Tottenham’s Australian manager won’t compromise his values against Arsenal in a contest that promises to be a cracker

With each passing day the contrast between Ange Postecoglou and his predecessor as Tottenham manager, Antonio Conte, becomes more striking. It’s there with the differences in style of football and certainly with the differences in message. Take, for instance, Postecoglou’s response to being asked about the challenge his players face against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. “This is the type of experience I want the guys to have and for us to have as a group to help us grow,” he said. “You don’t grow by being in the shade; you need to stick your head up and see the sun.”

It’s impossible to imagine Conte saying similar, largely because all he appeared to see during his time in charge was darkness. It was a suffocatingly negative state of affairs and that Postecoglou has cleared so much of the Italian’s toxic gloom in such a short space of time is testament to his abilities not only as a coach but as a person. Spurs, quite clearly, are a happier club, on and off the pitch, but now comes the ultimate test of the Australian’s upswing – a north London derby. That both teams go into the game in great form and mood, not to mention on the same number of points (13 from five games), adds to the sense of anticipation. It should be a cracker.

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