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Tottenham Hotspur have appointed Australian manager Ange Postecoglou as their new head coach on a four-year contract.
Postecoglou’s appointment at Tottenham was announced on Tuesday, just after 10.30am London time, and judging by the length of his contract, the longest awarded since Mauricio Pochettino took the reins, he will oversee a vast rebuild at the club.
The former-Celtic boss was heavily linked to Spurs over recent weeks and speculation that he would become Antonio Conte’s official replacement hit its peak after Postecoglou led the Celts to a Scottish FA Cup victory over Inverness on Saturday.
Celtic’s 3-1 victory over their second division opponents marked a historic eighth treble of titles for the club as they also secured the Scottish Premier League title and Scottish League Cup in 2022/23, in what was only Postecoglou’s second season in charge.
Taking over Glasgow Celtic in 2021, the Aussie took a broken and demotivated team, which had conceded the Scottish title to arch-rivals Rangers after winning 9-in-a-row before that, and revamped his squad and its playing style so that they won the Premier League and League Cup in his debut season.
Postecoglou to become first Australian to manage in Premier League
The 57-year-old Greek-Australian will become the first Aussie to manage in the English Premier League next season. Before managing in Scotland, the coach oversaw clubs in a number of different regions, beginning at home.
In 1995 Postecoglou took over South Melbourne (2x Australian championships and 1x Oceania Champions League) before moving to take charge over the Australia U20s and then the Australia U17s in subsequent years. Greek second tier side, Panachaiki GE followed in 07/08 until 08/09.
Stints at Brisbane Roar (09/10 – 2x Australian championships) and Melbourne (10/11) came after before the manager was awarded the Australia international job in 13/14, with which he won the Asian Cup in 14/15. In 17/18 the manager took over Yokohmama F. Marinos in the Japanese J1 League, winning the domestic championship the following season.
Daniel Levy and the Spurs hierarchy will hope that Postecoglou, despite the lack of ‘star-power’ his name holds, will be the man that can revamp the North-London side with a smart recruitment strategy similar to that he employed in Glasgow, while entertaining fans with his attacking play-style.
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as our new Head Coach on a four-year contract 🤍
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) June 6, 2023
What is Postecoglou’s style of play?
The Athens-born manager, though renowned for his versatility, has primarily played with a 4-3-3 in recent years in his stints in Japan and Scotland.
His attacking style of play, relentless pressing and motto of “We never stop,” has won the appreciation and admiration of fans at all his clubs and if he can impress the same tactics in the Premier League, Spurs fans will surely be delighted with the change of
Playing with wide-wingers in his front three, Postecoglou aims to provide space in attacking areas for his number 8 and onrushing fullbacks (a position used to attack quite often under the Australian’s style) to exploit and cause trouble for opposition defenses.
The manager’s style of playing ‘narrow’ fullbacks allows his sides to dominate possession in most games as they push up to midfield and give their side a numerical advantage in the center of the field.
No doubt Postecoglou will attempt to employ the same strategies that have made him so successful in the Scottish and Japanese top-flights respectively. However, it remains to be seen how they will work in the Premier League, a step up from all his previous jobs in terms of quality of opposition.
Postecoglou’s transfer policy: Will Harry Kane be sold?
Postecoglou made quite a name for himself with Celtic as a transfer mastermind, bringing in several high-quality players from the Asian market for relatively low fees in his two seasons in charge, in what was a complete revamp of the Glasgow club’s squad.
In his first season in charge of Celtic, the Aussie brought in Kyogo Furuhashi for 5.40 million euros from Yokohama Marinos and the striker has since gone on to score 54 goals in 83 appearances. Versatile attacker Daizen Maeda also came to Celtic from Yokohama for 1.5 million and has since played 71 games, scoring 19 goals and providing 12 assists. Combative midfielder Reo Hatate was also brought in from Kawasaki Frontale for just over 1.5 million euros.
This season, Hyeon-gyu Oh was recruited from South Korean side Suwon Bluewings while Yuki Kobayashi was brought in from Vissel Kobe.
Outside of the Asian market, the likes of ex-Spurs center-back Cameron Carter-Vickers was recruited along with promising English youngster Matt O’Riley and the now departed Greek international Georgios Giakoumakis (26 goals in 57 games).
All players fitted into Postecoglou’s high-energy style of play and it remains to be seen how many current Tottenham players he feels will fit his system.
The big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Spurs will choose to retain Harry Kane’s services this summer as he enters his final year on contract at the club. While his goals return is no doubt one of the best in England, Postecoglou may well feel the England striker doesn’t have the legs to play his style of football.
It would be no surprise if Spurs cashed in on Kane and Postecoglou used the incomings to fuel a major squad revamp. More players from the Asian market could be brought in, while it would be no surprise to see some of the manager’s favored Celtic players make the move to London too.
Expect Postecoglou’s incomings to be talented, hard-working acquisitions who may well have been flying under the radar up until they are signed for Spurs.
It will be fascinating to see how Postecoglou’s transfer policy works out at Spurs and how it is adapted to allow for the challenges of the English top-flight. While success is far from guaranteed under the new manager, he will be given time to make things work at the club and Spurs fans will definitely be in for an entertaining ride.
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