Postecoglou’s Bravery Makes Football Better, Says Guardiola

Postecoglou's stunning start to his reign took Spurs to the top of the table, but Tottenham have since suffered three consecutive defeats to slip to fifth.


Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola hailed Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou’s attacking approach as a blessing for the Premier League ahead of the first meeting between the pair in England on Sunday.

Postecoglou’s stunning start to his reign took Spurs to the top of the table, but Tottenham have since suffered three consecutive defeats to slip to fifth.

The Australian has drawn criticism for his refusal to adopt a more conservative style, even while Spurs are without several key players through injury and suspension.

James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Rodrigo Bentancur and Richarlison will all be sidelined for the trip to the Etihad, while Sergio Romero completes a three-game ban.

But Guardiola said Postecoglou’s history of success in his homeland, at Yokohama Marinos in Japan and at Celtic, where he won five trophies in two seasons, proves he should stick to his beliefs.

“Every team plays to the desire of the manager,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“He’s done in the past in Japan and of course in Glasgow with Celtic and now. I think he makes football a better place, people like Ange.”

Spurs have taken an early lead in all three of their recent defeats to Chelsea, Wolves and Aston Villa.

And Guardiola believes only fine details have changed from a 10-game unbeaten run that gave Postecoglou the best start of any new manager to the Premier League.

“The courage,” added Guardiola on what he admires of Postecoglou’s style.

“So dynamic. It happened at Glasgow and now here. I know they lost the last games but did you see who they play?

“I see a lot of similarities when they were winning. Football is like that sometimes, two red (cards) against Chelsea, bad moments, but the dynamic is always positive.”

City head into the weekend one point behind leaders Arsenal after their 23-match winning streak at home was ended in a 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend.

Guardiola bemoaned the sleepy atmosphere at the Etihad for a lunchtime kick-off and has called upon the City fans to lift his side on Sunday.

“The stadium is all the time full and we have to play as best as possible and create as much as possible to energise and make our people with us,” added Guardiola.

“The games last season, semi-finals, quarter-finals, important games like against Arsenal when we played for the Premier League, they were there like animals and we need that.

“In my humble opinion, to be successful we need our fans, all the time, being here. Thank you for coming, because without that it is impossible. Together we are stronger.”

Jack Grealish, Mateo Kovacic and Matheus Nunes are expected to miss out for City due to illness and injury.

John Stones is nearing his comeback but is not yet fit to feature, while Guardiola is hoping Kevin De Bruyne will return early in the new year from a lengthy hamstring