Yves Bissouma has revealed his career has turned around at Tottenham after he received a dressing down from Ange Postecoglou for being late for the manager’s second training session.
Bissouma had struggled under Antonio Conte last season after his £30million move from Brighton and his start under Postecoglou could not have gone any worse after he suffered a puncture on his way to Spurs’ Bulls Cross training HQ.
Postecoglou warned Bissouma about respecting the club and needing to get the small details right to become the player the manager believes he can be, with the result being his excellent start of the campaign where he has topped the charts for interceptions and tackles among midfielders in the division.
“That day I had a little problem with my car,” Bissouma said. “I arrived late, he caught me and he said if you want to be a leader you need to be on time. I said I’m sorry, I told him why. We fixed it and from that day on I’ve always been on time.
“I had a flat tyre and there was a lot of traffic as well. But it’s not an excuse, every player knows the time so you have to be on time. Things can happen but the way he said it was, ‘if you want to be a leader or a big, big player you need to be on time and to try to respect all the details of the club’.
“It’s about respect, that’s really important. We fixed it. I told him and the rest of the players I was sorry. And now I’m always the first at training.”
‘He had confidence in me from the first day’
While Bissouma struggled tactically under Conte, he is perfect for Postecoglou’s system and is among the in-form defensive midfielders in the Premier League, setting the tempo for Spurs in front of the back four.
“The gaffer said a lot of positive things about me - what he did is between me and him,” Bissouma said. “He had the confidence in me and showed this from the first day. He said: ‘just be you and play the football we want to see and the football everyone wants to see - because you have a lot you can do. I give you all my confidence and the rest is up to you’.
“He’s very good as a manager but a really, really good person as well. Not just with me but with all of his the players. He tries to make them understand what you wants them to do. He is very close and talks to his players. That’s very important. When the gaffer comes and talks with all of his players it gives them confidence.
“At training, meetings and one on ones, he’s very calm. He is here to help us. He is come and done that really good. We are happy to have him.”
On his debut season for Spurs, Bissouma admitted he was on the back foot after illness in pre-season which meant he never got going.
“I think every season has its reality and last season wasn’t my season,” he added. “You can see from the start I had Covid in Korea. I came back and got injured. A lot of things happened. To be honest I tried but I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t feeling confident. This season is completely different. I’m more confident. The coach has told me what he wants me to do. He talks with me. I have to do what I have to do to show him he can have even more confidence in me.”