LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur, acknowledges the fans following the team's defeat during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 06, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Ange Postecoglou, the first Australian manager in Premier League history, has made a promising start to his tenure at Tottenham Hotspur. Despite losing Harry Kane to Bayern Munich, the Spurs are currently undefeated and sit atop the Premier League table after nine games.

In this analysis, we will explore Postecoglou’s philosophy and tactics and investigate what he has done right so far at Spurs. Postecoglou’s attacking style focuses on fluid rigidity to achieve various pitch superiorities (numerical, qualitative, dynamic, and positional).

Rather than just possession, Spurs are attempting to accelerate play at the right moment to strike. Starting from the back, Postecoglou tries to build with the least amount of players as possible.

His philosophy encourages players to exploit space without hesitation, maintaining structure while allowing for spontaneity ¹. Postecoglou occupies a middle ground between positional and functional approaches to football. The players are committed to the structure in principle, each having an initial position. However, they remain dynamic, shifting seamlessly in response to present circumstances.

Players fluidly transition between zones, maintaining a firm adherence to the general framework with great fluidity, all of which happens with a very intuitive understanding. Postecoglou’s tactical approach is based on a hybrid approach termed Automatism, which marries strong coaching principles with player fluidity.

Players are trained individually and collectively on problem-solving within the framework, so their tactical awareness and chemistry grow over time to treat every situation under the coach’s principles. Under Postecoglou, Spurs have been playing free-flowing football, with an attacking, fearless team. The players have been encouraged to press hard and pass smartly, which has resulted in a powerful loop of tactical beliefs inspiring self-confidence and courage.

In conclusion, Postecoglou’s attacking philosophy and tactical approach have been instrumental in Spurs’ early-season success. His hybrid approach to football has allowed the players to be committed to the structure in principle while remaining dynamic and fluid. The players’ tactical awareness and chemistry have grown over time, resulting in free-flowing football and a fearless team. It will be interesting to see how Postecoglou’s philosophy and tactics evolve over the course of the season.

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