Let’s talk about Ange Postecoglou.
Since Postecoglou came to us, he quickly got the fans talking. He arranges the players in such a way (attacking football) that he has got everybody singing, “We’ve got our club back again.” His style is reminiscent of our playing style under managers like Arthur Rowe, Bill Nicholson, Keith Burkinshaw, Pochettino and a host of Tottenham attacking-good-to-watch-inovators. Then it all changed after Pochettino was ceremonially sacked, and Levy employed more defensive-money-orientated schemers, such as José Mourinho, Nuno Espírito Santo, Antonio Conte and Cristian Stellini. The fans started getting irritated (actually, they got irritated long before they came, about the time Levy & Lewis took over our club, in fact), and Levy had to reevaluate his managerial appointments once again… Anyway…
… Postecoglou came, saw and started to conquer with his attacking style of football, and the players and the fans loved him for it. But what is his history? What are his achievements?
Well… he (Ange)came from Celtic to us. Yes, I REACTED UNFAVOURABLY when I heard that we were getting a manager from a two-team-fish-pond-Scottish-Bowl League. But I am happy to say that I have eaten my words and am very impressed with him… So, where does he originate from… or if he was painted by his fellow compatriot Rolf’ Two Little Boys’ Harris… “Can you guess what it is yet?”
Angelos Postecoglou was born in Greece near Filadelfeia, a suburb of Athens, on 27 August 1965.
After his father, Dimitris (“Jim”), lost his business following the 1967 Greek military coup, the Postecoglou family migrated to Australia in 1970 when he was five years old. From the age of five, when he grew up in Melbourne, Victoria, he started to prosper in the Aussie land that had adopted him as their own.
Yes… Australia is the home of many famous charactors: Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, The Seekers, Barry Humphries, Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Kylie Minogue, Heath Ledger, Elle Macpherson, Naomi Watts, Hugh Jackman, Chris Hemsworth, Keith Urban, Ned Kelly and the list goes on…
Somebody once told me that Australia is the home of ‘Sheep shagging.’ Even though the country is famous for its sheep raising, they obviously got muddled up with Wales (sheep and Wellington boots)… Moving swiftly on…
There, he progressed from the Greek language to G’day Bruce’s colloquialism. The next ten or so years were spent learning the mangled English language Australians adapted from the English convicts (POME’s for short; meaning Prisoner of Mother England). He eventually becomes competent enough to converse with the natives, learning Kangaroo talk (anybody who watched Skippy will know what I am talking about), Koala grooming and how the convicts played a very important part in their upbringing and thinking (yes, I know… I went to school in Australia and I’ve never been sane since!). Once all qualifications were sorted out, he moved to sport (which he had loved from an early age). Once in Aussie Soccer, he started to get noticed and had a prosperous Australian journey.
I won’t bore you with the fine minute details… just a brief summary… then a more meaty look at his proper football credentials.
National Soccer League Championship: 1984, 1990–91
NSL Cup: 1989–90
Dockerty Cup: 1989, 1991
Buffalo Cup: 1988
Trans-Tasman Cup: 1988
National Soccer League Premiership: 1997–98
Oceania Club Championship: 1999
OFC U-17 Championship: 2001, 2003, 2005
OFC U-20 Championship: 2001, 2002, 2005
AFF U-20 Youth Championship: 2006
A-League Premiership: 2010–11
AFC Asian Cup: 2015
Yokohama F. Marinos
J1 League: 2019
National Soccer League Coach of the Year: 1997–98
Australian Sports Medal: 2000
PFA Manager of the Year: 2010–11
A-League Coach of the Year: 2010–11
PFA Manager of the Decade: 2015
AFC Coach of the Year: 2015
Scottish Premiership Manager of the Month: October 2021, January 2022, February 2022, March 2022, April 2022, August 2022, September/October 2022.
