Ramon Vega has straddled the fence that Ange Postecoglou recently leaped from both sides.
Defender for Tottenham who won the League Cup, moved on loan to Celtic at the turn of the century, just as Martin O’Neill won the team’s first Triple since 1969.
The 52-year-old, who is unequivocal in his assessment, is in a unique position to contrast the size of the club with which the Australian left Celtic Park last week.
According to Vega, Celtic is significantly larger than both clubs when compared.
‘They have a sizable following and are really devoted. The daily demands of managing and playing for Celtic are enormous.
Vega spent three years in north London and one season in Glasgow. Long enough, he feels, to bear witness to the cultural differences and levels of expectation that respectively exist.
The Swiss forecasts that even on a hot summer in north London, the greeting Postecoglou receives will be noticeably cooler than it was two years ago, when he was a relative unknown.
‘Tottenham is not the warmest club,’ he stated. ‘It is very much about business whereas there is a family feel to Celtic. Football is about emotion and passion and I think Ange can bring that to Spurs.
‘I think if he can make the players feel comfortable and wanted, it will filter through the whole club — and that’s what he did at Celtic.’
Of fact, Postecoglou has always lacked confidence in his skills. He has constantly run across resistance to his techniques in the fans and the locker rooms since he started coaching 25 years ago.
This only ever fuels his desire to prove people wrong. And, invariably, he has.
Provided Tottenham are familiar with this pattern of success following periods of doubt, Vega believes Postecoglou has every chance of thriving there.
‘I feel sorry for Celtic because he did so well for the club,’ he added. ‘He brought back stability after a turbulent time under Neil Lennon and his philosophy on football was there for all to see.
‘The players seemed to know exactly what they were doing and what they were asked to do and that’s the strength he has. Of course, he brought fantastic success.
‘Some Spurs fans were asking me “why Ange?” and I was saying “why Spurs?” because I believe Postecoglou might have thought he was too good for that club.
‘He proved at Celtic that he can rebuild and improve quickly and that’s what he has to do at Spurs.
‘Of course, he will want to keep Harry Kane — any manager would. He is a fantastic goalscorer and Ange will find it very hard to find anyone as good, so I think this situation needs to be resolved as quickly as possible.
‘If it’s decided to sell Kane then it needs to be soon so Postecoglou can make his plans without him.’
The squad Postecoglou built over two years at Celtic is quite the legacy. Unlike when he first arrived in 2016, Brendan Rodgers’ task will be to keep the engine purring rather than rebuilding it with spare parts.
Notwithstanding the lingering ill-feeling towards the Northen Irishman for departing abruptly to Leicester City in 2019, Vega feels that Rodgers is very much the continuity candidate Celtic need.
‘I imagine that Celtic knew Ange was leaving — it wasn’t something that they suddenly found out after the cup final. We all know how football works,’ he added. ‘So, I would think they had a few candidates under consideration.
‘It’s a shame the way Brendan left but he was a good manager there. I have no doubts he can he good again.
‘However, I can feel the fans’ unhappiness. They called it betrayal because he left during the season. He felt he had to take the Leicester opportunity at that time.
‘Could he have handled it better? Perhaps — and he will have learned from that.’
Despite the comparatively short time Vega spent in Glasgow, his emotional bond with Celtic is clearly strong.
Now a successful businessman in his own right, with interests in asset management and real estate, he was mentioned as a possible successor to Dom McKay as chief executive at Parkhead in 2021 before Michael Nicholson was appointed.
‘It’s the club where I had the best time in my career,’ added Vega. ‘I had a really good relationship with the fans. They respected me and it was vice-versa.
‘I would have loved to have taken a position with the club. It would be a pleasure to do anything for the club.
‘The CEO position is a very important one but I feel I have that hybrid of football and business knowledge and I have been using it for a number of years with different football clubs and federations.
‘I have been advising on all aspects — academy, stadia and of course the football side.
‘It was very flattering to be linked with the position at that time and they thought I might be a good fit. I didn’t have any direct discussions, but I indicated that I would be happy to help at any stage.’
Maybe Vega’s time in the Celtic boardroom will come again. But he’s a political animal of serious ambition.
He thought twice about previously running against his compatriot Gianni Infantino for the FIFA presidency and it’s clearly a box he’ll tick at some point.
‘I think football has to change in various ways and it’s a path I would like to pursue but it is far from simple,’ he explained.
‘There are over 220 federations worldwide — so many cultures and different opinions and of course the whole thing is very political.
‘I have no doubt that I can handle the position because of my experience, so it’s definitely something I will look at.
‘My wife Claudia will be a terrific partner in this since she has experience in lobbying, a football background, and a grasp of the political ramifications of the game.
There is much to be done regarding the financial component of the game and the way money controls it, and I believe we need to be more protective of young players who are breaking through.
‘If the opportunity comes up, I will definitely be there.
‘The thing is, there are hardly any football people involved in running football — I mean ex-players. That seems crazy to me.’