Tottenham manager Ange Postecolgou – A leopard never changes its spots

Ten days ago The Sydney Morning Herald published this prophetic piece written by their journalist Vince Rigari as he recalled the scenario back in 2012 when Ange Postecoglou had just won his second consecutive title as manager of Brisbane Roar, talked the talk about making it three amid wild celebrations through the city only to immediately break the news to the club that he was leaving.

Two days after that Postecoglou was unveiled as the new manager at Melbourne Victory as he took another step towards his ultimate goal which appears to be to manager at the highest level in the Premier League.

That is quite an ambition and no-one should criticise Ange for holding firm in his belief in himself and his determination to reach his ultimate destination. And it has been a long road, 25 years to get to the top and he’s inevitably had to stand on a few toes along the way, disappoint supporters in Australia Japan and now Scotland, to fulfil his life-long ambition.

Football is a cut-throat business but Ange Postecoglou backs himself every single time. And he also knows that he is at his best going into a club in some degree of chaos because that’s where his USP comes to the fore and he can shine, as he explains in the video above.

After a few years that early challenge is gone and it’s all about looking for the buzz of doing it all over again in another city, or country, or continent, each time at a higher level than before. It’s worked every single time up until now so why not at Tottenham? He will believe that he can do it and if he is given the time needed he probably will.

By that time it will be the Tottenham fans singing the Celtic songs about Ange Postecoglou and then roughly two years from now, it will be them crying into their beer because the manager who has brought then success, playing a brand of football that they love, up sticks and heads off to the next level up and the next challenge at Real Madrid, Barcelona or a club at that level.

Two days after winning the 2012 A-League grand final with Brisbane Roar, Ange Postecoglou and his players were feted with a ticker-tape parade through the city. Thousands of fans lined the streets to celebrate their second title in a row – but they all had knots in their stomachs because rumours were rife that he was about to leave the club.

Postecoglou sat in a sports car with skipper Matt Smith and the team’s precious silverware on a melancholy drive down the Queen Street Mall and then to a public reception at King George Square.

“Why not? Let’s make it three,” Postecoglou told the crowd. Then they returned to the club’s headquarters at Ballymore and he broke the news they were all dreading: he was leaving.

Some players had already guessed as much by his body language on the day. Only two of his assistants, Rado Vidosic and Ken Stead, knew it was coming for sure because he’d given them the heads up.

Two days later, he was unveiled as Melbourne Victory coach, and by the end of the week he’d spilled his guts in a newspaper column about how he’d wrestled with his emotions in the build-up to the grand final, and how hard it was to keep his cards close to his chest.

“I knew the news would make an impact, but I did not want it to take away from the celebration of the win, and it is why I left it until after the parade,” Postecoglou wrote in the Sunday Mail.

“It was tough to say goodbye to the players and staff, so I kept my message to them as short as possible. No words could explain my feelings. Obviously, I understand that some were disappointed in my decision but, ultimately, I felt it was the right time for me to move on.”

Sometimes, try as you might, there is no easy way to say goodbye.