I should hate Spurs manager Ange Postecoglou but I don’t. It’s weird and I don’t like it…

Jason Soutar
Ange Postecoglou celebrates winning a match.
Ange Postecoglou celebrates winning a match a long time ago

As a Rangers and Arsenal supporter, I should really, really dislike Ange Postecoglou. But I don’t. It’s a bizarre feeling. I hate that more than the man himself.

Before I get into it, there needs to be an explanation for supporting two football teams as it is frowned upon by many.

Growing up in Scotland, I supported the same team as my father from a very young age: Rangers. But as with the majority of football fans from north of the border, I had a Premier League team. Watching Arsenal and in particular Thierry Henry, made me fully fall in love with the sport and thanks to the best player in Premier League history, Robert Pires, and Arsene Wenger, I signed up for two decades of pain.

Supporting two clubs is weird if they are from the same country (there is leeway for those who support their local team in the third tier or lower), but fans of a Premier League or Championship team have to realise – if they don’t know already – that most people have an English team. Whether you are Scottish, Tunisian, or Indonesian, you support an English team. That’s just how it is.

Arsenal have definitely taken over Rangers for me but I still watch the latter very often and whenever an Old Firm comes around I become obsessed and probably a little bit too passionate at times. Despite that, I don’t think it is fair to call myself a big Rangers fan. But the love is still there, which means the hatred of Celtic remains.

Anyone to play for them, anyone to manage them, I cannot stand. The mere mention of Scott Brown or Neil Lennon winds me up.

Postecoglou is a likeable character but he still managed Celtic. He cannot be forgiven. And he had the nerve to go one further in the summer, joining Arsenal’s arch-rivals.

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Why is there no dartboard with his face on it in my flat? Why does Spurs playing well not bother me as much as it should? Even during the sufferball under Antonio Conte, I was more anxious and wary with the Italian at the helm. Surely it is not that there is no fear with Big Ange at the wheel? He is a fantastic manager and has already caused me some pain in a north London derby.

As a football writer, you have to try and be a little unbiased and open-minded. Having watched Spurs thrive in his style of play and listened to what Postecoglou has to say without my red-tinted glasses on, I have *shudders* respect for the man.

He just gets it, doesn’t he? Big Ange sees no need to tell the Spurs fanbase to rein in their expectations. He wants them to ride the wave, believe, and enjoy the football being played.

Postecoglou just comes across as a normal geezer who says all the right things. It makes him hard to dislike. In fact, it’s only the noise around him that annoys me. Seeing someone say: ‘Admit it! You can’t hate this guy!’ makes me loathe them with every fibre of my being. Ha ha, he said ‘mate’. Piss off, mate.

So the brown-nosing currently taking place for a club unbeaten in the Premier League having been handed a fairly easy opening 10 games is annoying. But that’s the Big Ange hype train, not the man himself.

Maybe my hatred is for the media. For journalists. Which ultimately means I hate myself. This has been a real eye-opener.

As Will Ford said in his article about his hatred of Mikel Arteta – which inspired me here – I had hoped to uncover the truth of my admiration of the man. As a matter of fact, I probably have more questions. Have I gone soft? Am I trying to be professional? Do I simply appreciate people who deserve to be appreciated? I feel dizzy amongst all the confusion.

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