Ange Postecoglou has Tottenham well positioned to make a title run. The Australian is pushing Spurs to play some of the most exciting football in the Prem. He’s also a breath of fresh air from all the other managers.
With City playing their, relatively, safe brand of football and Pep’s stale attitude, Tottenham have to be every neutral’s favorite. Led by a fully freed Son, Postecoglou is managing the most fun to watch Spurs side in ages.
Tactically, there is nothing truly revolutionary in Postecoglou’s side. It’s a more or less a classic 4-3-3 with a center attacking mid. However, what makes the team so much fun is the way they attack with width and flexibility.
What really makes the Australian so easy to root for is the good vibes he emanates. He’s honest about his own personal struggles and likes to communicate with everyone. There’s also the fact that his path to Tottenham was totally different from other managers.
Tottenham, despite losing Kane, had a great summer just by handing the reins to the Australian. Even if the club wins nothing this season, the Prem is better off by having someone like Postecoglou here.
Managers have passed through Tottenham trying to figure out how to get this team over the hump. Every manager comes to realize that Spurs are a side meant to attack.
Under Postecoglou, the team just attacks. Using a 4-3-3, players are encouraged to float across the pitch and chip in every way they can. Illustrating this is the fact that 7 different players have scored so far for Tottenham.
Much of this exciting play comes from the way fullbacks are encouraged to bomb down the field. Udogie is becoming the best left back in the Prem, combining grace with an incredible feel of the game. Porro has looked good as well, continuing on the form he had last season.
Of course a decent amount of the credit has to go to Son. Playing as the sole striker has brought out the best in the mercurial talent. If Son is able to keep this up, there is no reason to think that Tottenham will miss Kane all that much.
However, it might be in his character where the Australian truly feels refreshing. By playing to his unique background, he is able to reach fans in a deep way.
In the past, Postecoglou has talked openly about the loss of his father and his father’s role in the person he is today. He uses it to both address his role as a manager, as well as football’s lack of addressing mental health issues.
Whenever he speaks, you can hear the genuineness in his voice. As he discusses what his father meant to him and how he wants to pay it forward to his players, anyone can empathize with him. It’s a truly touching sentiment that can only help to connect his squad to him.
Additionally, this is really one of the first times that a coach has come out to discuss mental health issues. Mental health is an issue that leagues sometimes discuss, but like so many other issues, Postecoglou is correct in saying the sport chooses to ignore it. Again, by connecting it to his own feelings, he is able to empower his players and make them believe in his role as a leader.
Discussing his role as something greater than just some tactician is refreshing to hear. There is no condescending talk to journalists, only honesty.
For that reason alone, he sets himself apart from the likes of Pep and ten Hag, who are too driven by other feelings to take a moment and understand the world around them.
Another reason why he feels so new is the interesting path he took to get to the Prem. Recent years have seen the league welcome new managers who have climbed up the footballing pyramid.
Nothing in Postecoglou’s early experiences could have foreseen his climb to the top. Early stops in his native Greece and Australia showed glimpses of a competent manager. Repeated success with the Australian national team and in Japan eventually saw European clubs become interested in him.
Celtic is a club with incredible fans and a storied history. Managers go there to be tested before making the jump to a bigger league. Meaning this would be the perfect opportunity for the Australian.
It was really in Scotland where Europe was introduced to the great play of his sides, as well as his character. A move to Tottenham in 2023 eventually made his climb to the top complete.
Many clubs across Europe were intrigued by the Australian this summer, despite his lack of experience at the highest of levels. Now, Tottenham are reaping the rewards of this decision. For the first time in a while, Tottenham feels like a happy place.
Featured Image: Getty