Ange Postecoglou: Everything you didn't already know about Tottenham's new manager | OneFootball

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·11 de agosto de 2023

Ange Postecoglou: Everything you didn't already know about Tottenham's new manager

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There will be hundreds of new faces taking to Premier League pitches for the first time during the 2023/24 campaign. While he won't be tying up his boots and pulling up his socks, Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou is one new name that will be taking to the dugout in England's top-flight for the first time having joined from Celtic in the summer. Many will be familiar with the Australian boss, but plenty may only know him from his time in Glasgow, so, let's get to know the new face that will be frequenting Premier League touchlines next term a little more personally...

Aussie-born, Greek-bred: Ange's from a land down under... or is he?

With a name like Angelos Postecoglou, it will come as no surprise that the big, friendly Aussie wasn't originally of Australian descent at all. Postecoglou left his homeland of Greece with his family in 1970.

Born in the Athens suburb of Nea Filadelfeia in 1965, the young Greek spent the first few years of his upbringing around the traditionally European sport of football.

Settling in the sporting capital of his new home, Melbourne, five-year-old Ange continued his love affair with the beautiful game, even though he was now in a country that didn't quite share the same passion for the sport.

Ange the record-breaker

Football is a phrase employed by many Australians when referring to Rugby, which goes some way to demonstrating just how far down the pecking order the European version of football is in terms of national popularity, and just how far Postecoglou has had to come in getting the Spurs job.

Like Arsene Wenger did in the mid-1990s at Arsenal by becoming the first French manager to grace the Premier League, Ange Postecoglou brings fresh ideas, and a spin on progressive football to England's top-flight as the first Australian to manage in the country's first division, as well as also being the first Greek national to take control of a Premier League game.

Sporting Fascination

Growing up in Melbourne, Postecoglou found himself engulfed by sports and sporting activities. While his fervour for football was his primary passion, attending games with his late father, and supporting Liverpool and AEK Athens, he was also a keen Aussie Rules player, becoming a fan of the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League. Immersed in a childhood obsession with sports, Postecoglou has often spoken of his admiration for his father's shared love, and as such, has always wanted to set his sides out in a way that will entertain a man that was in his own words his "biggest critic".

Postecoglou's trophy haul

Postecoglou started his managerial career off with a stint at South Melbourne, before taking over as the Australia under-17s and under-20s head coach between 2000 and 2007. His first years in management were spent refining his tactical techniques and leadership, before taking the leap to the A-League, assuming control of Brisbane Roar where he would go on to win back-to-back league titles with the club. Following a year back in Melbourne at Melbourne Victory, Postecoglou was offered the job as Australia’s head coach, a role he didn’t need to think twice about. Spending four years with the Socceroos, a forgettable 2014 World Cup aside, Ange guided the nation to its first Asian Cup win in its history, with a 2-1 win against South Korea in 2015.

Switching continents, from Australasia to Asia, Postecoglou joined Yokohama G. Marinos, and his progressive techniques shepherded the club to its first J-League title in 15 years. Spotted by Celtic in 2021 and brought in to replace Neil Lennon, Postecoglou arrived in Glasgow to a wave of initial skepticism. Celtic fans were unsure of their new boss's credentials, and after an opening-day defeat away at Aberdeen, their fears certainly seemed justified. However, the loveable Aussie soon found his feet in Glasgow’s West End, and quickly won the Parkhead faithful over with wins over Rangers, followed by the Hoops closing the gap between them and their bitter rivals.

A roll of wins led to Celtic reclaiming the crown of Scottish Premier League Champions, and during the 2022/23 campaign, the Bhoys went one better and banked the treble under their newfound hero. If he can replicate the same levels of management on Hotspur Way, the Tottenham fans will be in for one hell of a treat.

Postecoglou: The footballer

In recent years, it appears as though barriers to entry have been altered for football managers, with the profession making the transition from being almost entirely made up of retired professional footballers to beginning to view either non-pros or minor ex-professionals in a more favourable light. While Postecoglou profited from playing the game in Australia in a semi-professional capacity during the 80s and 90s, the manager certainly doesn’t come from illustrious footballing pedigree. During his playing days, Ange spent a decade at South Melbourne FC, a club that was founded by Greek migrants in 1959 as South Melbourne Hellas, and then made the switch to Western Suburbs FC in 1994, another side forged by Greek migrants.

Driving Ferenc Puskas around in his £500 car

During his time at South Melbourne, Postecoglou was managed by none other than Real Madrid legend, Ferenc Puskas. From 1989 to 1992, the Hungarian icon oversaw managerial formalities in South Eastern Australia. Forming a particular rapport with Ange, the Spurs manager was regularly tasked with ferrying his gaffer around in his £500 car, and by his own admission had “the s**test little car, because I was on hardly any money”. Postecoglou recounted the tale of him breaking down with the man whose name inspired the title of the FIFA Puskas Award; “We went to one game, I was driving him to the airport and I got a flat tyre on the freeway and had to pull over to the side."

“I'm going, 'Boss, d'ya mind just...' – because he was a big guy at the time – 'd'ya mind getting out?' And he goes, 'No, I'm not going anywhere.'

“I think about it now and think, 'Man, I would have done things differently, I would have paid for a taxi for the man.'”

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