Tottenham Hotspur prepare to appoint Ange Postecoglou manager: What to know about Spurs’ potential new boss

Tottenham Hotspur prepare to appoint Ange Postecoglou manager: What to know about Spurs’ potential new boss

It has been a long time coming but Tottenham’s managerial search may be coming to a close as the team is close to appointing Ange Postecoglou as their new manager. The Australian manager is fresh off of leading Celtic to a domestic treble as his pragmatic style has taken the Scottish Premier League by storm. But with Spurs trying to reclaim a magic that hasn’t been present since the team moved on from Mauricio Pochettino, three and a half seasons and five managers ago, is Postecoglou someone who can do that and provide stability to a club that needs it desperately?

With no European soccer on the horizon for Tottenham, next season will give the club a chance for a painful but much needed reset. It may need to be done without Harry Kane, who could be sold at the right price if a bid from a club like Real Madrid or Manchester United comes along, but that would also give whoever the manager will be funds to achieve their goals. The issue is that since moving on from Pochettino, Tottenham has had five different managers in the past four years including former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason taking the helm twice. It’s clear to see how the club has a broken squad that doesn’t play together with managers looking to instill conflicting ideals, but it’s also why this is an appointment that Daniel Levy has to get right.

Who is Ange Postecoglou?

Since hanging up his cleats, the 57-year-old has won everywhere that he’s gone, but where he’s gone has been a unique journey. The manager climbed the ranks through AFC teams most notably overseeing A-League sides Brisbane Roar, and Melbourne FC before taking the helm with the Australian National team. He then moved to the J-League to turn Yokohama F. Marinos into an absolute unit, leading them to their first title in 15 years, before getting the chance at Celtic where he has gone outside the box in building a dominant force in Scotland. Looking at Postecoglou’s background it begins to make sense why some of his first moves at Celtic were bringing in Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda, and Reo Hatate from Japanese clubs, and the trio combined for 41 goals and 15 assists. These aren’t all players that Postecoglou has coached before either so his recruitment seems clearly based on  a deep familiarity with Asian soccer (which makes given his history), more than simply bringing “his guys” with him from job to job.

That’s an important note when Tottenham won’t be in any European competitions next season meaning that they’ll need to dig deeper to make their money go further in the market. But while budget signings are great, they don’t matter if the team doesn’t win anything as Spurs haven’t won a trophy since winning the EFL League Cup in 2008. Hungry for success, Daniel Levy has looked in every direction hiring serial winner after serial winner to try and lead a club with an aging core to glory. While Postecoglou still counts as a serial winner, winning the Asian Cup, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup, Scottish League, Japanese League, OFC Champions League, and U-19/U-20 and U-16/U-17 OFC championships he has done it in different ways through proper squad building and developing players, rather than by buying the stars he wants or needs.

Potential tactical setup

Playing an attacking 4-3-3, Postecoglou also fills a void that Levy has mentioned but been inconsistent on in the past: wanting a manager that plays soccer in an attractive way that will engage Tottenham fans. Similarly to Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton, Postecoglou’s sides are anything but boring on the pitch. They’ll score at will but they also don’t sacrifice defensive strength while doing it. If Spurs were in Europe, there’s a question of if they’d have enough depth to play this way full time in the Premier League but without those extra games, it can be a good way to catch teams off guard and pick up upset victories.

Postecoglou builds through his fullbacks which has been a key for Spurs over the years and will also be music to Pedro Porro’s ears. A strong attacker, he will be key in a revitalization of the club also making sure that they don’t sink their investment after just signing Porro to play as a wing back for Antonio Conte in January. Sometimes his fullbacks will also step into midfield, but again, none of this is out of the realm of what Porro can do. Seeing what the team has in midfield in Yves Bissouma, who had an injury riddled first season with Spurs, will also be important as the former Brighton man was signed to help dictate play from the midfield. While he wasn’t able to do that in his first season in London, expectations will be high when the team is looking to clear out names rather than bring new ones in.

Hugo Lloris, Giovani Lo Celso, Tanguy Ndombele, Sergio Reguilon, Harry Winks, and, most notably, Harry Kane are all among the names who could depart this summer. While we’ve already touched on Postecoglou’s recruiting pull that can help fill some of these positions on the cheap, but if he’s not shrewd with his tactics, Tottenham could be looking at a bottom half finish next season. Considering that that would be unacceptable even if progress is shown, tweaks and getting more for less will be critical next season. 


It’s important to manage expectations for Postecoglou as while there’s a lot to like not only is this a big job with a lot to undo but previous managers have not been aligned to Levy’s vision. If this is the case yet again, Postecoglou will find it hard to improve the team and the club could be looking at Ryan Mason’s third tour at the helm. But the similarities to what made Pochettino so good are there and maybe seeing Pochettino back in the Premier Leauge but not coaching Spurs has sparked a change and reflection around the club. Only time will tell but on the surface, Postecoglou certainly has what it takes to rebuild the squad despite not having Premier League experience. 


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