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Is Ange Postecoglou the NICEST MAN in the Premier League?

5 minute read Published October 3, 2023

Klopp has been dethroned! English football has a new darling coach. A person that no one can dislike. The new Tottenham Hotspur manager has even swayed the Arsenal fans. Ange Postecoglu is the nicest man in football (right now).

Tottenham has started the season really well, winning four and drawing one game. Not only are the results going their way, the football is a joy to watch and it’s all thanks to Ange. The man who got Richarlison to score.

Other managers are known by their last name, Guardiola, ten Hag, Mourinho. Even Klopp, the former nicest man in football is known by his last name. But Ange. Sure, his last name is hard to pronounce and maybe that factors in, but it’s his easy going, casual demeanor that makes him feel like Ange, rather than Postecoglou. 

Isn’t it refreshing with people that don't speak like a media coach has put every word in their mouth. Here’s just a few examples of times then he’s been a real person, and a witty one at that:

When he was bummed about not being able to play Fantasy Premier League with his mates anymore

“They're all going to be here and for the first time in I reckon 20 years I've had to pull out of our fantasy Premier League group as well which I'm gutted about and if they try to grill me for information they're getting nothing out of me.”

When Daniel Levy said during a Q&A that  "... there was pressure on me to bring in a big name" and Ange replied with:

"First of all, I've got to say, Postecoglou is a pretty big name"

When, in that same Q&A, he made sure a young fan got to ask his question.

When he encouraged the Spurs fans’ to get ahead of them selves 

When he bit back at Neville for saying he doesn't have any original ideas

So who is the new manager for Tottenham Hotspur and what can we expect from the team this year?

The Ange Origin Story

Ange’s road to managing Tottenham was anything but straightforward. He’d had his ups and downs, both as a player and as a manager before ending up at the Premier League club.

As a player he spent his entire career at South Melbourne Hellas, a Greek club in the Australian first division. And by entire career, I mean entire career, he started at the club at the age of 9. He won the Australian league twice with them and made four appearances in the Australian national team before his career was cut short by a knee injury when he was just 27. 

It was only natural when he started managing that it would be with the club he’d already spent all his life at. He took the reins at Melbourne South Hellas in 96 and led them to back to back league titles just a season later. When he was offered a job with the Australian youth team.

His time with the national youth went completely off the rails when he got into an argument with a pundit on air. Ange decided he was no longer in a position to lead the team and resigned. 

Here’s where his career gets interesting. Ange went to his parents native Greece to coach. In the third division. He spent 2008 coaching Panachaiki and 2009 coaching third tier Whittlesea Zebras in Australia. Quite the drastic move after having coached both in the highest tier as well as on the national team level.

But clearly it worked out for him. After restarting his career, he lead Brisbane Roar to back to back titles, making him the most successful coach in the Australian leagues history. He took the Australian national team to the 2014 and 2018 world cups and won the AFC Asian cup. And back in club football he became the first Australian to win the J-League with Yokohama F. Marinos, ending a 15 year drought. All these successes caught the eyes of European clubs. 

After being snubbed by Eddie Howe, Celtic took a chance on Ange. He was initially met with a lot of suspicion. But already in his first year Ange managed to win the Scottish league. His detractors became fans. Some even made public apologies for the way they had spoken about him. He ended his spell at Celtic by winning the domestic treble.

How do his teams play?

Ange has been accused of copying Pep Guardiola’s style which he has jokingly denied. As a player he was managed by football legend Ferenc Puskas and he claims that a lot of his ideas stem from this time. 

His teams play a modern, possession based brand of football, with fluid attacks where players are constantly trying to create space and overloads, as well as a high and intense pressing game when out of possession. It does sound like Guardiola, after all.

However, they’re much more progressive than Guardiola's teams, much more direct and in my opinion much more fun to watch. Not that I think Guardiola's football is a very high bar for fun to watch.

The kind of player Ange is looking for for his teams are hard workers with a technical edge. Players like Son and Kulusevski in Tottenham's attack are typical Ange players. 

Daniel Levy has said in an interview that he thinks the team has finally found a manager who’s the right fit, that they’ve had great managers before (Mou and Conte) but that the way they want to play and win wasn’t the Tottenham way.

Ange is known to work with small(ish) budgets, to actively develop players and to give youth a chance. Smallish budget, now that sounds like the Tottenham way!

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