Ange Postecoglou relishing challenge of proving doubters wrong at Tottenham
Ange Postecoglou will relish the chance to prove people wrong at Tottenham after claiming he has needed to be “faultless” to reach this stage of his managerial career.
A coaching journey spanning nearly three decades has taken the Australian from Melbourne to London via spells in Yokohama and Glasgow.
Success has followed the 57-year-old, but he is now tasked with a sizeable rebuilding job at Spurs, who have not won a trophy since 2008 and finished eighth in the Premier League last season.
“All I know is I love winning,” Postecoglou said during his first press conference in his new role. “I don’t do any job unless I think I can win. That’s going to be my intent.
“I’ve been fortunate in the past because I’ve had success but whenever I reflect on any job I’ve had, it’s not the success that I look back on, it’s the build that I look back on because I know it’s not always going to be smooth.
“There’s going to be plenty of doubters, which is when your belief and resolve gets doubted. Not just for me personally, but the whole club, the whole group and I love working through that, getting out the other side.
“That’s the biggest attraction for me in this position. Aside from being in a massive football club and the premier competition in the world… the opportunity to do something that people will see in many respects as insurmountable. I love that.”
Postecoglou struck all the right notes a month on from his June 6 appointment, having guided Celtic to five trophies in his two seasons in Scotland despite a rocky start to life in Glasgow.
He is now in charge of a club in desperate need of direction and a cultural reset after the spells of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte saw Tottenham move away from the attractive, attacking football often associated throughout their history.
Postecoglou recalled memories of watching Ricky Villa’s 1981 FA Cup winner and admitted the challenge of trying to bring back the glory days to Spurs was too great to turn down.
He added: “My wife knows better than anyone, I can’t resist a challenge.
“I’ve always gone with my gut on these things. I know when I’m at my best and I’m at my best when the challenge is the biggest. I thought this was a challenge that would fit all the things I’m looking to achieve.
“For me to come from where I’ve come from and be sitting here, I needed to have that instinct inside me to know when to move on because I’ve had to be faultless in my career to get to this point.
“That’s because no-one’s going to rate an Australian manager, are they? So, if I had any significant failures along the way, I was never going to get here. Part of that process is knowing that I need to keep moving to be at my best.
“Even if I’d stayed at a club for five years, I’d never be satisfied with where we’re at. I’d be looking to improve all the time.
“The key factor was there was an opportunity here to again make an impact at a football club, which I’ve tried to do at every club I’ve been at.”
Asked to recall his memories of Spurs teams, Postecoglou said: “I remember Ricky Villa and Ossie Ardiles, absolutely. I remember that FA Cup final.
“They were my best childhood memories, I’ve said it before, because it was me and my dad, 2am. That’s me as a young boy, sitting on a couch watching a game of football.
“Glenn Hoddle, an absolute master and those kind of players resonate around the world.
“There are plenty of teams and Tottenham players through that era that I have strong memories of in my childhood.
“I’ve had a lot of success in my career but it’s also been done on the back of playing a certain way.
“I dare say that was probably part of one of the biggest factors in the club appointing me, was that they saw that. That’s what I’m going to try and deliver.
“That seems to be the right fit for this club in terms of the fans’ expectations. We call it entertainment but also win games of football, score goals, be exciting. They don’t want to see their team sit back.
“There are different ways of winning but the intent for us will be to try and make sure this football club’s a compelling watch for everybody.”