Postecoglou responds to Gareth Southgate criticism about Spurs vs Newcastle fixture

Ange Postecoglou has said that while he understands Gareth Southgate’s concerns about Tottenham’s post-season friendly against Newcastle, he pointed out that he has similar apprehensions about meaningless international friendlies.

It was announced earlier this month that Tottenham will take on the Magpies at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground in a post-season friendly on May 22, just three days after the two clubs end their Premier League campaigns.

While the trip would represent a homecoming for Ange Postecoglou, who is from the city, it is perhaps not ideal for the players so soon after a long and arduous season, particularly with the European Championship commencing in June.

Gareth Southgate has admitted that the friendly is not good news for the Three Lions ahead of their Euros preparation (Evening Standard), with James Maddison, Kieran Tripper and Anthony Gordan expected to be on the plane to Germany.

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Ange Postecoglou responds to Gareth Southgate’s concerns

When Postecoglou was asked about the England boss being nervous about the likes of Maddison picking up any injuries in that game, he responded (via Football.London): “I’m sure Gareth will be a club coach one day and he’ll get a different perspective, as he has been in the past. I don’t think Gareth has said anything – or any other national team manager.

“I was a national team manager and I used to sweat over it at the weekend when the players were playing, whether that was a normal game, a friendly game, whatever game it is. The flip side of that is there were quite a few club coaches on edge with national team duty this week so it’s the world we live in mate.”

When it was pointed out that it was a newly created fixture, the Spurs boss shot back: “Yeah, it’s a bit like when new national team tournaments are always inserted into the fixture list isn’t it? Whether you’re a club coach or a national team coach, this is the world we live in.”

Postecoglou insisted that Tottenham had carefully weighed the pros and cons before deciding to play the friendly, insisting that the game would help further grow the club’s popularity Down Under.

He continued: “There has to be a balance. We’ve thought about it as a football club and it’s fair to say if we’d been in Europe and had a really big season, we probably would have made a different decision. We weighed everything up and felt like there was a real benefit to playing this game.

“With all these things, there’s always costs and benefits to it. You try to weigh them all up. My involvement in it is more around the footballing aspect. This is the club decision we’re making here, we take all these factors into account. We thought that with our season being so disrupted and not a lot of games, this was a unique opportunity for us.

“I wouldn’t see this as something that would happen on a regular basis unless we felt the benefits would outweigh the costs. On this occasion when we balanced everything up, we felt it was a good opportunity to take the club to the other side of the world and help us continue to grow the football club. That’s why the decision was made.”

The 58-year-old confirmed that all members of the Tottenham squad will be making the trip to Australia. He added: “Everyone who’s fit. Literally, we leave straight after the last game and we’ll be taking everyone who’s fit.”

Spurs Web Opinion

There is no doubt that we will see more Premier League clubs playing these sorts of friendlies in Asia, Oceania and North America over the coming years, especially with financial regulations now being strictly implemented.

Clubs will see these kinds of games as a big commercial opportunity as not only do the matches bring additional revenue but the trips also help cement their global fan bases, which consolidates future revenue streams.

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