PFA Scotland Manager of the Year: 2021–22, 2022–23
SFWA Manager of the Year: 2021–22, 2022–23
Football Australia Hall of Fame inductee: 2022
After getting his experience from around the world in management, he settled in England. But, before that, there was a little matter of amateur gold-fish-bowl football in Scotland… before entering real football that is appreciated by the world over… and even grudgingly by kilt-wearing men (& women) in Scotland…
Yes, he went to Celtic for a bit of haggis bashing and amateur football pantomime play… before the real test of football descended upon him…
He joined Celtic on 10 June 2021, signing a 12-month rolling contract, making him the first Kangaroo loving-Koala hugging Aussie G’day Bruce to manage a major European club.
Celtic, who had just lost their league title to Rangers, one of two dominant clubs (Celtic being the other), in an insignificant league in Scotland, for the first time in a decade, had abruptly missed out on hiring English manager Eddie Howe. Many fans at the time, including ex-Spurs player Alan Brazil, mocked his appointment… they don’t mock now. To be fair, and as I said earlier, I doubted him… but that was because he came from an irrelevant league. However, his ambition was always to get into the English League, even if that meant managing below his experience and capabilities, then so be it.
While with the jokey-league, he won…
Scottish Premiership: 2021–22, 2022–23
Scottish Cup: 2022–23
Scottish League Cup: 2021–22, 2022–23
After spending two years with the Scottish league, Daniel Levy came calling, and he was ready for some real manly football… in a competing League. And even though Tottenham had slipped down to 8th with the help of Conte-Stellini-Mason, he knew that managing Spurs was a more robust professional challenge. Even a club like Bristol City – currently in the Championship – would be Kings in the Scottish Premier League… but enough of them and their inadequacies. To Tottenham, it was…
…On 6 June 2023, Postecoglou was appointed head coach of Tottenham Hotspur on a four-year contract. His appointment made him the first Australian and Greek to manage in the Premier League.
After four undefeated games, our club rests second in the Premier League (before the international break). His first game in charge was a 2-2 draw against Brentford at their Vitality stadium. This was followed by victories over United (2-0) at home, Bournemouth away (2-0) and Burnley at Turf Moor (5-2, yes, 5-2 to us). However, his real test will be when he faces Arsenic away and the Scousers at home.
A bit about his personal life…
Postecoglou is married to Georgia, who worked at South Melbourne as a marketing manager when he served as clubs manager. Together, they have three sons, James, Max and Alexi. Their oldest son, James, currently serves with the Hellenic Armed Forces and is based in Lemnos.
Postecoglou grew up supporting Liverpool and AEK Athens. But not everything can be perfect about him… Notice there are no Aussie clubs… which probably tells you a lot about Australian Kangaroo soccer.
In November 2022, Postecoglou was inducted into the Football Australia Hall of Fame for his outstanding contribution to Australian football on and off the field as a player and as a coach.
In addition to Australian English, Postecoglou is fluent in Greek.
So that is the story of our fair dinkum Aussie manager.
Even though Scottish football is a below-par league (going by European, English and South American standards), he showed a flicker of potential… and since coming to Tottenham – a more tougher/ serious league – he has outperformed what some have expected of him.
His training methods style have got the players engaged even more. His attacking, flowing style has got the fans talking and feeling that there is hope at the end of Levy’s tunnel. Of course, we are only 4 games in, but there is enough to see and what we can expect. I don’t expect miracles this season, however, I can see the potential.
A key principle of Postecoglou is not to have the ball at the highest point of the attack, with runners in behind and rotations – mainly in central spaces – used as frequently as possible.
He also said that he wanted to see played – attacking/ entertaining football – that would make his dad proud.
Good days ahead (or is that G’daaayyyyyyysssssssss)… hopefully we can start playing real football, not the defensive football of Mourinho and Conte. As for trophies, yes, please!
Up the Spurs!
My name is Glenn Renshaw.
I am currently a Premium Season Ticket holder (West Stand) in the new stadium. Before that – at White Hart Lane – a season ticket holder in various parts of the ground (mainly in the North stand).
Before becoming a season ticket holder, I stood on the shelf and various other parts of the ground since the 1960s (the season of the double). In 1987 I became one of the first to hold a Spurs Membership card. I was also a life long member of the Spurs supporters club (now defunct).
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