Ange Postecoglou isn’t the biggest of names Tottenham could have appointed, but the former Celtic boss has a brilliant track record of signing top under-the-radar talent
Whisper it quietly but it might be time to get excited about Spurs again.
Nobody wants to be the one to say ‘Ange who?’ following his success at Celtic, forcing critics and veteran radio presenters to eat their words over the past two seasons. But the optimism around Ange Postecoglu, 57, is justified. His CV suggests a steady ability to step up a level throughout his career.And his encyclopaedic knowledge of the transfer market could mean that instead of hunting in the bargain box yet again, Spurs could start thinking out of the box. Yes, Harry Kane is on course to quit this summer (let’s not kid ourselves, it’s Real Madrid or Manchester United ). But history suggests Spurs will survive.
They reached the final of the Champions League long after Gareth Bale had gone to Real Madrid, remember. In fact, Bale flourished after Dimitar Berbatov defected to Manchester United in 2009.
Spurs, remember, are the club of Jimmy Greaves, Gary Lineker, Clive Allen, Garth Crooks, Paul Gascoigne, Jurgen Klinsmann, Teddy Sheringham, Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe.
Losing legendary strikers before bouncing back is far from an unfamiliar pattern in north London.
But Postecoglu’s track record screams his ability to build teams that get the best out of his frontmen, instead of hiding behind them. And his knowledge of the Asian market has become one of the most open secrets in football.Postecoglou is the man who wanted Kaoru Mitoma at Celtic before Brighton beat him to the twinkle-toed Japan schemer. The men who did make the move from Asia to Scotland, including Kyogo Furuhashi, Daizen Maeda and Reo Hatate have all impressed under him.
True, Steven Gerrard looked like Pep Guardiola at Rangers before coming unstuck at Aston Villa. But Postecoglu’s career trajectory shows a man who makes the right moves at the right stage of his managerial development.
Back-to-back titles at Australian club Brisbane Roar, Asian Cup success with Australia and triumph in Japan’s J-League, turning a Yokohama F Marinos side suffering from an “identity crisis” into champions.
Just as Daniel Levy stumbled into signing Mauricio Pochettino after Louis van Gaal had rejected the north Londoners in 2014, the Spurs chairman could yet have struck gold by accident.