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What to expect from new Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou

Over 70 days since parting ways with Antonio Conte, Tottenham have finally found a replacement to lead them into next season in the form of Australian Ange Postecoglou.

The 57-year-old arrives at the North London club off the back of a treble-winning campaign as manager of Celtic, who he won a total of five domestic trophies with across his two seasons in charge.

We examine the profile of Postecoglou and take a deep dive into what the former Australia national team boss can bring to Spurs in the Premier League...

Who is Ange Postecoglou?

For Angelos Postecoglou, upping sticks to a new environment to be met with uncertainty or even derision will not be a new experience.

Fleeing his military-ruled home city of Athens with his family aged five, travelling halfway around the world on a ship headed for Melbourne, Postecoglou has been forced to cope outside of his comfort zone his whole life.

A young Postecoglou found salvation in football in his new home of Australia, joining Greek-founded club South Melbourne aged nine.

Falling in love with the beautiful game, a passion he shared with his late father, Postecoglou would go on to spend his entire professional playing career with South Melbourne as a bonfide one-club man.

An accomplished left-back, Postecoglou won two national league titles with South Melbourne in 1984 and 1990 under the leadership of the legendary Hungarian Ferenc Puskas, and received four international caps for Australia.

Postecoglou always felt that coaching would be his true calling in the sport, however, quickly turning his attention towards pursuing a career in management after being forced to prematurely end his playing days through injury aged 27.

Appointed South Melbourne manager in his early 30s, Postecoglou would take to coaching like a duck to water, ending his beloved boyhood club’s seven-year drought for a league championship in 1998 in his first of two title wins at the helm.

His early promise as a coach would see him becoming involved with the Australia national team’s youth setup, managing both the Under 17s and Under 20s, before a highly publicised on-air row with football pundit Craig Foster saw him ostracised from the game in his homeland and forced to find work in the Greek third tier.

This was a truly humbling experience for Postecoglou, who went through the mill before exercising a level of resilience which would see him given a shot back in Australia with Brisbane Roar, where he would achieved unprecedented success between 2009 and 2012.

Wowing supporters with a fast and furious brand of attacking football, Roar would win the 2010-11 national championship in a season which saw the team go on a record-breaking run of 36 matches unbeaten.

His reputation in the game well and truly restored, Postecoglou spent a year at Melbourne Victory before being tasked with regenerating the Australia national team in 2013.

The Socceroos would qualify for two World Cups under the stewardship of Postecoglou in 2014 and 2018, and in 2015 they claimed the country’s first ever Asian Cup triumph following a victory over South Korea in the final.

Returning to club football in Japan with Yokohoma F. Marinos in 2018, the Greek-born Australian would end another team’s long barren spell without a league championship crown by winning their J League title in 15 years in his second year as manager.

Postecoglou’s exploits in Japan would not go unnoticed around the footballing world, with the hierarchy of Scottish Premiership giants Celtic having links with the City Football Group who own a sizeable stake in Yokohoma F. Marinos.

It is this connection between Celtic and the City Football Group, of which Premier League champions Manchester City are an integral part, which is believed to have prompted the Bhoys to make the move to appoint Postecoglou as Neil Lennon’s replacement at Parkhead in 2021.

The rest, as they say, is history. Installed to help Celtic wrestle the Scottish Premiership title back from bitter adversaries Rangers who had just won the league by a whopping 25 points during an invincible season under Steven Gerrard, Postecoglou was able to do just this and more.

Implementing a stunning style of play in Glasgow’s East End, Postecoglou led Celtic to both the league title and Scottish League Cup in his first campaign, before going one better in the subsequent season to become only the fourth manager in the club’s history to win the treble.

It is his glowing success in Glasgow with Celtic which has brought Postecoglou to this latest daring juncture in his 27-year managerial career – to Tottenham and the promised land of the Premier League.


New Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou will be the first Australian in history to manage in the Premier League.

Ange Ball

As far as Postecoglou’s coaching philosophy is concerned, the Australian is very much in the modern mould of progressive managers who wish to excite and entertain.

The former Australia manager has long been renowned for overseeing a swashbuckling brand of football, with his Celtic team scoring a staggering 206 league goals over his two seasons in charge.

Postecoglou’s Celtic played an aggressive, high-pressing game whilst dominating possession, looking to suffocate the opposition by utilising a high defensive line.

