Ange Postecoglou says Spurs squad don’t fully believe in his style of play yet

Ange Postecoglou has said that he wants to ensure that the Tottenham players are fully bought into their current way of playing and are not just going through the motions because he demands it from them.

Tottenham had been a counter-attacking side for several years before Postecoglou arrived last summer but the Australian was successful in quickly helping the side transition into a front-foot, possession-based side.

The players certainly appear to have bought into the approach, with the Lilywhites continuing to pour bodies forward irrespective of the opposition, state of the game or amount of players they have on the pitch.

The approach has not always worked and they have been punished for their errors by a few sides, particularly over the last couple of months.

Ange Postecoglou
(Credit: Hayters)

Postecoglou wants his players to believe in their style

Postecoglou admitted that he wants the players to fully believe that this kind of approach will get them to the levels they want to reach as a side, rather than just following his instructions.

The Tottenham head coach told Football.London: “The question for me always is ‘Are they doing it because I’m telling them to do it or are they doing it because they believe it?’

“And that’s always the process you’re going through. It’s inevitable at the start that most of it is happening because you’re telling them to do it. So at least I’m making an impact, at least they’re listening to me – that’s one box ticked.

“But for it to truly evolve into something, it’s because the players believe it, and I’ve seen the players growing into it but we’re not there yet. I came away from that game and thought ‘OK, the players are all in and definitely the staff because they wouldn’t have gone about it in that manner [otherwise].’

“But the question I take when I step back is ‘Have I told them to do this or is there real belief that this is the way forward for us?’. That’s always the thing that I’m sensitive to. It’s great they’re listening to me but it is challenging to play this way all the time. You can’t just dip your toe in, you’ve got to be all in. I’ve seen growth within the growth for that, but they’ve still got a way to go.”

Postecoglou confessed that the disruptions that Tottenham have had this season have meant that the development of the side has not gone as quickly as he would have wanted.

When asked how far along the players are in the process of completely buying into this new approach, the 58-year-old responded: “I think they’re at different stages. They all go through their own individual challenges, whether that’s injuries, loss of form or whatever, and all these things make them question it.

“But in my experience, the true belief comes when you’ve got the majority of the squad and staff [to a point] where if I didn’t turn up, they would still go about things in the same way. I don’t think we’re at the majority yet.”

Spurs Web Opinion

The belief in the system will come naturally when results start going favourably. However, if we keep conceding three or four goals every other game, doubts will inevitably start to creep into the players’ minds regarding whether this is the optimal way to play.

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