Ange Postecoglou on setting the right culture at Tottenham: ‘One wrong character many problems’ – Exclusive

  • November 11, 2023

Tottenham have enjoyed a successful start to the league campaign since winning the First Division in 1960/61, and Ange Postecoglou puts much of that down to instilling the right culture and environment at the club.

Postecoglou became the first manager to register 23 points in his first nine Premier League games as Spurs beat Fulham in October to take an early lead at the top.

The club’s flying start came in a shock fashion after selling star striker Harry Kane to Bayern Munich for £100m.

James Maddison, Dejan Kulusevski, Pedro Porro, Micky van de Ven and Guglielmo Vicario have all received permanent deals while Son Heung-min has taken Kane’s number 9 role at times.

Spurs have been beaten just once in the league so far this season, losing 4-1 at home to Chelsea in a packed game, but they have impressed since kick-off in August.

For Postecoglou – who made the summer switch from Celtic to Spurs – the club’s success is largely dependent on a strong recruitment process.

“It’s everything for me,” Postecoglou told TNT Sports about recruiting players with the right character.

“One wrong character in your dressing room has many problems. I will always leave the level of the player for the right character.

“When you work at this level – I know the money we pay these days is ridiculous – I don’t think there is much difference between the top level and the next level, it’s really small. But the character makes a big leap. I put a lot of stock in that.

“There are many agreements that I have attended where I did not feel that this person – not because I don’t like the person – but he does not want to come for the right reasons, he must come for the right reasons.

“I try to make it a conversation and you can see where the conversation goes. These are the ones where you can see from them, with everything they say, that nothing is more important than them, they want to be in the club.

“When I spoke to Vicario, Van de Ven or even Madders (Maddison) for that matter, it was like ‘I want to play for Tottenham. I want to play. I want to play for me.’ When you hear that in their voice, that’s a good start for me.”

Tottenham have a chance to return to the top of the Premier League when they face Wolves on Saturday at lunchtime, live on TNT Sports.

Explaining further how he puts culture at the club, Postecoglou said: “I have a simple definition for that. Culture is about people, isn’t it? It starts with me and my behavior, what I say, what I do, how I talk to people.

“Those kinds of things are really important I think, because what I say is not as important as how I behave. And then you try to get the right people, and I’ve had times where I’ve come in and experienced players haven’t bought into it and it’s kind of lengthened that process and I’ve had to get them out.

“So, it comes back to the people we forget. ‘He’s a good coach’, yes, but if he’s not the right person for my position, it won’t work. It doesn’t matter.”

One player Postecoglou has been able to rely on to lead by example is Son, who was made the new captain ahead of the current campaign.

Son not only replaced Kane as captain and replaced him, but also replaced Kane as the team’s top scorer with eight goals.

This puts him behind only Erling Haaland and level with Mohamed Salah in the league goalscoring charts, which is a product of his hard work up front according to Postecoglou.

“Part of it is his desire to really do it, he just has this real thirst to work hard,” he said of Son embarking on a new project at Spurs. “It’s part of who he is as a person.

“As for how you can get those players to run, the information goes to Sonny, Madders, Richy (Richarlison), Deccy (Kulusevski), whoever. You work hard here (in those places), who will benefit from that? It won’t be (Cristian) Romero and Van de Ven, the person who will benefit is you (Son). You will get goals if you work hard here.

“For us, it’s about working hard (forward) and Sonny put it on him because he has character in the team, he knows what’s good for the team and he’s the one with the highest quality of scoring goals.

“That’s good for me because when we do the feedback, I say ‘This is gold’, and everyone else sees that and thinks ‘I want that little bit too’.”

How to watch Wolves v Tottenham?

TNT Sports is available on all major TV platforms, offering a lineup of up to four TV channels (TNT Sports 1, TNT Sports 2, TNT Sports 3, TNT Sports 4), and up to six digital or red button channels ( The TNT Sports 5 to 10), and TNT Sports Ultimate and TNT Sports Box Office HD.

Wolves v Tottenham will be live on TNT Sports 1 and TNT Sports Ultimate and will be available at 11:00 UK time on Saturday, November 11.

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