Former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan is expecting Ange Postecoglou to make a big mark at Tottenham Hotspur following his appointment as head coach
Tottenham fans are about to see football that will “take their breath away” following the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as head coach. Linked with a number of managers following Antonio Conte’s exit at the end of March, Daniel Levy and the club selected the 57-year-old as the Italian’s successor and he has penned a four-year contract in north London.
It has been an incredibly frustrating past few seasons for Spurs with the team going backwards and not playing the style of football the club are known for. That will all change under Postecoglou, though, with the Australian playing an attacking brand of football that is very ease on the eye.
Winning five trophies from a possible six during his two seasons with Celtic, Postecoglou could well turn out to be the man that brings the good times back to Tottenham. While many teams will fear coming up against the likes of Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool going on the type of football they play, Gordon Strachan, who knows all about the former Australia boss having watched him closely in Scotland, believes that Spurs will now go on to “unsettle teams with the intensity of their play” regardless of who they are coming up against.
“The ball boys will need to get fit, that’s for sure. The goalkeeper will need to switch on – he likes his football played fast. He’ll get his team incredibly fit and he’ll want his team to think they are one of the fittest teams in the league, because that is an incredible phycological weapon for any team,” Strachan told Genting Casino.
“It doesn’t matter who Tottenham will be playing, they’ll be looking to unsettle teams with the intensity of their play. Ange likes to do everything very quickly. His football was so quick, he was catching the cameramen out!
“They’ll be compact without the ball. When they go forward, they’ll play with a lot of width. The football isn’t too dissimilar to Manchester City’s in terms of width, movement in the midfield and full-backs inverting. Everything his teams do is at a high tempo. It’s a type of football the Tottenham fans will enjoy.
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“The players will enjoy working with him and his football. Over the last few years, if you’re a Tottenham fan or player, and you were being honest, you’d probably say the football was pedestrian. What they are about to experience will take their breath away.
“The big question that is tied to Tottenham concerns the future of Harry Kane. If he does go, I don’t think there is any Tottenham fan that could complain. They’ve had him at the club for 12 years. Without a doubt, for me, he is the best centre-forward in the world. Can they keep him? I think he would enjoy the pace of the game and the freshness that Ange will bring to Tottenham.”
Amid big question marks over Kane’s future at present with Bayern Munich keen on securing his signature, the former Coventry boss believes that the striker will enjoy playing in Postecoglou’s attacking team providing of course that his football philosophy is taken on board immediately by the players.
“As long as the players buy into Ange’s methods right away, then I think he will really enjoy it,” admitted the Scot. “When he joined Celtic, he brought in three or four players that knew his methods immediately. I’m not sure if he will be able to do that straightaway at Tottenham.
“When I look at the current group of players, perhaps he will have his doubts, but let’s judge his squad in six weeks’ time. Some players may try and resist his methods because he will want these players to go to another level in terms of their fitness, but I’m sure he will show those players the exit door.”
Due to a lack of experience in the European game on Postecoglou’s CV, many Tottenham fans did initially have their concerns about the Australian taking on the hotseat. Strachan has stressed that the new boss is a “top manager” and he’ll go on to deliver some “incredibly exciting football” in north London.
“It’s because we’re talking about Scottish football, and it’s been like that for a while. I can understand fans in England. If they’re looking at Celtic games, not Celtic against Rangers, but Celtic playing in below par stadiums on plastic pitches, it can be very hard to change the perception of Scottish football,” explained Strachan.
“What these fans need to realise is that these are top managers. It was like when Brendan [Rodgers] left, and I don’t care what anyone say about his time there, he was incredibly successful at Leicester.
“Brendan is a top manager and Ange is a top manager. We’ve had this bias forever about Scottish football. It’s just a cliché. It’s an easy cliché. What Ange did at Celtic, and he’ll do it at Tottenham, he’ll deliver some incredibly exciting football.
“He’ll expect his players to follow him and play in a certain way, and if they don’t then he’ll move them on – he wasn’t afraid to do that at Celtic. He has that attitude. He’ll wave goodbye to any players that are not completely committed to his brand of football.”
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