the Hoops had won the title and gained entry into the Champions League group stages in the process. Cue happy campers all around again. 

However, Postecoglou was it again earlier this week when he reminded his charges that the job of the Celtic manager was not simply to keep them happy.

The Aussie came away with another pearl of wisdom in his own inimitable style: "They are at Celtic Football Club. If that is not happiness for them, I don’t know what is. They can find it somewhere else.

"It is not my job to keep them happy. My job is to make sure that we get the best out of them and give them every opportunity. And they will all get opportunities. They know that. If you want to play at a big club, and this is a big club, the reality of it is that part of that is you will have competition for places.

"It keeps you at your best and also you know you will require a big squad of players. This group of players understands that and they work hard every day. The game is a by-product of how we train every day and training levels are high because we have a strong squad.

"If you just have a strong 11, then your training levels are not great, which means even the first 11 are not improving at a rate. My job is not to keep them happy. My job is to make sure we keep them ready and able to take their opportunity when it comes along.”

The boss, like the players, has a job to do... again and again and again. A winning team both domestically and abroad keeps the paying punters happy, you see.

Next month the defending Scottish champions and League Cup holders will compete in the Champions League group stages proper for the first time in five years.

They are at Celtic Football Club. If that is not happiness for them, I don't know what is. They can find it somewhere else...

Postecoglou gets it all right. In abundance. If being at Celtic and working under him doesn't make you happy then good luck trying to find it elsewhere.

Whatever 'it' is, of course.

This piece is an extract from today’s Celtic Digest newsletter, which is emailed out at 4pm every weekday with a round-up of the day's top stories and exclusive analysis from The Celtic Way team.

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