Tottenham fans have serenaded Ange Postecoglou to the tune of Robbie Williams’s Angels but perhaps Let Me Entertain You would be more appropriate after his side swept aside Burnley to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
They could have managed more than their five goals at Turf Moor. Son Heung-min scored a hat-trick, while James Maddison pulled the strings and was rewarded with a goal. Postecoglou also has a freescoring centre-back in Cristian Romero, who failed to find the net last season but has two goals already this season.
“It was a testament to the goalscorers who have thrust into the leadership positions and have embraced that with not just words but actions on a daily basis,” said Postecoglou, Tottenham’s amiable Australian coach in his rookie Premier League season. “They have bought into it and Madders is one of them. He was so creative and showed how clinical he is. How he is prepared to work for the team is a great example.”
A fascinating Postecoglou interview from 2020 resurfaced this week on Training Ground Guru where he talked about the bond with his late father, growing up watching the entertainers of the 1970s and their shared interest only in exciting football. It will be music to the ears of Spurs fans.
“I’m loving Big Ange instead,” are the words swapped in the fans’ version of Angels , and they were sent back down the M6 at last happy after visiting this ground. It was where Antonio Conte imploded last year and Jose Mourinho rounded on his own players before that.
There was no such drama here despite falling behind to Lyle Foster’s early opener. Spurs were ruthless in punishing Burnley for their mistakes thereafter. Son’s hat-trick came in the striker role Harry Kane vacated on the eve of the season. And Maddison is now the player attacks go through. He thrives on getting fouled and being heckled by his opponents’ fans.
“He is a pretty strong, resilient guy. It’s not that he likes to get targeted but he wants the ball and has that quality,” Postecoglou said.
Burnley could not have got off to a better start, ahead within four minutes following a move that swept through the visitors’ back line with incisive passing and powerful running. Luca Koleosho, an Italy Under-19 forward, showed Premier League pedigree to get around Pedro Porro before his cut-back invited Foster to finish neatly into the far corner of the net.
Spurs’ riposte came in the form of a long ball down the middle, although the finish was intricate. Porro provided the route-one path to goal with a punt downfield that Burnley failed to deal with. Seconds later, Son had exchanged passes with Manor Solomon before the Spurs captain dinked the ball over James Trafford. They were ahead in the added minutes of the first half after Burnley had four attempts, but failed, to clear Maddison’s corner. The ball fell to Romero on the edge of the area, with his finish finding the top corner off a post.
Maddison’s goal came after Burnley lost the ball in their own territory, with Destiny Udogie shifting the ball to Maddison, who was afforded plenty of time on the edge of the penalty area to take aim and finish well.
Son’s second goal came after Solomon waltzed through Burnley’s defence and squared to his captain. Porro played Son behind Burnley’s defence for his treble. Josh Brownhill pulled one back for the home side in the last seconds.
Son’s ability to play in Kane’s position was part of the thinking in not targeting a No 9 in the window. “It’s one of the reasons,” Postecoglou said. “I have a picture in my head of what I want the team to look like and we are still building. It’s putting pieces together and not neglecting what is in front of you. Sonny, central or wide, has all the characteristics to play in any system.”