Celtic under Ange Postecoglou play with an identity that focuses on retention of the ball and starving opponents of possession.
Akin to Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri in their stylistic approach, this involves crisp passing and positional play with a vision for moving the ball quickly and into the forward zone.
As per data by the CIES Football Observatory based on the average length of the total number of attempted passes, Celtic under Postecoglou are top of the charts amidst all of Europe with an average of 17.5 metres and a total of 735 passes.
Also quite astonishing is the 12.8 kilometres per match of ball circulation, clearly making them the passing kings of the world.
What is however an important detail in Postecoglou’s method is that he constantly wants his players to look for a forward pass if an opportunity arises.
Back passes, especially under no pressure and when another teammate is available forward as an option is strictly against the basic tenets he preaches.
There was further evidence to this tenet when during a phase in play in Celtic’s 4-0 win over Raith Rovers.
Postecoglou made his intentions absolutely clear screaming at the top of his lungs that he wanted the eleven who he had fielded to buy into his idea of moving the ball forward and refrain from useless back passes.
You can hear what the pitchside mic picked up as Postecoglou lost his temper when the Celtic players passed the ball back to Joe Hart –
If you don’t want to incur the wrath of Ange Postecoglou, don’t pass the ball backwards.— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) February 13, 2022
Incredible little clip this, picking up touchline audio of the Celtic manager losing it with his players against Raith.#CELRAI pic.twitter.com/knEQEfYkta
His post-match interview perfectly summed up his frustration when he mentioned that he wanted the players to work harder off the ball than they did in the first half.
He identified that he wanted the ball to be moved quicker. His urgency clearly rubbed off on the players as they scored thrice in the second half after a sole goal lead in the 22nd minute.