Football.London’s Alasdair Gold has dug up quotes from Ange Postecoglou’s 2016 book ‘Changing the Game: Football in Australia Through My Eyes‘, which gives a lot of insight into how the new Spurs boss goes about transforming clubs.
Postecoglou has hardly put a single foot wrong since taking over at Tottenham this summer.
The Spurs head coach has been clear in his communication to the media, and has also completely ripped up the old playbook, delivering an eye-catching, possession-based style of play.
The Australian’s recruitment has also been spot on and his decisions regarding the appointment of the new leadership group and casting off some old heads seem to have worked wonders in terms of the team morale.
In his book, Postecoglou explains in detail how he goes about building the culture he wants at various clubs.
The 58-year-old wrote: “Of course, it’s a challenge walking into a place and putting something unconventional on the table. People don’t like change.
“Universal acceptance and understanding are never totally forthcoming and yet I’ve found that, when I’ve tapped into the right source, the objections have been very few.
“Even those who have some resistance at first will eventually buy into the project. Most people don’t want to find themselves outside the group or its momentum. Getting the group to the point where there is some momentum is the big challenge, and that’s the bit I love.
“I start with the premise that everyone wants to be involved. Everyone must find their place or for them it’s going to be a battle. Pitching it so that the majority comes on board is the key.
“I honestly start this process with such a total belief in the project that I just assume everyone is going to want to be part of it.
“In reality, that won’t be the case, and it’s equally true that not everyone in the room at the start will turn out to be my kind of player. Those things work themselves out in their own time. The bigger the change the bigger the resistance.”
Postecoglou will not put up with any troublemakers
Postecoglou made it clear that not everyone will be on board with his ideas but insisted that he will not allow anyone to derail his vision.
He added: “People don’t like to have their comfort zone challenged, but I can’t work in a comfort zone. That’s not how exciting things are done, as far as I’m concerned.
“The more I disturb the comfort, the greater the pushback. It becomes very testing when pushback becomes blowback. That can be a make-or-break time.
“I’m not a coach for everyone. I’m not a coach for every situation. I’m willing to accommodate people to a certain extent but I’ll never abide anything that will derail the mission.
“The range of personalities and motivations and abilities is so wide that my message and methods just will not resonate with some people. There’s no shame in that. I’m still going to push on.”
The new Tottenham head coach also stressed the importance of treating everyone as equals and building a real comradery among the squad.
He added: “Once I’ve got the majority of the organisation (club or team) over the momentum tipping point, we’re usually away. To get to that point requires inclusiveness; making people believe in what you’re doing and feel as though their contribution is vital to its success.
“No person is more important than another. Any person can be called upon to perform a function and they need to believe that role is key.”
“Even players who aren’t regularly playing must feel like they’re contributing. From day one I create the story and beat the drum, and, importantly, that first message is never about winning games. That’s not different from what people are used to, that’s expected.
“Every coach goes in with that aim, but if that’s the level of the ambition and there is no further context or meaning built around it, there is nothing special.”
“I realise that I ask a lot of people around me. Change is inconvenient by nature and that was attractive to me because convenience is a soul destroyer.
“I can’t work effectively in that environment, can’t get what I need out of coaching. I can’t compromise the essence of my coaching – which goes to the heart of me as a person – and settle for a place where I’m just working for the sake of it.
“That position would trash everything I believe in and keep telling people, and would trample over the coaching achievements I’ve enjoyed. It isn’t always easy, but I see it as a matter of being. Anything less cheapens everything I’ve done, and want to do, in my life.”
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Postecoglou’s dislike of those who are in their comfort zone rather than wanting to challenge themselves, explains why he was quick to cast off the likes of Ndombele.
His emphasis on creating a sense of unity and camaraderie among the whole squad perhaps also sheds light on why he felt it was necessary to make as many changes as he did for the Carabao Cup tie against Fulham.
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