Hope and optimism encapsulated the Tottenham fanbase as the 2022/23 season commenced, with Antonio Conte making his mark by pipping rivals, Arsenal, to a Champions League spot in the previous campaign. With upwards of £100M spent on new additions to the squad, everything was looking rosy.
However, the honeymoon period for Conte was short-lived and saw the Italian leave the club after 16 months in charge. Daniel Levy relieved the former Chelsea manager of his duties, only to appoint his assistant.
Since the dismissal of Mauricio Pochettino in November 2019, the task of finding a suitable successor has proved difficult for the club’s hierarchy.
It wouldn’t come as a surprise that the club find themselves in a familiar predicament this summer. Tottenham cannot afford to mess up another managerial appointment if they want to continue challenging for European positions. Teams such as Aston Villa, Brighton and Brentford are fast approaching and the Premier League has become as competitive as ever.
David Ornstein reported that Levy has picked Ange Postecoglou as his next manager with an announcement imminent.
🚨 Tottenham now close to appointing Ange Postecoglou as new boss. Deal for Celtic manager to make #THFC switch is expected to be finalised in coming days. 57yo Australian has emerged as stand-out candidate from recruitment process @TheAthleticFC #CelticFC https://t.co/99DozvSbt2— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 4, 2023
So, should Spurs fans be excited by this appointment and what can they expect?
The current Celtic manager has been one of the more prominent names in the list for Daniel Levy. This weekend, Postecoglou completed Celtic’s eighth treble with a victory over Inverness in the Scottish Cup Final, leading to the club having the most domestic trebles in world football.
Tottenham fans have become increasingly concerned over Postecoglou’s appointment due to his lack of managerial experience at the heights of the game. Brisbane Roar, Yokohama F. Marinos and the Australian National Team complete the bulk of his CV. In a time of crisis, there has been doubts whether the Aussie would be too much of a risk.
However, Postecoglou’s philosophy has been compared to that of Pep Guardiola’s at Manchester City. In the pre-season of 2019, the two managers came face to face in Japan. Guardiola was in full praise of Postecoglou’s Yokohama after the game and likened the play style of the Japanese team to his own:
“Yokohoma played some incredible football and they were an incredible test. I knew how good they were and it was tough for us" stated the Manchester City manager.
Postecoglou would offer fans an exciting brand of football, ditching the defensive tactics which have plagued the club in recent years.
If Levy was to appoint Postecoglou, money would need to be splashed on a quality box to box midfielder. Players like James Maddison, Youri Tielemans and Manuel Ugarte would perfectly fit the mould to slot into Postecoglou’s system.
However, some Lilywhite fans have had reservations over appointing a manager who deploys a four-at-the-back formation due to the recent investment in wing backs. Pedro Porro, who signed for Totttenham in January for £40 million, has looked excellent in attacking positions this season but appears frail when asked to defend. Celtic use attacking full backs in a back four which could cater to the Spaniard’s strengths.
Nevertheless, the question would need to be asked whether this positive deployment of defenders would work in a league so vastly different to the Scottish Premiership.
Perhaps Postecoglou would opt to utilise a different tactic when he takes over at Tottenham. His versatility can be seen throughout his previous jobs where he adopted three and five at the back systems in Japan and Australia. Therefore, predicting the way in which Spurs will set up next season is rather challenging.
As the transfer window progresses, the philosophy Postecoglou wants to inject into Tottenham will become transparent.
The Australian will not only have to worry about the incomings, but will need to place a huge emphasis on those leaving North London. Spurs have never been a club that regularly refreshes their squad to get rid of the commonly coined ‘deadwood’. Paul O’Keefe has revealed that, in the next few weeks, Tottenham are going to announce that several contracts have been torn up - news that will be music to the ears of Tottenham fans, but more so, Ange Postecoglou - the new manager will likely be given the freedom to pick and choose his members of the squad, getting rid of those he believes do not deserve to bear the cockerel on their chest.
A perilous appointment but one that invites intrigue. If it is to be Ange, Tottenham fans should get behind their new Aussie and look forward to witnessing the attacking style of football that has become so lost in Tottenham’s identity.