Ange Postecoglou won’t officially start as Tottenham Hotspur’s new manager until July 1, but a look at his to-do list could prompt him to start planning earlier.
Spurs endured a disappointing 2022-23 campaign in which they finished eighth in the Premier League, missed out on European football altogether for the first time since 2010 and extended their wait for a trophy into a 16th year.
Postecoglou has a track record of success. He won five of the six trophies available in two seasons at Celtic, led Yokohama F Marinos to the J-League title in Japan and saw them win their first Asian Cup in 2015 during his four years in charge of the Australian men’s team. .
Nevertheless, the 57-year-old’s job at Spurs is a significant step, given the mixture of frustration and expectation permeating Tottenham’s fan base. With one of the best stadium/training ground combinations in world football, the club has struggled for success on the pitch, but can Postecoglou turn that around?
ESPN takes a look at the immediate challenges facing the new manager.
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The first major problem with Postecoglou’s tenure is perhaps the biggest. Kane’s next move will have a huge impact on Tottenham’s form this summer, next season and beyond. The 29-year-old striker has a year left on his contract but is not yet ready to sign a new deal. Real Madrid and Manchester United are interested in the transfer, but Tottenham are unwilling to accept any offers today.
So, assuming a favorable approach is made for Kane – and his transfer fee could be as much as £100m in that case – there are two courses of action: either accept the bid and spend the money on rebuilding the squad, or keep Kane. honors the final year of his existing deal and increases his chances of getting one more year of one of the game’s best forwards. An exceptional season for Spurs could convince Kane to extend his contract, but it risks losing him for nothing in 2024.
Missing out on European football is a huge financial blow for a club whose margins are carefully managed; Spurs made a post-tax loss of £50.1m until June 2022, while the club last summer announced a £150m capital boost to support former boss Antonio Conte, a financial mechanism the club cannot effectively activate every season. The market clearly wants to back Postecoglou, but Spurs are not Manchester City or Newcastle United.
On the one hand, the rebuild will receive a huge financial boost from Kane’s departure, but on the other hand, what does that say about the future prospects of the club with their star player gone? Neither Real nor United can play yet, so things can change. But so far, Kane has not been pushed to leave, and Spurs are ruling out a move away. If this remains the case, Postecoglou has 12 months to convince Kane that he can realize his trophy ambitions at Tottenham.
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Win over the fans
After Inverness’ 3-1 win over Caledonian Thistle, Celtic’s eighth domestic treble in their history, Postecoglou spoke candidly about his Scotland trip.
“Not beating around the bush, I was a ‘joke,'” he says. “Many people made fun of me. But the supporters supported me with their own reasons and said: “No, it’s ours.” It was in my hands to repay that trust.”
Postecoglou has built his reputation during his two years at Celtic, but there are again doubts about his appointment in certain quarters. #NotoAnge has been a popular hashtag among sections of the Tottenham fan base as news of the imminent appointment broke, and his lack of experience in Europe’s biggest leagues could quickly become an issue if he doesn’t start the season well.
It also takes place in a potentially toxic environment. Protests against chairman Daniel Levy and club owners ENIC were a regular occurrence at home games at the end of last season and a slow start will fuel that ill feeling once again. Postecoglou is Levy’s 13th permanent manager in 22 years and the men are not immune to criticism aimed at the club’s hierarchy; When Nuno Espirito Santo took over in June 2021, supporters chanted “you don’t know what you’re doing” at him in late October.
Kane’s decision will be a key factor in shaping acceptance. Keep him and it will be the vindication of Postecoglou’s appointment; let him go with a progressive replacement plan, and fans needn’t fear a post-Kane era. Anything between them worries that Postecoglou is not the right man for the job.
Enter the open style
“Ange brings a positive mentality and a fast, attacking style of play,” Levy said after Postecoglou’s appointment was confirmed. “He has experience of developing players and understands the importance of the academy link – everything that is important to our club.”
These two qualities have suffered under Conte. The Italian has shown little interest in developing players, encouraging Spurs to sign more experienced players ready to perform at the highest level.
And football was terrible. At its best, Conte’s 3-4-3 system was an effective base that provided stability, but the team looked increasingly stagnant in that shape. For the most part, Spurs were passive at the start of matches, falling behind before trying to rally. It didn’t fit the club’s ‘Dare Is To Do’ motto, so the hope was that Postecoglou’s high-pressing, front-foot style would be a better fit. He will have a full pre-season to implement his philosophy, but like any manager, he will want new signings to help that progress.
Specify his authority to sign
Currently, “Tottenham” club does not have a football director. Levy has a wealth of experience in transfer negotiations, but the club will be looking to replace Fabio Paratici, who resigned in April after losing an appeal against a 30-month FIFA ban over allegations of fraud at his former club Juventus.
Many managers have struggled to influence Tottenham’s transfer plans. Conte had lofty demands that Tottenham only partially agreed to, sparking resentment from both sides that led to his sacking in March.
Nowhere is this better exemplified than at fullback. On the left, Tottenham heeded Conte’s advice and signed Ivan Perišić, a 30-year-old player with plenty of experience but no transfer fee. On the right they bought Jed Spence from Middlesbrough for £20m in the same window – a promising but rough youngster. Unwilling to nurture a precocious talent, Conte was quick to describe Spence as a “club signing” and sent him on loan to Rennes in January.
Spurs can’t afford any major disagreements in their approach to the market and Postecoglou fits better in the tradition of signing young players who need time to develop than Conte.
It could be a busy summer. They may need a goalkeeper after Hugo Lloris made his intention to leave public, while at least two defenders and a creative midfield will certainly be upgrades. Several players will be available, including Harry Winks, Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso.
Postecoglou has yet to officially launch, but time is already of the essence.
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