Postecoglou shares Aussie inspiration after hilarious exchange with reporters as Man Utd await

Ange Postecoglou does not currently feel worthy of the Tottenham fans’ support but has promised to try bring them joy after being inspired by Australian singer Nick Cave.

It has been a difficult 2023 for Spurs after the club’s trophy drought extended and record goalscorer Harry Kane departed for Bayern Munich on the eve of the new Premier League season, but there is overwhelming support for Postecoglou.

The new man in the Tottenham hotseat was this week reminded of football’s significance to supporters when he listened to a Louis Theroux podcast, in which he heard an expression come from the interviewee that involved “joy comes from suffering”.

“I am saying that because I listened to a podcast during the week and I thought it was a great description of what football is about,” the former Socceroos boss said ahead of Saturday’s showdown with Manchester United.

“I am at that funny stage where supporters have been very, very supportive but I don’t expect that nor do I feel worthy of it. I still need to prove myself to our fans and the people at the club by our deeds rather than our words.

“Hopefully at the moment we are giving them sort of belief in what we’re trying to create but we need to back it up on a weekly basis. We need our supporters behind us. We want the Tottenham ground to be a place where the energy is all on our side, so hopefully that happens tomorrow.”

The name of Theroux’s guest slipped Postecoglou’s mind, leading to a funny exchange with reporters as they tried to discover the identity of the singer.

“No it wasn’t mate. It’s a bloke, in a duet with Kylie Minogue. Come on!” Postecoglou responded when Peter Andre was suggested before another journalist mentioned Sia.

The next guess was Jason Donovan.

“No!!,” Postecoglou laughed before the answer arrived.

“Nick Cave, thank you. Jesus,” the Australian legend said. “Talk about opening your minds, the most closed minded people here! Jason Donovan and Peter Andre!”

“It was just that expression hit me as a lot of times people say can you keep the players happy, can you keep the supporters happy and I just don’t think that describes it,” he added. “You don’t skip into a football ground and have a smile on your face. That is what we love about it.

“Especially our game because scoring goals, which is the ultimate release, is such a hard thing to do. Preceding is suffering as every time the opposition has the ball and they get to your goal you are looking at it through clenched teeth. So I just thought it was a really good expression.

“I can’t recall what Nick was talking about in reference to it. I thought from a football context. I don’t want to make a big deal about it. That is me at 57 listening to something I had not thought about. That is the beauty of it. I thought it was a really apt description.”


— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 18, 2023

Postecoglou was serenaded for a number of minutes by the away fans at Brentford last weekend and a tifo display is planned for his first competitive home match in charge.

But he admitted: “It means a lot but I’m not comfortable with it. You love what it means because for the most part it’s blind faith.

Ange Postecoglou on the touchline

“I haven’t yet delivered anything. Hopefully when the day comes that we deliver as a team it will mean something different then.

“I don’t dismiss it either, that’s people taking a huge leap of faith on me as an individual and I appreciate that. It’s a really good reminder of the responsibility that I have.”

While fans will get behind the team for the 5.30pm kick-off with Erik Ten Hag’s United, a protest will take place hours before arranged by Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust over the club’s decision to increase matchday ticket prices.

The ‘Call to Action’ from THST will ask for the club to reverse the increase – which they insist will price out loyal fans – and Postecoglou backed their right to “express their emotions” during Friday’s press conference.

He is also acutely aware of how important home form can be, adding: “It’s a beautiful stadium, absolutely, but as much as opposition teams enjoy playing in the venue, what we have got to make sure is they don’t enjoy the experience.

“What makes grounds difficult to play on is the experience you give teams, whether that’s the environment the fans create or the football you play against them.

Ange looks ahead to his first @premierleague match at @SpursStadium 🤍

— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 18, 2023

“If you want to make it a place where we see it as an advantage, you have got to make sure the experience for opposition clubs is not a pleasant one.”

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson made sure teams did not enjoy travelling to Old Trafford and Postecoglou reminisced about his meeting with the managerial great this week.

Postecoglou was in charge of NSL giants South Melbourne when they lost 2-0 to United in the Club World Championship in 2000.

And more than two decades later he will try to secure his first Premier League win against Ferguson’s old club.

“I don’t think I take elements in my own game but people like Sir Alex, whether it’s consciously or unconsciously, they have an effect on you,” Postecoglou acknowledged.

“It’s not just football managers. I’m a pretty curious kind of guy and you learn things from all sorts of people and events.

A view outside the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

“I’ve always tried to constantly nourish that part of my brain that is constantly curious about things.

“It was significant for me because we were coming from nowhere playing at one of the world’s most iconic stadiums, the Maracana, against one of the greatest teams at that time that football had seen, against one of the greatest managers.

“I had five or six minutes with him and apart from saying hello, I just listened. That’s the best way to have interaction with people like that. There’s no point me talking for five minutes, he’s not going to learn anything off me.”