Ange Postecoglou is a great man manager.
He proved it again the other day when he dished out the deserved praise to our big Greek striker Gorgios Giakoumakis.
On the surface of it, praising players is just what managers do, but Ange was able to do it because he has backed his players right from the start. He has treated this issue superbly.
Ange knows that some players need time to settle.
When he talks about dealing with each footballer as an individual this is what he’s talking about; the way some need a friendly arm around the shoulder and the way others need to feel a little added pressure to get the best out of them. He has great respect for the individual struggles … and knows how to help players overcome them.
With Giakoumakis the boss just kept on talking about his quality. He just kept on talking about that outstanding record in Holland. He kept on encouraging, even when others were saying that he should be kicking the big guy’s backside.
It would have been easy to drop the player, especially when Abada showed that he could play as a striker and Maeda has already proved that he has plenty of goals in him and loads to offer.
Nobody would even have blinked if these guys had been picked in front of him … but Ange never did that, and I don’t think he ever seriously entertained the idea.
He knows that some players need to be given confidence, and that’s a truism about strikers in particular for as long as I can remember. And you only need to listen to the big guy talking about he thinks we’re the best team in the country to know that he’s got that in spades right now. That can only lead to better things and to more goals.
The manager has defended this guy and backed him to the hilt. He has done the same with other players who at first struggled to find their feet, like Starfelt. The results are obvious.
The best defence in the league on one hand and a striker hitting his stride at exactly the right time on the other.
That is a triumph for the way Ange works.
Giakoumakis has proved himself a fabulous asset to this team … we haven’t seen nearly the best he has to offer yet either.
What a great place this squad is in right now.
The rest of the league must be terrified of what we’ll be able to do when everyone is fit and we’re all fully up to speed.
It is really going to be something to see, folks.