James Maddison has said that one of Ange Postecoglou’s biggest strengths is his ability to get the team up for matches with his motivational speeches.
Spurs fans and neutrals alike have been surprised by how quickly Postecoglou has managed to put his imprint on the current Tottenham side, particularly given that they had employed a defensive, counter-attacking approach for the last three to four years.
The Australian’s honest communication style is another key reason why the supporters have warmed to him, and Maddison has admitted that his straight-talking nature has resonated with the squad as well.
The 26-year-old told Sky Sports about Postecoglou: “He’s a bit different to anyone I’ve worked with before. He’s a down-to-the-point, straight-talking man and as a player that’s what you want. You want honesty, someone to tell you how it is.
“He is really good at [motivational speeches]. You come out of a meeting with him ready to run through a wall. He’s a very motivational speaker and it’s a big quality of his. He gets all the players wanting to go and work for him. Everyone is on board and ready to work.
“There was a good example on Saturday with the winning goal. The move was four of the substitutes combined and [Dejan Kulusevski] scored the winner. They’re going on hungry and wanting to do well. Long may that continue and I hope we have a successful period together.”
Like Postecoglou, Maddison has also settled in quickly to his new surroundings, having been voted the Premier League Player of the Month for August.
The England international credited his teammates for making him feel welcome and admitted that he is enjoying the freedom that the current system affords him.
Maddison is feeling at home with Tottenham Hotspur
When asked about his adaptation period, he said: “It can be a difficult transition when you move to a new club. A new style of play, new surroundings but it’s been fairly easy transition and that’s down to the people at the club, the manager, the players – they’ve warmed to me early on – the fans. It’s been an easy transition and one I’m loving.
“I’m feeling free, like I’m able to go and express myself and that comes from the manager and his coaching staff and the other squad members. I feel myself.
“Sometimes when you have new players come in it’s almost like they try too hard to impress or try to do a bit too much to impress their team-mates or manager but they’ve made me feel so at ease I’ve just been myself naturally.”
Some eyebrows were raised when Maddison was offered the vice-captaincy in the summer despite just arriving at the club, but the former Leicester City man has certainly stepped up the leadership mantle so far.
When asked about being a leader he said: “I try to take out the fact I’m a new player. I’m quite experienced now. I’m 26. I’m not a kid anymore, I’ve played a lot of games.
“I’ve been around football a long time now. Anything I can add or feel will benefit the team, I won’t just shout for a reason, if I have a message to get to the team.
“That leadership in the changing room is important. I think I’d do it anyway without the vice-captaincy. That captain’s not the only leader. You can have leaders who don’t wear the armband.
“It’s just something I’ll do. Anything I can say to help the team, I will say. Whether I’ve been in the door four years or four weeks.”
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You can tell that Maddison is the sort of personality who enjoys the big stage and he will no doubt be relishing the prospect of showing what he can do on Sunday. The 26-year-old will hurt Arsenal if we can get the ball to him as much as possible.
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