19 of Ange Postecoglou’s best quotes: ‘I haven’t come from outer space’

Ange Postecoglou has already been taken to the heart of Tottenham supporters and his personality is a large reason for his initial success in the Premier League. 

Postecoglou has enjoyed an interesting managerial career that’s taken him from his native Australia to Greece, Japan and Scotland before arriving at Spurs in the summer of 2023.

And the 58-year-old has earned rave reviews wherever he has managed thanks to a mix of strong man-management, tactical foresight and success in delivering silverware.

We’ve rounded up 19 of Postecoglou’s best quotes, from smart press conference quips to words that shine a light into his soul.


“I want players to feel part of something special that they haven’t experienced before.”


“I love football not because it was a choice between sports,” Postecoglou wrote for the website AthletesVoice soon after his father Jim died five years ago.

“It was what brought me close to my hero. We sometimes lose sight of what sport is about. I have come to understand this. It’s not about winning or losing, it’s about the connections it makes. It connects people, cities and countries. It connects parents to their children.”


“When people ask me about my philosophy and who has inspired me, they are generally disappointed when I say that it was no one specific,” he wrote in the same AthleticsVoice piece.

“Not Barcelona or Liverpool or Pep Guardiola or Johan Cruyff. No one who coached me or who I played with.

“The answer lies in those three little words: ‘Κάτω η μπάλα’ — roughly translated, it means ‘Keep the ball down’. They were my father’s mantra.”

Ferenc Puskas

“Just his outlook on football,” Postecoglou told The Athletic about his memories of playing under Puskas at South Melbourne. “Anyone would say his teams just wanted to outscore the opposition; that’s all he wanted to do.

“He goes, ‘We will win 5-4 every week and I’ll enjoy it’.

“I was a defender, so we copped four goals and I was, like, ‘Shit’, but he was buzzing, because what a game. They scored great goals, we scored great goals.

“That’s just not right! But it was right because what it did was, for us as players, it released us of that fear of, ‘Oh, we’ve just conceded a goal, what a tragedy’. (It became) ‘Oh, we’ve conceded a goal. Let’s go up and score two. It doesn’t matter; it’s all right’.

“He provided that security blanket. We ended up being champions that year.”


“By keeping my distance from players and staff, it means my decisions are unemotional. It makes sure every decision I make is best for the team and what we want to achieve. But I do feel I wouldn’t have achieved what I have if they didn’t feel close to me. It’s just a different kind of closeness.

“Players will all say they’ve never had a conversation with me longer than a minute. I’m not a great social beast in life in general. I do keep a distance from the players. It takes them a while to get used to that.”

Small talk

“If you talk to all of the players that I’ve coached over the years, they’ll probably be consistent in saying they’ve never had a conversation of longer than a minute with me in the whole time,” he said in 2020.


“I like to tell stories, to say why we’re doing things,” the Tottenham manager admitted when asked about how he inspires his players. “I love the detail behind it.”

Team talk

“Be brave,” he said during one team talk as revealed by Australian TV station Channel 10’s footage. “I’ll back you 1,000 per cent.

“Just know either side of you you’ve got someone you can rely on. So if you f*ck up, they’ll make it up for you. And next time they fuck up, you’ll make it up to them.

“Be ruthless, be relentless.”

More than technical ability

During an interview with Sean Carroll, a Japan-based football journalist, Postecoglou said in 2019: “More than about technical ability, it’s about have they got the guts?

“Can they do it with no fear? Even if we make mistakes, will they keep doing it?”

Slapping down the doubters

When asked how he would cope working at a higher level upon taking the Celtic job in 2021, the new boss hit back.

“I’m assuming you’re saying I worked at a lower level, or something,” said Postecoglou, who won the 2015 AFC Asian Cup having coached Australia at the 2014 FIFA Men’s World Cup, while also guiding the Socceroos to Russia 2018.

“I guess that’s a matter of opinion. I’ve coached at a World Cup.”

Celtic training session

“We never stop,” the Australian said during one of his first training sessions at Celtic. “We stop at half-time and we stop at the end of the game when we celebrate.

“If the opposition wants to stop, that’s good for us.”

The sentiment was much ridiculed at the time, but Celtic would win the league and cup double during his first season in Scotland.


“I’m still on the same planet mate, I haven’t come from outer space,” Postecoglou said before his first Scottish League match. “You’d be surprised how much I know about Hearts.”

Money talks

Postecoglou delivered another classic response when asked about the financial boost of European football.

“I’m not an accountant mate. I’m a football manager,” he insisted before Celtic faced Real Madrid.

“When people start talking to me about finances they miss the essence of what I’m about.”


After Japanese trio Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda and Yosuke Ideguchi arrived at Celtic in January 2022, Postecoglou was asked if he could understand people in Scotland.

And he delivered a typically brilliant response: “Not really.

“I’m okay. I feel sorry for the Japanese boys. They worked really hard to learn English before they got here and found out it doesn’t help them at all.”

Derby win

“I said to the players that we had 60,000 in tonight and I’m sure a lot of them walked in with some problems in their life,” Postecoglou said after beating Rangers 3-0 in February 2022.

“For these 95 minutes, we made them forget that and feel good, and that’s something special.”

Awards quip

With the two trophies secured in his first season, Postecoglou was voted the PFA and SWFA Manager of the Year in 2021-22.

And he was quick to make fun of a certain chant after some fans were quick to tip him for the sack upon moving to Celtic in 2021-22.

“Going into it, there wasn’t a huge deal of expectation in terms of success,” he said. “Whether that was because of me and my own background or because of the ground we needed to make up.

“People just recognise the challenge we had and how we have embraced that challenge.

“I take great pride in it, but like I said on the night, I didn’t get the one I was favourite for – sacked by Christmas.”

Spirit of the game

“I thought it was fair game,” the Australian said after the controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow during the second Ashes test in June 2023.

“I get the whole ‘spirit of cricket’ stuff, but that doesn’t seem to be written down anywhere, and depends on people’s definition. Yeah, I was OK with it; I didn’t think it was that bad. I know it was obviously us taking a wicket, so that helped.

“I don’t think it was dirty. I didn’t see it as dirty. I like winning within the confines of the rules, I’m very respectful of that. You want to win the right way, for sure. I’ve seen other things that I think, ‘I wouldn’t have done that’.

“We’ve seen it in football at times, where you score a goal and you go, ‘Well, that was really a foul (in the build-up)’, and you don’t feel good about it. But ultimately, for those kinds of things, I’ve always thought, ‘We’ve got referees and officials, let them decide’.

“The old moral high ground, mate, it shifts a fair bit at times, depending on who’s at the summit.”

The outsider

“No, because I still think people will underestimate me,” he told The Athletic when asked whether the Spurs job will be different now he’s a known quantity.

“People have underestimated me my whole career, and I don’t want to change that – that’s good for me. And I still think people probably predict that I won’t be able to cope and that things won’t go well.

“I detect that just from the way people talk about you, or address you. I’m pretty intuitive about these things. And to be fair, I don’t try and change that. I’m quite comfortable in that space. That’s fine.

“I think the more people underestimate me, the better a chance I have of getting under their guard’ because I’m always well prepared, I don’t underestimate anybody.”

Plan B

“People have been telling me my whole career I’ve only got a Plan A, and they are right,” he said before one Champions League match at Celtic. “My Plan A is to win things.

“That’s all I’ve tried to do my whole career and as long as I’m winning things then I’m pretty good. If I stop winning, then maybe I’ll look to change the way my teams play.”

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