• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

‘Angeball’ tactics saw Tottenham-bound Ange Postecoglou go from ‘joke’ to hero with help from Johan Cruyff


Jun 5, 2023
'Angeball' tactics saw Tottenham-bound Ange Postecoglou go from 'joke' to hero with help from Johan Cruyff


Tottenham fans underwhelmed by Ange Postecoglou’s impending appointment may be wise to look at what happens when you back him.

The Greek-Australian had previous doubts around him upon his arrival at Celtic Park in 2021, but two years later he’s wiped them away to leave as a club icon.

Some weren't sure about the little-known former Australia boss rocking up at Parkhead


Some weren’t sure about the little-known former Australia boss rocking up at Parkhead
But he's leaving as a treble-winning legend


But he’s leaving as a treble-winning legendCredit: Getty

A double last season season was followed by a treble this term, and now Hoops fans in Glasgow will be gutted to see Postecoglou depart, with personal terms said to be agreed.

And speaking in what was likely his last ever game with the club – winning the treble with a Scottish Cup final victory over Inverness – he was keen to remind everyone about the reaction to his arrival from Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan.

“Let’s not beat about the bush,” he said. “I was a joke when I was appointed.

“A lot of people made fun of my appointment, but the supporters for their own reasons put their collective arms around me and said, ‘no, he’s one of ours’. 

“It was up to me then to repay that faith and trust and the reason they’ve felt so close to me and this team is while others mocked they stood behind me.”

Repay them he did, with talkSPORT host Alan Brazil even having to eat humble pie after calling the appointment ‘a wind-up’.

But how did the 57-year-old former Australia manager go from a joke to a likely Premier League regular? Well the answer will please Spurs fans.

For a fanbase yearning for attractive football after stints under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, Postecoglou’s admiration of Dutch football in 2021 will leave plenty of encouragement.

“Historically, in Australian football, there has been a Dutch influence,” he said ahead of a Europa League tie with AZ Alkmaar.

“Guus Hiddink took us to the World Cup in 2006 and since then we’ve had people from Holland and the Netherlands advising us.

Postecoglou didn't have the easiest start at Celtic


Postecoglou didn’t have the easiest start at CelticCredit: Getty

“My origins, I was a massive fan of [former player] Johan Cruyff, massive fan of that Ajax team, my father was [too].

“That sort of led me to look at the aesthetics of football, rather than just the end result.

“I’ve always admired and been intrigued by it because, ultimately, we know that results are what matter in football.

“So having this thought process that maybe what it looks like is just as important as the result has always intrigued me.

Cruyff inspired the Aussie


Cruyff inspired the AussieCredit: Getty

“It’s finding that balance between creating something that’s beautiful to the eye, but also brings you success because otherwise you are just one of these unemployed, destitute artists that admires their own work, but don’t make a living.

“I just want everyone talking about the football we are playing. That still to me is the primary target because wherever I’ve been and I’ve done that, the rest of it has sort of cascaded into it.

“They are starting to and, if we keep doing that, the success we have will be great and for everyone to share. But I want it to be success built on something special.”

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That statement ended up being fortelling, with Celtic’s attractive football earning five trophies in two years, putting Rangers back in their place.

All of that despite fears over his initial appointment – something Tottenham fans will be well-advised to get behind.

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