Pep Guardiola admits he was blown away the first time he saw Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou’s team play.
Pep Guardiola has expressed his admiration for Ange Postecoglou’s coaching abilities, citing his admiration for the Australian’s work since their first encounter in a pre-season friendly in 2019.
Guardiola revealed that he was impressed by how well Postecoglou’s Yokohama F. Marinos side played during that match, despite Manchester City securing a 3-1 victory. The Japanese team displayed a strong possession game against City.
As Manchester City prepares to face Postecoglou’s current team, Tottenham Hotspur, Guardiola acknowledges the aggressive approach of Spurs, despite their recent poor form. The two managers will meet on Sunday at Etihad Stadium, and Guardiola’s respect for Postecoglou’s coaching style adds an interesting dynamic to the upcoming match.
“I saw clips of his team play and I said ‘wow’, there were things in there I really liked. I told my players we are going to face a good team,” said Guardiola. “We won because we had better players, but I realised this was the first time I met him [but I would see him again]. And since then I have followed him and in a short time he is here.”
The Catalan also talked about Postecoglou improving Spurs in a short period: “He is already there, in a short time. Even in the games they didn’t win lately. I am impressed at many things they do – the chances they create, and aggression in all departments. He came here with nothing and within a few months already you can recognise Spurs as his team.
Every team that plays with desire and determination comes from the manager. He has done this in the past in Japan and in Glasgow with Celtic. He makes football a better place – a person like Ange. I enjoy watching them play and the approach they have. The impact he has made has been quick and really good.”
When asked what he liked about Postecoglou’s teams, he added, “The courage, the high line – so aggressive. Lots of combinations, they use the keeper. They arrive on the [wings], so dynamic, doesn’t matter who they play against, they play their game. It happened in Glasgow and now here. They lost the last [three] games, but the players know why. Lots of similarities when they were winning. Two red cards versus Chelsea, bad moments, but they are always positive.”
Three points ahead of Tottenham, Guardiola’s team is positioned second on the standings. Nevertheless, they are now competing for the crown with league leaders Arsenal, Liverpool, and Aston Villa. In an attempt to stay competitive with the Gunners, who are currently atop the standings, the matchup between the two teams may prove to be vital.
When Tottenham travels to the Etihad, a number of important players will be absent. In a recent loss to Chelsea, Rodrigo Bentancur became the team’s most recent casualty after being the target of a forceful tackle by Matty Cash against Aston Villa. Micky van de Ven and James Maddison also sustained injuries. The absences increase the city’s chances of winning.