In Postecoglou’s preferred 4-3-3 formation, he has a clear vision for how he wishes each of his players to operate. Given the emphasis on controlling possession and intense pressing off the ball, players are required to be both physically dynamic and technically proficient.

Celtic’s treble-winning side of last season saw Greg Taylor and Josip Juranovic, prior to his January transfer to Union Berlin, operate as inverted full-backs tasked with stepping into midfield and providing numerical superiority in central areas as well as guarding against opposition counter-attacks.

In midfield, Callum McGregor acted as a deep-lying playmaker at the base, with two advanced central midfielders in the form of Reo Hatate and Matt O’Riley in front of him charged with creating chances and making late runs into the box.

In the front three, wingers such as Filipe Jota, Daizen Maeda and Liel Abada have thrived in one v one situations, with central striker Kyogo Furuhashi a clinical finisher in the box who loves to play on the shoulder of defenders.

This tactical system can be observed to closely resemble that of Pep Guardiola, with whom Postecoglou shares a previous link to following his involvement with the City Football Group, and therefore also to Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta.

In this sense Postecoglou’s philosophy can be stemmed back to the days of Johan Cruyff and ‘Total Football’ in the 1970s with regards to the importance of possession and the manipulation of space all over the pitch., with the Dutch icon a mentor to Guardiola as his manager at Barcelona, 

It will be fascinating to watch how Postecoglou can translate these ideas to the Premier League, competing against some of the finest players and coaches in world football.

With Spurs facing a potentially significant squad overhaul this summer, with club captain Hugo Lloris set to depart and uncertainty continuing to surround the future of talismanic figure Harry Kane, it could be a busy summer of recruitment for Postecoglou.

Thankfully, this is also an area the Australian excels in, using his experience of working in Japan to great effect by picking up gems such as Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda at modest prices at Celtic.

Postecoglou may just have to be razor sharp with his signings again if he is to construct a Spurs team in his image capable of challenging towards the top of the Premier League.

Possible Spurs starting XI season 23-24 (4-3-3): Raya, Porro, Romero, Hincapie, Udogie, Bissouma, Hojbjerg, Maddison, Kulusevski, Kane (c), Son.

Tottenham Premier League season 23-24 odds:

Premier League Finishing Position:

1st - 40/1
2nd - 25/1
3rd - 14/1
4th - 7/1
5th - 6/1
6th - 9/2
7th or lower - 8/11

Season Match Bet:

Arsenal - 1/5
Tottenham - 10/3

To Win a Major Trophy:

Yes - 9/2
No - 1/7

A fresh direction

The appointment of Postecoglou signals a fresh direction for Spurs on a number of fronts.

In predecessors Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho, the Spurs hierarchy opted for big-name managers with a substantial winning pedigree in Europe’s major leagues, but both tenures turned sour fairly quickly.

Both Conte and Mourinho often gave off the impression that it was a privilege for Spurs to be guided by a figure with such a high standing in the game, revelling in the status they had acquired from their previous achievements at other clubs.

It can be argued the Italian and Portuguese had already reached the top of the mountain and peaked in their respective coaching careers, with the pair both ultimately departing through the back door with little positive to say about their time at the club.

In this sense the hiring of Postecoglou, somebody with no experience of coaching in a top European league, is more comparable to that of Mauricio Pochettino back in 2014.

Like Pochettino, whose managerial CV was limited to spells in charge of Espanyol and Southampton, a move to Spurs is a big step up for Postecoglou who will seek to grab such an opportunity with burning enthusiasm and strive to endear himself to the club’s supporters as a man they can get behind.

The other notable thing Postecoglou shares in common with the new Chelsea boss, as opposed to Conte and Mourinho, is the attacking style of play he employs.

In the context of the Premier League at present, currently dominated by Guardiola’s City with Arteta’s Arsenal and Erik ten Hag’s Man United second and third respectively last season, it appears as though the days of pragmatism at the highest level of English football may be gone.

Even a look further down the table displays the success of progressive football in England’s top flight, with teams such as Brighton, Brentford and Fulham punching well above their weight under the stewardship of Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Frank and Marco Silva respectively last term.

At a club previously famed for attacking football, the installation of Postecoglou may help to breathe new life into Spurs and give them a renewed sense of identity that has been lacking in recent years.

If given the right support from notoriously stringent chairman Daniel Levy, and backed by a fanbase starved of success, the man from Down Under could be just what is needed to help take Spurs back to the top.

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