02/03/2024

Ange Postecoglou celebrates a treble-winning season with Celtic (Image: Celtic)

The inaugural Tottenham Hotspur logo features the cockerel fans have become accustomed to over the years along with a Latin saying that the club has adopted, albeit its English translation, as a motto that underpins what the club stands for.

“Audere est Facere,” or “to dare is to do,” may not represent the Tottenham Hotspur of recent years, but it sums up incoming coach Ange Postecoglou to a tee.

In the past few seasons, the Spurs have sacrificed the daring, entertaining football played under Mauricio Pochettino for more pragmatic, “proven winners” in the likes of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte.

Both experiments failed miserably, and even when results came on the pitch, many fans were vocal about their displeasure at the product their team was serving up on the pitch.

Anyone that has followed Ange Postecoglou’s journey can wax lyrical about the football his sides have played throughout his managerial career.

With Celtic and the Socceroos, Postecoglou faced opponents of different ranges of quality, scaling from massively inferior to comfortably superior when compared to his team. Still, despite the opposition, Postecoglou has admirably stuck by his values on the pitch.

Postecoglou summed up his philosophy when asked if his Celtic side would take a more pragmatic approach against its Champions League opposition.

Without hesitation, Postecoglou whipped up a witty analogy which may have sparked laughter but it perfectly summed up his attitude when it comes to sticking to his ideologies.

“If you are a strict vegetarian, you don’t drop into Macca’s just because you are hungry mate, you know? This is what I believe in. I don’t believe in it because I am trying to prove something, I just believe it is truly the way to create a special team.”

Spurs fans don’t have to search far to find how passionate Postecoglou is about his side playing attacking football. In a clip that is readily available online, Postecoglou was recorded by a fan getting upset at his players for passing the ball backwards, despite having the lead.

Postecoglou’s attacking, high-pressing football is exactly what a club like Tottenham, which is trying to find a difference-maker in the top six dog fight, needs.

As an on-field brand, the Spurs have lost the identity that saw them make a Champions League Final, but with a manager in charge that has made a career out of sticking to his guns and being proven right time and time again, Postecoglou would ensure those values are clearly stated and maintained throughout his time at the club.

Another point of difference comes in Postecoglou’s stature in the game, with the incoming coach being honoured to be selected by one of the top six Premier League clubs to become the first AFC manager in Premier League history.

Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte coached a club that they arguably would have felt was beneath them, and by the end of their respective spells as Tottenham managers the contempt they had for the club’s hierarchy was palpable during their media appearances.

Postecoglou has worked long and hard to achieve this opportunity and will do everything he can to work within the parameters of the club, while also not compromising on his direct and honest style.

What Postecoglou lacks in “top-level” experience, he makes up with his success in a variety of different footballing contexts.

Spurs fans were excited by Mourinho and Conte as they were “proven winners” but easily ignore that Postecoglou has won domestic titles in three different continents, while also winning the Asian Cup with the Australian National Team.

Postecoglou’s experience, not only in football but in life. as a child of an immigrant on the other side of the world that had to work his way up to the top makes him likeable and relatable to not only his fans but his players as well.

Any Spurs fans that doubt their incoming manager should just look at the melancholic Celtic fans who two years ago were also perplexed as to why their club was putting faith in an Australian manager from the J-League to return them to the top.

In Glasgow, before he was embraced for his coaching mastery, Postecoglou was adored because he was a vocal ambassador for the club and its fans. He often spoke about how important the fans are to his teams, and issues like immigration that are at the root of the identity of a club like Celtic.

As a result of his upbringing and football journey, Postecoglou understands the game from a variety of points of view and his articulate ways make him an easy manager to root for if he is on your side, and one that is hard not to have an inkling of respect for as a rival

One thing that Postecoglou is not is aloof, he comes into White Hart Lane knowing how he is perceived and that a trigger-happy hierarchy has high expectations of him. He will keep a cool head throughout this journey because that is who he has always been, but the pressure to succeed will be hanging over his head.

When a club hires Ange Postecoglou it must accept that it is signing up for a process which will bear fruit down the line. His first job behind closed doors is winning over the players, and when he does that, because he always does, the puzzle pieces will start clicking.

The results may not come as quickly as they did in the Scottish Premiership, but you can ask fans from South Melbourne to Celtic about the effect that Ange Postecoglou had on their football clubs and they will give you the same glowing reviews.

If Tottenham allows its new manager the scope to build a team in his image, it is highly likely that the Spurs will once again become one of the more watchable teams in world football and that its 15-year trophy drought may be on its last legs.

At the same time, the Spurs leadership has made bizarre calls in the past, hiring Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo and sacking him months into his reign, and even dismissing Jose Mourinho days before a League Cup Final.

Receiving a two-year deal with an option for a further year extension, Postecoglou will have to prove that he belongs at the level quickly, knowing well that Daniel Levy has pulled the trigger on bigger fish than him when it comes to finances and status.

If things do not go his way in North London, Postecoglou, with his name well and truly out there now, will undoubtedly receive multiple opportunities in European football.

If he can turn Tottenham, a side which has historically found ways to stumble over its own feet despite its resources, into a contender while also claiming silverware during his time, he will garner the respect of the global football community and he will have a choice on if he wants to enhance his Tottenham legacy or use the club as a stepping stone to something even bigger and better.

Ange Postecoglou has worked himself into a no-lose situation and it is all a product of his decades of tireless work.

He may not be directly involved in Australian football anymore, but his journey will continue opening doors for Australians for years to come.

Ironically, Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham Hotspur travels to Perth in July to take on West Ham United in a pre-season friendly where the Australian manager is sure to receive a hero’s welcome continent’s first ever Premier League manager.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

About Author