Player recounts his experience with Ange Postecoglou
A former Socceroo has lifted the lid on ‘the worst 16 hours of my life’ after having to sit next to Ange Postecoglou on a long-haul flight.
Ryan McGowan, 33, found himself sat next to the newly-appointed Tottenham boss on a trip from Sydney to Dubai when Postecoglou was manager of the Australian national team.
It ended up being an awkward journey for the St Johnstone defender when he discovered he had been pranked by teammates who had arranged for him to sit next to the 57-year-old.
‘I’d been up to a bit of mischief with some of the senior boys beforehand, which I now seriously regret,’ he said on the Sacked in the Morning podcast in December via Football London.
‘I was at Hearts on my £100 a week and I used to put all my coffees on the senior boys’ rooms because they could obviously afford it, but I didn’t know they could pick the seats when we were flying from Sydney to Dubai.
‘I got my ticket and it was 1A, business class up the front. I get on the flight, all set up and the next thing Ange comes and he’s sitting right next to me.
‘I am sitting there just sweating. I was so nervous. He didn’t speak to me once. Not even like, ‘how are you?” said McGowan. ‘He did a podcast a few months ago and he said, ‘I used to love doing it. It used to freak all the boys out’.’
To make matters worse, Postecoglou was sat between McGowan and the aisle, and he decided not to go to the toilet out of fear of waking the sleeping coach.
‘I held it in the whole way. No way was I waking him up,’ he admitted. ‘Some of the boys were ordering wine. I was like ‘just water, thank you’. When we got there, he just up and left.’
Reflecting on his experience working with the highly-decorated coach, McGowan was full of praise.
‘He’s the best coach I’ve worked with,’ he said. ‘He is so distant and so scary, you are petrified of him – I still am. He’d have certain rules that were just non-negotiable.
‘As an average player, I liked that. He just told you what to do and you tried to do it as best you could. He was very good at that.
‘There are certain managers who are like, ‘go and express yourself’. I can’t express myself at all. Just tell me what to do and I’ll try to do it!’