‘Can’t stand him’: Top UK journo causes stir with bizarre takedown of ‘salesman’ Ange Postecoglou

‘Can’t stand him’: Top UK journo causes stir with bizarre takedown of ‘salesman’ Ange Postecoglou

An English journalist’s public attack on Ange Postecoglou is causing a stir.

The Australian coach was on Monday morning (AEDT) widely praised for his tactical moves during Tottenham’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester City.

The Spurs boss also won a public pat on the back from City manager Pep Guardiola and had Sky Sports pundits speaking about him with admiration despite the London club coming off a run of three-consecutive defeats.

The blokey Aussie was made a romantic figure in some sections after Spurs exploded out of the blocks at the start of the season.

But there is one English reporter that is doing his best to be a Christmas grinch with several public swipes at the former Socceroos coach.

The Guardian’s Jonathan Liew recently launched into a bizarre rant against the former Brisbane Roar boss where he accused the 58-year-old of telling “bulls***”.

“I’m just not having Ange,” Liew said last month on The Guardian’s Football Weekly podcast.

“I’m not having Ange Postecoglou. As a coach, I can’t stand him.”

When put to him by host Max Rushden that Postecoglou is a “lovely man”, Liew responded: “He comes across as a lovely man. All of the people saying he’s great, saying he’s a great bloke — nobody knows him.

“All you know about him are the little 45 second clips that come from his press conferences or that turn up on your Twitter feed every week.”

Ange Postecoglou shakes his head as he faces the press.Source: Supplied

Liew then took pot shots at Postecoglou, mocking his Aussie drawl and use of the word “mate”.

“Honestly, it’s just such bulls***,” Liew said.

The veteran football columnist described Postecoglou as an “unbelievable salesman” that doesn’t align with the performances and results of his team.

“He is an unbelievable talker,” he said.

“On the pitch, thing have been going well, but they have a good squad. There was a thirst there for these players to go out and play a high line. I’m not saying he hasn’t coached them well. I’m just saying he hasn’t coached them brilliantly. He’s just said some things. Made them feel good about themselves and his good players have been infused with good vibes.

“What we’re seeing now and what we’re going to see over the medium and long term is that Spurs are going to regress. They are nowhere near title contenders. They don’t have a coach or a squad that’s going to get them anywhere near the title race.

“They’ll probably drop to about sixth or seventh because there are better funded and better coached teams out there.”

He said Postecoglou’s charm as a doe-eyed outsider to the English football hegemony “doesn’t ring true”. Postecoglou has had several headline-grabbing, cheeky exchanges with reporters since arriving at Spurs.

The best manager on the planet – and Pep Guardiola. Photo by Darren Staples / AFP.Source: AFP

“This is the thing. He’s able to sell authenticity,” Liew said.

“I don’t doubt there is a kernel of something genuinely heartwarming and whatever in his story. But the way he’s commodified it and it may be a completely unthinking process. But the way he’s been able to commodify it — it’s sold as authenticity in this big bad league.

“That’s the pulse of it. It doesn’t ring true for me because I don’t think it’s remotely sustainable. It’s a product of Spurs fans feeling despondent and needing something new and the Premier League just needing content.”

One clip of the savage comments has started to spread across Australian football circles this week — and Liew is not winning any fans with his character assassination of the well-loved Aussie.

One Twitter user wrote: “Imagine this was a person of any other nationality, the way he mocks his accent is disgusting! Very odd to be so bothered by someone talking about their own life experiences”.

Another Twitter user wrote: “He’s not a good coach because he doesn’t play games with the media and tells it how it is? And what does his upbringing and nationality have to do with anything? This logic means you’d hate most Aussies then. Just sad and pathetic”.

Twitter user Dean Rosario wrote: “Just heard Jonathan Liew’s disparaging comments about Ange’s coaching & even lampooning Ange’s personal life stories. Reminded me of a drunk fan in a pub, who thinks he’s amusing”.

It is far from the first time football commentators have taken swipes at Postecoglou in recent weeks after a run of three-straight losses.

He was called stubborn for his refusal to change his attacking philosophy when the team was struggling to deal with a series of injuries.

Jermaine Jenas, former Tottenham midfielder, said after the third loss to Aston Villa that there has been a “naivety to some of Postecoglou’s decisions”.

“At the moment there is a feeling they are able to lose games but still feel good about it — but that won’t last forever,” he wrote for Yahoo Sport.

Postecoglou was also labelled “arrogant” after his team’s 4-1 loss to Chelsea.

Big Ange. Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

Spurs were down to nine men after two red-cards were flashed — but Postecoglou refused to retreat from his high defensive line.

Former Chelsea defender Jason Cundy said on talkSPORT: “He gave the opportunity for Chelsea to get in behind. It felt almost inevitable that we were going to get in behind, it was just a matter of time. I have to say there was a bit of an arrogance about not changing it.”

Liew this week took another shot at Ange when delving into the Australian’s relationship with Guardiola ahead of Tottenham’s match against City.

The scribe again questioned whether Postecoglou’s public persona is a true reflection of the coach he is underneath the surface when writing for The Guardian.

“For all the attention devoted to his homespun manner and natural charm, less is said about perhaps the key driving force behind Postecoglou: his ruthless personal ambition, the desire to keep progressing and keep challenging himself,” Liew wrote.

“Postecoglou builds his teams with the fierceness of a family, but he is not afraid of abruptly breaking them up. He has not spent more than three years at any club since the 1990s. He walked out on the Australia national team just before the 2018 World Cup because he felt the aims of the national federation did not align with his own.”

He went on to write: “It is both genuine and an act, in the sense that a large part of coaching itself is essentially an act, the process of selling a vision to players and supporters.

“It is no coincidence that Postecoglou has made himself extremely visible in the media since arriving in England, always giving interviews, always explaining, always proselytising.”

That’s a bloody outrage it is!

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