Ruthless bear who can do no wrong: a love letter to Tottenham’s Ange Postecoglou | Ange Postecoglou

nike promo web

new balance
free keto book

It seems sensible to write the Ange Postecoglou love letter while Spurs are still unbeaten. Anyone with a passing interest in all this knows it could come crashing down at the Vitality early on Saturday afternoon. Lads, it’s … etc etc … But for now this empathic caring gruff ruthless bear of a man can do no wrong.

What a difference it makes to have a manager who looks like they want to be there, rather than doing everyone a favour. A boss who doesn’t instantly criticise his players, the officials, the last thing he saw. The toxic reigns of José Mourinho and Antonio Conte were all a bit “I love lamp” – just marginally more negative than Steve Carell. “I blame microphone, I blame Geoff Shreeves, I blame unused sub [probably Djed Spence] warming down in my peripheral vision.”

There was a telling interview in pre-season after a defeat against West Ham, when Spurs conceded some typically soft goals. “That’s on me,” Postecoglou said. Three very simple words, but extraordinarily how refreshing to hear a manager taking responsibility. It appears he neither owns a bus to throw his players under nor one to park.

See also  'Done the Aussies in their back yard!': Lioness star Georgia Stanway's brother shushes the Sydney crowd after England dump Matildas out of the World Cup

There’s the ruthlessness of someone who’s been hugely successful almost everywhere he’s been. In the same interview, the chirpy social media guy tried to temper the defeat, “results don’t matter”. Postecoglou cut him down with one look and one terse sentence. “Results always matter mate.” That voice. So tough, but so comforting, instantly demoting Sean Dyche and Eddie Jones down the gruffness pecking order. Somewhere up there, Joe Cocker is getting nervous.

It is that hard edge that has (admittedly not entirely through choice) disposed of the entire senior leadership team of the previous years. Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Eric Dier are out or on the way out. Only Kane would have remained firmly in his plans. The others don’t fit his style – and what style. A team that for three years had the fluidity of a foosball table in a static low block suddenly passes the ball (sometimes even forwards), and then moves to some other part of the pitch to receive it again.

OK, the bar has been set pretty low – and a 2-2 draw at Brentford is the same result as last year – but the performance was just so different. It reminded me of the day Cambridge United’s manager John Beck decided to start playing passing football after years of just hitting the channels. From kick-off, the ball was rolled to centre-back Phil Chapple. Instead of getting it launched, he played a 10-yard pass across the floor to the right-back, Andy Fensome. The stadium gasped in excitement, the applause seemed to go on for ever.

See also  Gary Neville criticises Arsenal forwards for blowing 'big moments' in derby draw with Tottenham... and claims the Gunners need a player who 'has that smell of where the ball is going to land'

The most telling moment of Postecoglou’s first game was the substitution of the concussed Cristian Romero after 14 minutes despite the Argentinian wanting to stay on. To break up your back four so early into your first game, when the pressure is so great – and knowing how quickly it mounts if you do not get a result – is hugely significant. Is this finally a manager who puts player welfare above that day’s result? Will he stop them in flight towards the brick wall? “Nah look mate. You don’t want to run through that for me.” Would other managers have done the same?

See also  Steve Bruce claims Harry Maguire would 'walk into most Premier League teams' and insists the under-fire defender has 'never let Man United down'

“We’re in an era where we know about these things so I’m not a doctor and anytime that happens it’s really important that we protect the players,” he said. “They don’t know themselves what’s going on and I had medical advice.” Ange even listens to experts. After Spurs, perhaps he could run the country.

Ange Postecoglou celebrates with his staff and players
Postecoglou has helped his players blossom during his short time at Spurs. Photograph: Shutterstock

Already the players are blossoming. Yves Bissouma looks like Brighton Yves Bissouma. James Maddison is so extraordinarily Spurs. Emerson Royal – whose previous jobs have been to conceding unnecessary free-kicks and crossing the ball out for goal kicks – could be seen popping it around in central midfield in the opening game.

Perhaps it should not be a surprise that professional footballers can adapt quickly. It is unlikely they spent their youth careers without the ball, hoping for the occasional counterattack. And yet the paradigm shift in a couple of months feels almost overpowering. What a relief for the forward players to get the ball more than twice a half.

skip past newsletter promotion

It is the role of fans to get completely carried away. Manchester United could easily have won at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This is a work in progress. Guglielmo Vicario is moderately terrifying with the ball at his feet. Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski don’t naturally hug the touchline, which is where Postecoglou likes his wingers. Richarlison needs to get a bigger backside, so one can go in off it to get things rolling. Postecoglou must know Mark Viduka, perhaps he could borrow his, the greatest of all.

None of this comes as a surprise to someone who’s lived in Australia for the past couple of years. Since arriving, every radio interview, almost every footballing conversation has begun with a review of how Postecoglou was doing at Celtic. He is the superstar of Australian men’s football. While the Matildas have Sam Kerr, the Socceroos have no one who could be regarded as truly elite.

As a result, I was calling for Postecoglou to get the Spurs job from the moment Conte left, to the point where a number of (well, two) Celtic fans hold me responsible – not sure that’s within my power. For a finger rarely anywhere near the pulse perhaps this time I was right. Even a stopped clock and all that.

Last year, no one expected Arsenal to mount a title challenge and realistically no one expects Spurs to this year. But the vibes are good. And vibes matter. Angeball might be the Bazball of the Premier League. Make everyone happy, enjoy yourself doing it and the results might just follow.

I have long come to the conclusion that results don’t really matter (typical Spurs blah, blah, blah – you don’t need to fill up my replies with that). Really, we’re all just trying to have a nice day and if your team is entertaining you that’s only going to help and then who knows?

nike promo web

anti radiation
new balance

Source link

crypto quantum