The only reason why Ange Postecoglou’s methods is currently working at Tottenham

The Postecoglou method, which is the contrary to practically every other management approach available, works without the use of lemons, gimmicks, or a lot of ketchup.

The amount of articles written by football journalists regarding Tottenham Hotspur and head coach Ange Postecoglou has significantly increased since the team’s recent surge to the top of the Premier League table (have we discussed that fact recently?).

Soccer Football – Premier League – Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur – Selhurst Park, London, Britain – October 27, 2023 Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min celebrates scoring their second goal with Brennan Johnson and Emerson Royal REUTERS/Toby Melville

Well, it makes sense. A Tottenham on the rise is new and unique. It’s easy to write a wonderful article about Pep Guardiola, and during the entire previous season, Mikel Arteta’s propensity to scribble images on whiteboards had the media in stitches. It seems like every football writer on the planet is churning out stories attempting to figure out why Spurs, for God’s sake, are at the top of the mountain, undefeated in their opening ten games, and on a record-setting run for a rookie manager in the Premier League.

When compared to the dire circumstances of the Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte eras (apart from the utterly forgettable Nuno Interregnum), it’s undoubtedly a pleasant diversion. Spurs’ remarkable comeback is due to their new head coach’s upbeat demeanor as well as the fact that they are playing a style of football that is nearly entirely different from their methods from the previous campaign.

These pieces, too! They are so shocked by Big Ange’s fast turnaround of a club buried in the muck of bad luck that they practically vibrate. He’s imposing a whole new team leadership style, Dan Kilpatrick of the Evening Standard gushes. According to David Hytner in The Guardian, “he knows everyone’s name at the club, even the staff.” Does he allow his assistants to take charge of training? Is he open and courteous? He must be a bullies at least one person. Do you mean that no lemons exist?

I am joking about with Kilpatrick and Hytner, if that makes any sense. Actually, the two articles that are linked above are both really good and provide a wealth of information about the inner workings of Postecoglou’s approach to the club. Hytner makes an effort to distill Postecoglou’s techniques into the phrase “normalcy and authenticity.” It’s also noteworthy that the writers of these mostly positive articles are journalists who appear utterly shocked by Ange’s soft candor and eloquence. They barely deserve it. In the course of their work, they have undoubtedly dealt with a lot of strong personalities.

To put a fine point on it, football managers are, not only in England but practically everywhere, a group of crazy guys who are overly driven. It makes sense: in professional football, there is constant pressure to succeed, and those who rise to the top of the sport to manage football are anomalies who are accustomed to micromanaging teams, striving for perfection, and extracting every last bit of juice from their (cough) lemons. That’s how you end up with managers who will not budge from their rigid adherence to a certain approach, who forbid ketchup, or who maintain fruit bowls in their desks as a means of “absorbing bad energy.” You have to be at least a little bit nuts to succeed in this industry, right?

However, that is in no way Big Ange. It’s shocking that, at least in this field, he lets his people be individuals, believing that they will voluntarily accept his offer and make wise selections in the process. Small actions like letting players establish a healthy work-life balance, talking candidly about difficulties and ensuring they have all the support they need in every area of their lives, and letting them make mistakes and learn from them without fear of punishment are just a few examples of how this seems to exist.

It’s not like he’s flawless. It feels a little strange how emotionally and physically far away he is from his teammates. He can be prickly at times, but never to the point of being nasty or mean. Despite the fact that his own approach to the game has yet to fail him in his career, he may be a little too devoted to it. However, he’s been able to recognize and get past even small weaknesses in his personality and character, and he works around them to create the ideal environment for his staff and players. since nobody is flawless.

Postecoglou, in short, feels normal. utterly, wonderfully, nearly unbelievable normal in ways that feel out of the ordinary to anyone who has followed English football for longer than a year or so. Interestingly, and anecdotally, Hytner describes Ange’s practice of letting his assistants take the lead during training sessions as “NFL-style coaching.” This blogger, who has grown up immersed in American sports culture for a lifetime, finds this ridiculous. Ryan Mason is reportedly the main implementer of Postecoglou’s offensive tactics during training. In a game where conceited, cunning, and frequently hysterical personalities rule, is it any surprise that Ange seems like a breath of fresh air? On the other hand, Ange’s status as a reasonably normal guy is precisely what makes him stand out in the current game.

It’s not necessary to be fond of your football manager. Fans of Spurs should be more aware of this than most. But it’s noteworthy that Tottenham is succeeding, at least for the time being, because of someone who doesn’t get angry, bluster, or put unreasonable demands on others. All of that, along with the majority of the other quirks that come with other to-flight managers, are (largely) absent from Big Ange. Even if he could design a heart and a brain holding hands, you’ll never see one of them on a whiteboard in Tottenham’s changing room, even though he might deliver an amazing speech. Although he is aloof and demanding, he is also just, courteous, and understanding. And get this: he comes out on top!

Footballers are peculiar people. Even stranger are football managers. Then, how strange is it to have someone in control of Tottenham Hotspur who is so unnaturally normal? One could grow accustomed to this.



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