Tottenham Hotspur has appointed former Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou as the club’s new manager on a four-year contract. The Australian becomes the first of his countrymen to manage a team in the Premier League and will join Spurs on July 1st.
Postecoglou brings a distinctive approach and unwavering commitment to his principles that sets him apart from other managers. Fans know him for his no-nonsense approach and crystal-clear vision of attacking football – something that Tottenham hopes will bring renewed vigour and success to the club.
Background of Ange Postecoglou
Born in Greece, Postecoglou emigrated to Australia at the age of five. His relationship with his father and their passion for football shaped his love for the sport. The youngster spent his formative footballing years watching South Melbourne Hellas, a local club founded by Greek immigrants, including his father.
Postecoglou joined the same club as a youth player and enjoyed a successful playing career, winning two National Soccer League (NSL) titles. He later became the team’s captain and played under legendary Hungarian player Ferenc Puskas, who left a significant impression on him and kindled his preference for attacking football.
Transition into Coaching
Following an injury-induced retirement at the tender age of 27, Postecoglou transitioned into coaching. He started his managerial career with South Melbourne, the club he played in. Despite initial scepticism, he quickly won over doubters, leading South Melbourne to back-to-back national titles in 1998 and 1999, securing them a spot in the inaugural Club World Cup.
Postecoglou’s commitment to playing on the front foot, regardless of the opposition’s superiority, was evident during the club’s encounter with Sir Alex Ferguson’s treble-winning Manchester United team. Peter Filopoulos, South Melbourne’s then-general manager, hailed Postecoglou as a visionary and a strong leader who carried everyone along on his journey.
Notable Coaching Experiences before Joining Tottenham
Following his successful stint with South Melbourne, Postecoglou embarked on various coaching roles, managing Australia’s U-17 and U-20 national teams. After a brief spell in Greece and a return to Australia as a TV analyst, he took over at Brisbane Roar in 2009.
Under Postecoglou’s tutelage, Brisbane won back-to-back championships and set an unbeaten record of 36 games, an extraordinary achievement in a salary-capped league designed to thwart such domination.
Achievements and Style of Play
Overview of Postecoglou’s Coaching Philosophy, Tactics, and Man Management
Postecoglou is renowned for his firm commitment to attacking football. He believes in not compromising on his principles, a philosophy he calls “an extension of me.” He applies a straightforward, no-nonsense approach in all his interactions with players, the media, or employers. His ability to inspire devotion in his players and management prowess has earned him comparisons to Jurgen Klopp, with players eager to win for him.
Moreover, under Postecoglou’s stewardship, the expectation among fans has surged significantly. They anticipate their beloved club to dominate on the pitch and be the favoured choice among the. Given his remarkable track record and ability to bring out the best in his teams, they are confident that their club’s chances of winning will rise, transforming it into a preferred pick for punters.
Postecoglou’s Preferred Style of Play (Angeball)
Ange Postecoglou’s teams are known for their high-intensity, attacking style of play, often dubbed “Angeball.” His football philosophy, strongly influenced by his father’s mantra “Κάτω η μπάλα,” meaning ‘Keep the ball down,’ emphasises the importance of keeping possession, utilising creative, attacking play, and taking risks on the pitch. This approach aims to secure victory and ensure an exciting and engaging spectacle for the fans. It is a philosophy that prizes bravery and dares to challenge conventions.
Angeball consists of high press and counter press, in various formations either the 4-3-3 or the 4-5-1 – often dominating match possession and playing with wide wingers, inverted fullbacks and building the play through triangles using positional play concepts throughout the game. At Yokohama, the wingbacks would underlap runs which allowed a fluid midfield to either drop back to allow the wingbacks to push forward or push up to allow more goal attacking threat.
Postecoglou’s Management Career
The management career of Ange Postecoglou is marked by his distinctive attacking style and dedication to player development. He started his journey at Brisbane Roar, where his philosophy, summarised by player Tommy Oar as, “If in doubt, go forward. Play positively,” earned the club two A-League titles. Postecoglou’s next move was to Melbourne Victory, where he substantially reshaped the squad and tactical structure, preparing the groundwork for later successes under Kevin Muscat.
However, his tenure at Yokohama F. Marinos in the J-League was impressive, despite initial challenges, Postecoglou implemented his aggressive, high-pressing footballing style, ultimately guiding the team to a J-League title, for the first time in 15 years.
Postecoglou’s success transcends national boundaries. He boasts diverse achievements, from national championships with South Melbourne and Brisbane Roar, leading Australia to the Asia Cup triumph, to winning the Japanese league with Yokohama F. Marinos.
He was arguably the most successful in his stint at Celtic. Celtic were 18 points adrift of Rangers in the 2021 season when Neil Lennon resigned. Ange Postecoglou was appointed and in his two-year tenure lead them to two Scottish league cups, two Scottish premierships and one Scottish cup Giorgos Giakoumakis winning the golden boot in the 2021/22 season as well star striker Kyogo Furuhashi winning in 22/23.
His ability to adapt his football ideology to a different culture was a testament to his managerial prowess and make him the most successful coach in Australian top-flight football. Throughout his career, Postecoglou’s management has been characterized by his bravery in decision-making, his empowering coaching style, and his refusal to compromise on his footballing principles.
Challenges and Expectations at Tottenham
At Tottenham, Ange Postecoglou faces an intricate set of challenges and lofty expectations as the newly appointed manager. One significant hurdle lies in the uncertain future of star striker Harry Kane, whose prospective exit could reshape Tottenham’s path.
His transfer could fetch upwards of £100 million, which could be used to rebuild the squad or be a reminder of lost potential if he leaves. Currently Manchester United and Real Madrid are leading the race for the Englishman, with odds on him to leave can be seen on the best UK betting sites. The balancing act of satisfying fans, the board, and managing Kane’s future will be a litmus test for Postecoglou’s management.
Furthermore, the Australian manager must navigate the complex dynamics with Tottenham’s fan base. Given the dissatisfaction following the team’s recent performances, Tottenham supporters are yearning for a rejuvenation of their club’s glory. The #NotoAnge campaign reflects some of this scepticism. However, if Postecoglou can keep Kane or build a progressive plan for life post-Kane, the tide of opinion could swing in his favour.
Postecoglou’s attacking style and commitment to developing players align with Tottenham’s ethos, which could be the key to revitalizing the club. The team’s midfield, which includes Bissouma, Ndombele, and Bentancur, could benefit immensely from this aggressive, forward-focused approach. However, Postecoglou will need productive pre-season and supportive signings to implement this strategy successfully.
Additionally, Postecoglou will need to negotiate the club’s transfer plans effectively. Spurs have traditionally sought younger, up-and-coming players, an approach that could align well with Postecoglou’s knack for player development. However, the absence of a director of football could increase the pressure on Postecoglou to steer the club’s transfer strategy. The potential departures of several players add more complexity to an already critical summer for the club.
Ange Postecoglou’s arrival as the new manager at Tottenham Hotspur ushers in a period of both anticipation and uncertainty for the club. His impressive track record and distinctive commitment to attacking football align with the club’s ethos, making fans optimistic. However, his challenge is significant. From handling Harry Kane’s uncertain future to implementing his playing style with Tottenham’s existing squad and guiding the club’s transfer strategy, Postecoglou has a complex task ahead.
Despite the challenges, Postecoglou’s previous successes demonstrate his potential to turn Spurs’ fortunes around, signalling a potentially exciting era for Tottenham Hotspur.