The new Tottenham head coach will begin work on the Hotspur Way training pitches next month and for some of the players his methods could bring plenty of benefits
Ange Postecoglou will get to work on the pitches of Hotspur Way next month and the new Tottenham head coach is expected to bring new life to plenty of the club’s players.
The Australian officially begins work at Spurs on July 1 but he has already made the trip to the Enfield training complex, putting a temporary pause to his holiday to take part in a series of meetings with various departments within Spurs on Friday. football.london revealed on Sunday that those included a couple of meetings involving Ryan Mason, who is now expected to ignore interest from clubs in Europe and the ChampioPre-season includes matches against West Ham, Leicester and Roma in Australia, Thailand and Singapore respectively and there are high hopes within the club about how Postecoglou can develop certain players within the squad he will inherit.
Here are seven players (kind of) that we think will flourish under the 57-year-old’s methods and system in the months ahead.
nship to accept Postecoglou’s offer to join his coaching staff ahead of pre-season beginning next month.Tottenham’s South Korean superstar admitted that he didn’t match his own usual high standards with his performances last season. However, it’s fair to say that Antonio Conte’s tactics didn’t always put him in the best possible positions to do the most damage to the opposition.
That Son, who will turn 31 early next month, still managed 20 goals involvements – 14 goals and six assists – showed his quality and Postecoglou’s 4-3-3 system will push him right up the pitch into the dangerous areas. Perhaps even more important is that he will be required to press high up the pitch rather than track back as much, which should keep Son doing what he does best in the right parts of the turf.
Postecoglou wants his centre-backs to be risk-takers and confident with their quick passing out from the back and he also wants them to be able to step up into the midfield when required to squeeze the space the opposition have to work within. With that high line he also needs his defenders to have enough pace to deal with sudden balls knocked over the top.
Romero boasts all the characteristics the Australian is looking for and if anyone can get the consistency Spurs have been hoping for with the Argentinean World Cup winner it is Postecoglou, who will love the 25-year-old’s aggression and bravery with the ball.
Perhaps a surprise one on the list after spending the past 18 months away from the club on loan at Lyon and then Napoli. Ndombele won the Serie A title with the latter, making 40 appearances, albeit many from the bench.
However, if there is one person who can take one last go at making a success of Spurs’ former record signing it’s Postecoglou. His midfield three contains one number six who collects the ball deep and sprays the ball around and two number eights who can dribble, create and support the striker by running into the box.
Ndombele could technically work in either role and it’s the first time he will work for a Tottenham manager who has an attacking system he can thrive in since Mauricio Pochettino asked for him to be signed by the club in the summer of 2019.
Postecoglou will no doubt have a good long think about the 26-year-old because if Ndombele buys into what he wants and provides the energy required then he could be something special within the Australian’s set-up. If he doesn’t, then his inconsistent career and travels around Europe will continue.
There are two sides to the Harry Kane coin under Postecoglou. On one side, it’s difficult to see him fulfilling the exact role Kyogo Furuhashi had as the centre-forward at Celtic. The 28-year-old Japan international bagged 34 goals but his job was an ever-moving, constantly pressing one, often sacrificing himself for the team.
Kane, in contrast, has had three near injury-free seasons after moving away from such a role under Pochettino. Postecoglou could return to previous systems in his career where he has used a deeper, almost false nine, which would fit Kane well as he drops to create.
Kane’s talents are just too good to waste and the other side of this coin is that if he scored 30 Premier League goals in a side that was not creating many chances for him this season, just imagine how many he can score in Postecoglou’s system where the aim is always to get that ball into the box to be finished off. Kane, who turns 30 this summer, will get chances galore to hit the 47 goals that will taken him towards Alan Shearer’s Premier League record.
READ MORE: Ange Postecoglou holds Tottenham transfer meeting with Daniel Levy as Ryan Mason future decided Yves Bissouma
The 26-year-old Mali international was already beginning to show signs of his old self at the end of the season when he returned after his ankle surgery without the restrictions and repetition of Conte’s system.
Bissouma – and Rodrigo Bentancur when he returns later this year – will be able to play as the number six in Postecoglou’s system and also as one of the box-to-box number eights. Bissouma played in the pivot role for Brighton in his final season there as he confirmed his place as one of the best midfielders in the Premier League.
Fully sharp and with a full pre-season – last year’s was interrupted by him getting Covid – and Bissouma could return to those heights under Postecoglou, a manager who was among the top candidates to join his old side Brighton last season.
Tottenham fully expect to make Kulusevski’s loan from Juventus a permanent move. They have used his image prominently to promote their match in Thailand next month, after his loan officially ends, as part of their tour of Australian and Asia. The Swede is also one of only five names initially available on the club’s website for supporters to get on the back of their new Nike home shirts for next season.
For Postecoglou, the 23-year-old Swede could flourish again on the right of his front three but he also perhaps has the potential to take on one of those number eight attacking midfield roles. Kulusevski told football.london last summer that he felt his best position was as a number 10 through the centre and this would not be too different a role in the Australian’s attacking system.
Technically this isn’t one player but we’re grouping them together as one because they all fit into one category – talented young stars who can develop to reach another level.
The first is Destiny Udogie, who will finally arrive from Udinese being tipped as one of the best young players in Serie A. The 20-year-old will need to continue to work on his defending but the expectation is that he will adapt to being a Premier League full-back after spending time as a wing-back in Italy. His ability on the ball will lend itself to Postecoglou’s inverted full-back system. On the other side, Emerson Royal already suits the Postecoglou right-back role and £40m Pedro Porro will either have to adapt or become a winger in the 4-3-3.
Another 20-year-old is Pape Matar Sarr who has the ability and versatility to play in any of Postecoglou’s three midfield roles. He was also one of the fittest players last summer during Conte’s pre-season and his energy and technical ability will serve him well under the new head coach.
His fellow young midfielder Oliver Skipp is often lauded by those in the game for his tactical intelligence and the number six role in the Postecoglou system requires plenty of that. The 22-year-old likes to hit quick passes forward to move the game on and that, plus his work rate and growing leadership abilities will all likely go down well with the Australian.
There is another 22-year-old in Bryan Gil. While there have been questions marks about his physique for the Premier League, there are few about his technical ability. He has continued to develop while back at Sevilla and Postecoglou will have a long look at the Spaniard, who Conte compared to Bernardo Silva last season, before deciding on his next steps.Whenever a new head coach arrives they also give chances to academy youngsters not previously seen too much. That could mean opportunities in pre-season for the likes of Alfie Devine, Matthew Craig and Dane Scarlett to press their claims as the next big thing to come through into the first team.
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