Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has acknowledged Liverpool’s trophy-laden era during the 1970s and 1980s planted the seeds for him to become a manager.
Former Socceroos boss Postecoglou has made no secret of his childhood love for Liverpool and recalled on several occasions how he used to watch matches in the early hours of the morning in Australia with his dad Jim.
Liverpool and Scotland legend Kenny Dalglish was an early hero for the 58-year-old, who said watching the teams of Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley win European Cups helped shape his pathway to a coaching career.
“I was just consumed by football,” Postecoglou said ahead of Saturday’s clash with Liverpool in the English Premier League.
“It wasn’t just playing the game – my infatuation was with all the game, I wanted to read about it all. I was fascinated by the culture at a club like Liverpool.
“I had a real fascination with managers and people of influence within the game because I loved the game.
“We all as kids have something we love and takes us away from the world we were in and that was my world.
“Certainly Liverpool at the time there was always a unique story there about this mythical ‘boot room’ where all the magic happened. For me it was almost like reading fairytales.
“That has an influence … that’s where all the seeds are planted, my love for the game.”
Dalglish would have been the Liverpool player on Postecoglou’s wall as a child, but he was quick to point out that is no longer the case.
“I was mad about Kenny Dalglish,” the Australian coach said.
“Everything was about Dalglish for me, whether that was Celtic or Liverpool. I was a mad Kenny fan.
“It was just about that time when I was what 12, 13 and you know we look for heroes in our lives. He was it for me, scoring in European Cup finals and the way he played.
“Like any kid, I had the posters up on my wall, so Liverpool was my team, but you grow up, things change.
“I used to love (TV show) Happy Days back then too, but I don’t have pictures of the Fonz on my wall today.”
Postecoglou has plenty of respect for this current Liverpool team and their manager Jurgen Klopp, who will pose a huge test to the Australian’s lengthy unbeaten home record in league matches.
You have to go back to 2020, when Postecoglou was in charge of Yokohama, for the last time he lost a home league fixture – when Kashima won in the J1 League.
A dramatic stoppage-time turnaround against Sheffield United a fortnight ago made it 50 home league matches without defeat for the former Celtic boss, but he knows Liverpool will test that run.
“I put a lot of stock in home form because that’s the time where you can give your supporters that feeling you want to give them,” Postecoglou said.
Source: PA via AAP