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Tottenham are off to a record start in the Premier League. New coach’s unusual methods help

Date: June 19, 2024 Time: 19:15:21

On April 23, 2023, Tottenham fell weakly against Newcastle (1-6), a very symbolic result that characterized Spurs’ free fall at the end of last season. In spring, the 2019 Champions League finalists changed several coaches at once, none of whom led the team to European competition, much less broke the trophyless streak (15 years). After such shocks, a complete lack of will in the games and the departure of Harry Kane, nothing extraordinary was expected from the Londoners in the new season.

But five rounds passed, during which Tottenham miraculously transformed: second place in the standings after City and two awards for the club’s representatives at the end of the month. James Maddison and Angelos Postecoglou were named Premier League Player and Coach of the Month respectively.

By the way, about Maddison and other newcomers:

Classification

Transfer window results for the Premier League’s best. Who did it better?

Lack of will and apathy were replaced by bravery and outstanding character, which was confirmed in the home match against Sheffield United. In the 90+8 minute the Londoners lost 0-1, but they scored twice and achieved victory. It was Tottenham’s 100th victory in the Premier League, having lost their first. Only Manchester United has a better record in the tournament (103 wins). If the hero of the match was Richarlison, who scores goals once a year, then things really got better for the team.

Conte closed the players at the base and Postecoglou gives them more freedom

In March, the eminent Antonio Conte left Tottenham with a scandal: after a series of unsuccessful matches, he put all the blame on the players and the club’s management. “Sometimes it seems to me that I work with a team of inveterate egoists. Some players don’t want to leave their comfort zone and settle for mediocre results, no matter who the coach is. I don’t like this philosophy of the Tottenham players and owners. A club with the wrong culture will never be successful,” the Italian coach burned his bridges.

Conte’s reproaches seem mocking, because under his command the management did not spare money on transfers. In the summer of 2022 alone, the club spent €180 million on the newcomers; no other coach was responsible for such expenses. In total, Antonio’s activities as Tottenham coach (a year and a half) cost the club 217 million euros, of which 21 million euros went to pay the coach’s salaries, in addition, the Italian received 4 million euros as compensation for termination of the contract.

Antonio Conte considered the Tottenham players selfish

Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Under such circumstances, the main task of new coach Angelos Postecoglou was to relieve the players’ tension. “Going into the new season, he didn’t want anyone to carry the weight of the past. This makes no sense. I come with the energy to give myself and the players the opportunity to experience new unforgettable emotions,” said the Australian, who made a name for himself in Japan and Scotland.

The approach to the training process and other aspects turned out to be completely opposite to Conte’s harsh methods. The Italian demanded that the players spend the night before the match at home at the base under strict control. For Postecoglou it is the other way around: he is interested in players spending as much time as possible with their families. The coach believes that this instills in them greater responsibility and the ability to make independent decisions in any situation. The players do not even come to the games together, but rather meet several hours before the kick-off at the stadium.

Postecoglou is far from the method of influencing football players in the “hairdryer” mode, as loved by Alex Ferguson (and also Conte). Instead, he subtly influences the team with the help of new captain Son Heung-min and vice-captains James Maddison and Christian Romero. The new group of leaders is a major change in itself. There is no one from last year’s quartet: no Harry Kane, no Eric Dier, no Hugo Lloris, no Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Let’s understand the Harry phenomenon:

Harry Kane is an absolute legend of England and Tottenham. Here is the proof

Angelos canceled hours of training and the players run 13 kilometers per game

Postecoglou almost never enters the locker room: he believes that players should make most of the decisions themselves and his mission is to guide them in key aspects. This gives kids a sense of ownership and responsibility; This approach extends to all employees, from massage therapists to analysts. “Each of these people is much more of a specialist in their field than I am,” the coach admitted to The Athletic, who does not bother the players with daily meetings, as happened with Conte or José Mourinho.

The team meets three or four times a week to carry out tactical training, which does not last hours, like other specialists; Sometimes it only takes 15 to 20 minutes for Angelos to solve the necessary problems. The workouts are also shorter and do not last indefinitely. Conte prioritized physical preparation and defensive play, while Postecoglou emphasizes variety and competitive elements. When communicating with football players, he sees himself not as a mentor, but as a father who observes the children, draws conclusions and, if necessary, makes laconic comments. The more independent the “children” are, the better they will behave in stressful situations and make the right decisions without looking back.

Postecoglou calls himself a father and the Spurs players his children

Photo: Christopher Lee/Getty Images

The Tottenham family has finally replaced tension and even numbness with release, allowing them both to work and enjoy the game. The technique of greater freedom is really effective: the players do not work less than with Conte. Quite the opposite! For example, in the 2-0 win over Bournemouth, his running performance was incredibly high. According to SkillCorner, several people have completed the 13km mark (the average is usually 10-11km).

Other figures are also encouraging. Thus, the average pressure PPDA (the number of passes from the opponent before a direct attempt to attack the ball) last season was 13.8, only 14th among 20 teams. That is to say, the Spurs’ pressing was quite poor. This season it has dropped to 10.3 (fourth place), suggesting that Tottenham were very aggressive without the ball in the early rounds. They also had 358 touches in the attacking third against Brentford, more than in any of the 38 Premier League games last season.

After this start, you start thinking about the championship:

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Postecoglou trusts in youth and seven debutants are players between 18 and 26 years old

Another characteristic of Postecoglou is his trust in young players. Starting in all five games was 20-year-old left-back Destiny Udoji, who had no Premier League experience before this season. In the support zone, his teammate Pape Sarr (previously, two games in the Premier League) and Mickey van de Ven, 22 years old, with only one season of experience in Wolfsburg, are on fire.

Unsurprisingly, seven of Spurs’ summer signings are players aged between 18 and 26. “What I have found in my work is that the sooner promising players get into the game, the better it is for everyone,” Postecoglou wrote in his 2016 book Changing the Game: Football in Australia Through My Eyes. “The best will shine and those who have the opportunity will be attracted to them and grow.”

Angelos is not pressured by results, as is the case with coaches of Conte’s level, so nothing prevents him from thinking and thinking strategically. The Australian is trying to establish the connection between the first team and the Academy, which has been lost in recent years: according to club employees, under Conte’s direction, talented footballers trained only on the basis of numbers.

Postecoglou teams play especially well at home

Photo: Mark Leech/Getty Images

Spurs are just at the beginning of a new journey with a new manager and unusual management approaches. And fans don’t care that Postecoglou isn’t as famous as his predecessors. If only because after the victory over Sheffield United, the Londoners scored 13 points after five rounds for the first time in the history of the Premier League. And the unbeaten streak at home of the Los Angeles teams now totals exactly 50 games!

It seems that for the first time in a long time, Tottenham manager Daniel Levy made two very wise decisions in one summer: he sold a striker who had lost motivation and invited a coach hungry for victories with an unusual but very effective. processes.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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