Jürgen Klopp view on Ange Postecoglou clear after ‘no interest’ Liverpool declaration

Jürgen Klopp has already spoke glowingly about Ange Postecoglou
Jürgen Klopp has already spoke glowingly about Ange Postecoglou -Credit:Getty Images

Had things panned out differently in Liverpool’s search for a new manager, we might have been looking at tomorrow’s game against Tottenham as a potential audition.

Ange Postecoglou was among some of the early names touted to take over from Jürgen Klopp when the German announced his decision to leave back in January. Although he was never considered a favorite, the Australian had enough going for him to make him a contender in many people’s eyes.

Having dominated with Celtic in Scotland, he has managed to get Tottenham back challenging for a top-four finish this season after a disappointing few campaigns. What’s more, he grew up as a Liverpool fan, so there was an immediate connection with the club.

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Postecoglou though quickly poured cold water on the suggestion that he could succeed Klopp. Speaking back in February, the Spurs boss said (via the Evening Standard): “I may be on a shortlist, [but] I don’t think I want to say anything about that because I don’t think that’s ever going to enter my brain space for what are my priorities in life and profession right now.

“Well, I am [just getting started]. I don’t just feel [like it] — I am. I’ve only been here seven months, so that’s self-explanatory.

“I’ve been at pains to say we’ve still got a long way to go in terms of the football we want to play, team we want to be, squad we want to have. We’ve had two positive windows. I think we’ve had two positive campaigns, a decent campaign so far, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

Postecoglou added: “If [the links to Liverpool] is just people throwing up names, then who cares? Like, seriously? But, at the end of the day, if I’m doing a good job then hopefully people will acknowledge that, in one form or another — whatever that form is. But so-called ‘chat’, that’s of no interest to me.”

Since then, Liverpool has conducted a thorough search for its next manager. With Arne Slot now seemingly the chosen candidate, tomorrow’s clash with Spurs is just another game, especially with the Reds’ Champions League qualification now wrapped up.

A move for Postecoglou never looked too likely, given he has only spent a short time in the Premier League so far. It’s a suggestion though that might have had the backing of Klopp, who has clearly been impressed by his counterpart’s work in north London.

Speaking about his own side’s achievements ahead of the clash with Everton last week, Klopp said: “As a club like Liverpool, before the season it’s clear, to get all the things going… we didn’t qualify for the Champions League last year, that’s financially a real problem for a football club [like Liverpool]. That’s how it is.

“Number one, we have to make sure – and that’s how you build a squad that we can fight for the Champions League again. In a league where you have six, seven teams: obviously now Arsenal, [Manchester] City, us, Aston Villa, it was clear they will be around, 100 per cent clear. Tottenham obviously made the next step, was clear.”

There was even more praise from Klopp for Postecoglou before the first meeting between the two sides this season: "Ange Postecoglou seems to be a top bloke," he said back in September. "Everyone knew already how good he is as a coach when you see Celtic playing. All at Tottenham were desperate for some attacking football. They are a well-set-up team and exciting to watch." says: It never really felt like Postecoglou would be a genuine candidate for the Liverpool job. Not because of the job he’s done at Tottenham, but purely because he hasn’t had enough time there to truly judge whether he could take over at Anfield.

As Klopp points out though, he has taken Spurs up a step, something that José Mourinho and Antonio Conte before him couldn’t do. That has to be a real feather in the cap for Postecoglou, and it will certainly be worth keeping an eye on his progress at Tottenham.