Tottenham have ended their long search for a permanent head coach by appointing Ange Postecoglou on a four-year deal.
Postecoglou, set to be the first Australian to manage in the Premier League, will join Spurs on July 1after winning five major trophies in two seasons at Celtic, including this season’s domestic treble, and he faces a tough task to quickly turn Spurs’ fortunes around.
With the help of Sky Sports News reporter Michael Bridge and former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, let’s take a look at what is in the 57-year-old’s in-tray…
Handing Postecoglou a four-year-deal shows Spurs are ready to make this a long-term project. There’s a lot to be done at Tottenham Hotspur with a potential rebuild. This isn’t a quick fix.
Resolve Kane’s future
The most pressing issue awaiting Postecoglou in his first job as a Premier League head coach is the future of Harry Kane.
The England captain has one year left on his contract and has been linked with a possible summer move to a host of Europe’s leading clubs, including Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Postecoglou will want Kane to stay, but will also want assurances. The 29-year-old is either all in and stays, or opts for a new challenge and generates funds to help Tottenham rebuild their squad.
Whatever Kane decides, Postecoglou will need a speedy decision.
“Spurs without Kane is unthinkable for the fans,” said Sky Sports News’ Bridge. “However, he’s got a year left on his contract. Next summer he will be out of contract and able to leave on a free transfer. That raises the question of whether Spurs consider any bids that could come in from the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid.
“You don’t replace Harry Kane with just one player, and it could take more than one transfer window to get that sorted. This is a player who scored 30 Premier League goals in a team that finished eighth in the table. That is pretty remarkable.
“You’d lose 30 league goals but also a creator. He can do pretty much everything on a football field and in some areas of his game I think he’s getting even better.
“It’s absolutely unthinkable that Spurs lose him but this talk won’t go away when the likes of Real Madrid are reportedly looking at him.”
‘Kane so influential for Spurs’
Former Tottenham defender Michael Dawson on Sky Sports News:
“Harry Kane’s a genius. He has a year left on his contract and I hope he stays at Spurs.
“Only Harry will know what he wants to do. He will sit down with Daniel Levy and the new head coach. They will discuss terms and it remains to be seen whether he will sign a new deal.
“But he is so influential on this team and football club.”
Unite the dressing room
None of Tottenham’s near-30-man first-team squad are out of contract this summer, but plenty of departures can be expected.
Postecoglou’s predecessor Antonio Conte publicly criticised his players’ team ethic and anyone lacking in that regard will have no place in the former Australia head coach’s squad.
He must quickly work out who he can trust to fully commit to his principles and methods and try and move on those he does not.
Unity and spirit were the bedrock for Celtic’s success under Postecoglou and he will want to lay the same foundations at Tottenham.
Former Spurs captain Dawson said: “Under Conte, everything seemed rosy when Spurs beat Arsenal to secure Champions League football a couple of seasons ago, but it just shows you how things can change quickly in football.
“After Conte’s rant back in March at Southampton, I didn’t think there would be a way back. He wasn’t happy with an awful lot of things but it wasn’t great on anyone’s behalf, the players, the club and the manager.
“Now there’s a chance for a rebuild, a chance to come together and galvanise, but Postecoglou needs time.”
Win over doubters
Postecoglou was not top choice for the majority of Tottenham’s supporters and there will be plenty of scepticism among those who had called for the return of Mauricio Pochettino, while the likes of Arne Slot, Roberto De Zerbi and Luis Enrique were also reported to be on the club’s list of targets.
Postecoglou must win over the doubters and reconnect the players with a disgruntled fanbase.
He did just that at Celtic where he first took charge in a toxic environment, but can his blueprint for success in the Scottish Premiership transfer to the English top flight?
A lot of the fans are very positive and excited because of Ange Postecoglou’s strong attacking approach and his no-nonsense style. There were also sceptics but there are pundits in Scotland telling the Spurs fans that they are very lucky to have him.
Dawson added: “You’ve got to look back to 2014 when Mauricio Pochettino came in. He’d had one good season at Southampton. He got them to finish eighth in the league, and yes, he’d done well at Espanyol, but I think this is a very similar appointment for Spurs.
“They’ve been down the Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte route, who have both won everything, but it hasn’t worked.
“Postecoglou is untried and untested in many respects. I’ve spoken about what he did at Celtic, and it is remarkable. But this is a different level when you look at how difficult the Premier League is and the size of the football clubs. You are competing with so many more teams than you are in Scotland.
“However, he does play an attacking style of football which the Spurs fans want to see, and they haven’t seen it in a long time. Hopefully he can hit the ground running and get everybody on side before having a good season.”
Director of football key
Tottenham have been without a director of football since the resignation of Fabio Paratici in April and the club will now prioritise that key appointment in readiness for a busy summer ahead.
Feyenoord’s general manager Dennis te Kloese has turned down the role and, while filling the vacancy falls under chairman Daniel Levy’s remit, Postecoglou could well be involved in the process and will definitely want to strike an instant rapport with whoever takes on the job.
The Australian has a clear philosophy for possession-based, high-energy football and the project will only work if the two parties are aligned.
‘Spurs acknowledge this is a big rebuild’
Sky Sports News reporter Michael Bridge:
“There’s acknowledgement at Tottenham that this is a rebuild, a proper rebuild.
“This isn’t just one or two players coming in, not just one or two players coming out, we are talking about seven or eight players coming out and seven or eight coming in.
“It could include a new goalkeeper, a creative midfielder and a complete change of formation. There are seven or eight players coming back from loan spells away as well.
“There is so much to do at Spurs and it will take more than one window to change things at Tottenham.”
European football has eluded Spurs for the first time since 2009-10 and they can ill-afford to miss out for a second successive season in their bid to retain their status as a ‘Big Six’ club.
Postecoglou must overhaul the playing squad, galvanise a dispirited dressing room and bed in his backroom staff – what role, if any, for fans’ favourite Ryan Mason? – all in time to launch a Champions League challenge with the same brand of football that has thrilled Celtic fans for the past two years.
“Tottenham realise there’s a lot to do,” Bridge added.
“It’s very similar to Spurs’ north London rivals Arsenal.
“Mikel Arteta had a season where the Gunners finished eighth but time after time the Spaniard said trust the process. He was mocked for it, but in fairness, look at them now because they have recruited very well. Arteta got rid of the players that he didn’t want as part of the club any more.
“It’s taken time and many eyebrows have been raised about Postecoglou’s four-year deal, but this is a long-term strategy at Spurs because there’s plenty to do to get the club back to where they want to be.”
Source : Sky Sports