Ange Postecoglou has said that the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal have shown the blueprint for success in the Premier League by formulating a clear plan and backing the strategy over the long term.
Postecoglou will lock horns against one of the current longest-serving Premier League managers in Pep Guardiola, with the Spaniard hoping to create history by guiding Manchester City to a fourth-straight title.
Spurs are now on the other end of the spectrum, having just begun a new project, with the Lilywhites having hit a few bumps on the road over recent weeks.
The Australian insisted that if Tottenham are to compete with the likes of City, everyone must work towards the same direction for a sustained period.
Postecoglou wants time to build something long-term
Postecoglou told Football.London: “There are plenty of coaches that coach very differently to me but they’re at that club for four or five years and they have that success. That’s what I’m talking about with a plan. It’s not about just playing one way or having a clear identity.
“Having a plan means getting the right people involved in club who you believe will take you where you want to go. Then you invest in them, in the club, in the squad and you stick to that plan. It doesn’t mean that’s just exactly the same as anyone else.
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“City are different to Arsenal, Arsenal are different to Liverpool, Liverpool are different to both of them but as far as I can see they have the same managers and they’ve gone through tough times.
“They saw something in them. You have to show something, it’s not just about blindly appointing someone and saying you’ve got five years, but those managers have shown they have a plan and the club have said ‘let’s back these people’.”
This is not the first time that Postecoglou has locked horns with Guardiola, with the Aussie coach’s Yokohama Marinos side taking on City in a pre-season clash back in 2019.
Although the Manchester club emerged 3-1 winners in that game, the J-League side got plenty of accolades for their performance as they gave a very good account of themselves, enjoying almost 60 per cent of possession.
When asked about that encounter, Postecoglou said: “I remember it well. You’ve got to put some context, they were in pre-season, we were mid-season, so we were in good physical condition but it was one of those moments.
“We could have gone into that game and said ‘OK, let’s see how we can go about trying to beat Manchester City’ or we can go in and say ‘Let’s just go in and play our football against Manchester City and see where that takes us’ and that’s what we did.
“I said to the boys ‘Let’s go. Keep the ball. Press them. Be aggressive. Do what we do on a weekly basis and you know what? If we get smacked 6-0, we get smacked 6-0, but we’ve measured ourselves’.
“We came out of that game with players with real belief. Even against the very best. They felt really good about themselves, even though we lost 3-1. They enjoyed it. They enjoyed that challenge.
“They got punished because Raheem [Sterling] was an unbelievable player, they had never faced anyone like him before, but we played out a few times against a really good press, we pressured them and made them make mistakes, and we got belief out of it. That’s the only way you can.
“For us, as a group at that time, it was a perfect exercise to say ‘let’s continue down this path. This is the team we want to be’. In the aftermath, some nice things were said, but then the next day people moved on and the circus left town and I was left in Yokohama.”
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The message that Postecoglou gave to his Yokohama players before that clash, gives us some insight into what he will be telling the Tottenham players before their big test at the Etihad.
The Aussie coach will likely encourage them to take the game to the Premier League champions and prove a point, pointing out that everyone expects them to just roll over, given the injuries they now have.