UK View: The ‘greatest gift’ left to Ange; Why six-year first is symbolic of Spurs ‘revolution’

Here’s how the UK press are reacting to Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win over Liverpool, which extended Ange Postecoglou’s unbeaten start in the Premier League.

Make that seven in a row.

Ange Postecoglou’s unbeaten start in the Premier League as Tottenham Hotspur boss continued on the weekend, when his side defeated Liverpool 2-1 at home – in what was perhaps the most impressive scalp in his short time as coach.

UK View: Why six year first was emblematic of Postecoglou’s Spurs ‘revolution’ – ‘Everything feels different now!’

The Aussie has completely transformed Spurs and has them sitting pretty in second, only a point behind league leaders Manchester City – heading into this weekend’s clash with Luton Town.

His transformation has left a lasting impression on the UK press pack, who continue to sing the praises of what the A-Leagues legend has been able to achieve in his short period at the club.


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The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson wrote: “Many wondered how Postecoglou’s methods would translate to the Premier League. There have been plenty of popular managers in the past who turned up with a glowing reputation but found they didn’t quite fit in the Premier League, sometimes for trivial or superficial reasons. What works in one league does not necessarily translate.

“Managers from the US have found themselves undermined from the off by their accents; was there any reason why an Australian would be any different? And how would an elite footballer cope with being talked to by someone who sounds like a normal human being, something they appear to come across exceptionally rarely in the bubble?

“It may be that the greatest gift Antonio Conte gave Spurs, building on the work done by Nuno Espírito Santo and José Mourinho, was to break the spirit of the Spurs squad, to leave them so desperate for any kind of positivity that no one was ever going to query the new bloke.

“And so far it’s working. That first home game, against Manchester United, was characterised by a sense of unease. Postecoglou was greeted by a giant tifo but the sense was that it could have got ugly pretty quickly. Harry Kane was gone, and so too was much of the optimism that had characterised the Mauricio Pochettino reign before its final months.

“There were protests outside about ticket prices that could have fused with a more general discontent into mass anti-board demonstrations.

“Those protests haven’t gone away, but they no longer feel like an imminent threat. Three home games, rather, have brought three wins, two of them snatched deep into injury time, and a great outpouring of well, what is it exactly? Gratitude? Relief? Love? At the heart of which stands Postecoglou.”

ESPN’s Mark Ogden believes his arrival has confirmed a new found strength in the club since Postecoglou’s arrival.

“When he arrived, the supporters were protesting against the ownership and chairman Daniel Levy, but now they only sing in one voice to serenade “Big Ange” with their re-working of Robbie Williams’ “Angels,” he said.

“On the pitch, the 58-year-old’s humility and honesty is being reflected by a group of players who now possess the personality that has been lacking at Spurs for so long. For the first time in a while, Spurs have a manager who doesn’t give the impression that he is doing the club a favour by being there, and his persona is rubbing off on the players.

“They clearly want to play for Postecoglou, and the faith they have in their manager is shown in their performances.

Ogden added: “…But in a game that showcased the very best of the Premier League, with two teams playing to the peak of their powers, Spurs came through as winners. That hasn’t happened too often in the past, and it’s a tribute to Postecoglou that, so soon after his arrival, his players now have the mentality to do what their predecessors only succeeded in failing to do.”

The Athletic’s Tim Spiers believes the win over Liverpool was a symbolic showcase of the way things have changed this season.

“Comparisons with last season are hard to ignore as things feel so different now because, even if the points or goals tallies aren’t dissimilar, pretty much everything else is,” he said.

“It is those stark differences, principally between negativity/pragmatism and positivity/creativity, which have led to the Spurs supporters — but, more importantly, the Spurs players — embracing the Postecoglou revolution so earnestly.

“And if Spurs are beating Liverpool, well, you know Postecoglou is really onto something. This was their first victory over Jurgen Klopp’s team since a league game at Wembley in 2017. Liverpool were the only team Spurs had not yet beaten at their new stadium.

“Last November’s home defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s side was a microcosm of the 2022-23 season in many ways. Similarly, in the infant weeks of Postecoglou’s reign, Saturday’s win felt like a representation of everything good — and also the odd warning sign — that we have seen from Tottenham so far in 2023-24.”

BBC Sports’ Chief Football Writer Phil McNulty wrote post-game that he believes the club is once more “unified”.

“In wild scenes of celebration at the final whistle, Spurs were unconcerned by Liverpool’s justified complaints, instead revelling in a result that increase the feelgood factor engendered by Ange Postecoglou’s arrival as manager and a fine start to the season,” he said.

“Make no mistake, Spurs were the grateful beneficiaries of a serious error from the officials but there were further signs that this is a side with an identifiable personality and one that has bought into Postecoglou’s relentlessly positive attacking approach.

“This feels like a unified club heading in the right direction once more.”

Despite their brilliant start to the season and obvious positive trajectory, McNulty is still sceptical about their hopes of challenging for the Premier League title – but is confident they can finally take home a piece of silverware after 15 years of waiting.

“I have watched Spurs quite a bit already and I really think things are on the up under Ange Postecoglou. There is also a great atmosphere in the stadium as the fears about what might happen post-Harry Kane are eased by good results,” he added on a BBC Q&A.

“They are playing with positivity and intensity – in total contrast to what we saw under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte. The players have really bought into what Postecoglou demands.

“Are they title challengers? Sorry, but I don’t think so.

“Are they top four contenders and could they end that trophy drought stretching back to 2008? On what I’ve seen so far, then they have a chance.”

English football legend Gary Neville echoed similar sentiments on his podcast.

“I don’t think they’re title contenders. I think when you see the bench coming on at the end, you know they’re not title contenders, I think they’ll be way off that,” he said.

“But what they are is spirited, they’re more resilient than I imagined they would be and I say that more out of the North London Derby last week and what I saw.

“They’re in a good place. There’s a spirit in the stadium, there’s a spirit on the pitch and there is a connection with the way the manager is, the players on the pitch and the people in the crowd.

“We’re not talking too much about the boardroom at Spurs as much as we would have been in the last few years.

“There’s no doubt there’s something happening here for Spurs. It isn’t always as good as it looks and I think there will be challenges down the line, but I think they’ll have a better season than I thought they would.”

The match against Liverpool itself was marred by controversy, as the Reds had a goal disallowed following a VAR error – which failed to overturn Luis Diaz’ first-half strike.

Liverpool ended up going down to nine players as well, courtesy of dismissals to Curtis Jones and Diego Jota, but it took until the 96th minute for Spurs to find the winner as a result of a Joel Matip own-goal.

Times reporter Charlotte Duncker believes Spurs should have done more to make the most of their numerical advantage, but praised the mentality shift of the club under Postecoglou.

“I think we’ve seen that determination shine through in their first seven games,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Football Daily Podcast.

“They got that late winner against Sheffield United and we’ve seen the determination they have under Ange Postecoglou.

“They were playing against nine men for 25 minutes and I would like to have seen them exploit Liverpool a little bit more, given they are one of their direct rivals.

“I know they’ve come away with three points and will be delighted with that but I think performance wise they were not as convincing as we might expect. If Liverpool had 11 players on the pitch maybe they wouldn’t have won.

“But, they got their result they were after and their dominant start to the season continues. I think the mentality shift they’ve shown under Ange Postecoglou is the biggest difference to what we’ve seen from the Spurs teams of the past.”