The vibes are back and in full force after Tottenham Hotspur’s thrilling draw at Manchester City on Sunday. Dejan Kulusevski headed home a 90th minute equalizer to level the score at 3-3, and Spurs hung on for a massive point at the Etihad Stadium.
Ange Postecoglou gave a fiery halftime talk to his Tottenham squad that helped inspire them to a vastly improved second half performance; Big Ange reportedly said he’d take responsibility for anything that happened during the match and implored his team to “just play football.”
The team clearly responded. Kulusevski gave quotes to the Evening Standard after the match about Postecoglou’s team managment this season and how his style and personality is resonating with the team.
“I love exactly his mentality because that’s how I want to live my life. We have to grow, but the best thing in life is not be afraid of anything and just go. Doesn’t matter who you’re playing against or what you’re doing in life, just go. And if it messes up, it messes up. You did it with your heart. You’re not afraid.
“You’re trying to win the game, not trying to lose the game. I love the [manager’s] game plan. It’s hard, because City are one of the best teams in the world and everything was not perfect, but second half, with 10 players out, playing like this is unbelievable for him and also for the team.
“So I really, really like him [Postecoglou] a lot. His tactics, his mentality, that’s the guy you want to work with! ‘No fear, just go!’ I’m happy to work with him every day.”
“We proved we can play against anybody, without a lot of good players. We just have to grow a little bit mentally and we’re going to be at the top. That’s the only thing missing. The football is there. The coach is there. We have everything at Tottenham.”
A lot has been written about Tottenham’s current injury and suspension crisis, which has meant Spurs have played the past three matches without 10 first team players. But while Spurs only have one point from their last four matches, the draw against City and an inspired (albeit losing) performance against Aston Villa have shown Spurs’ mettle in very difficult circumstances, something that Deki says is down to Postecoglou’s coaching philosophy and belief in his players.
“The coach was very angry at half-time. He said to us we have to start playing, that it’s not good enough and we were afraid. We always say, ‘Don’t be afraid’, but we didn’t play well enough. We came out for the second half and thought, ‘What happens, happens. Just play!’
“The second half was unbelievable. What a team. I’m so proud of the team in the second half. How we played out from the back, we controlled the ball, we didn’t let them have the ball.
“Now it’s the real me. I don’t look back, I just enjoy the moment and I want to play like this every game. [Scoring the equalizer] was a shock, because I didn’t see the ball go in. I was on the floor and I was checking around me, saw the referee and he was so stressed. I just screamed with my team-mates and I enjoyed the moment.
“The [injured] players are going to come back and we’re going to play City again. And we’ve got to start winning now. We’re proud of yesterday, but we have two home games now and have to get six points.”
The good news is that Deki won’t have long to wait to find out if the vibes will persist beyond this match — Spurs host West Ham this coming Thursday and Newcastle comes to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.