By Kim Jung-yong Kim= Tottenham Hotspur have appointed manager Enzi Postecoglou for a new ‘long-term project’. It’s not an immediate trophy hunt. During the transition period, the 31-year-old will likely be asked to play a supporting role.
‘With all competitions concluded, we are delighted to announce that Mr. Postecoglou is our new first-team coach,’ Tottenham said on its official website on Saturday. He will join the team on July 1 and will sign a four-year contract.
Postecoglou is a prolific coach in Europe. He spent just two seasons at Celtic before moving to Europe with Australian clubs, the Australian national team and Yokohama Marinos in Japan. He won five Scottish domestic trophies in those two seasons, but his success with the Scottish powerhouse often doesn’t translate to the English Premier League (EPL). He’s not a proven manager based on results alone. Tottenham’s latest chief executive, Scott Munn, is Australian and has worked with Postecoglou at City Football Group (CFG) club Yokohama.
If it’s not just the connections, the reason Spurs are taking a chance on a ‘European soccer newbie’ can be found in Daniel Levy’s interview. It’s an aggressive style of play and youth development. “Ange will bring a positive mindset and a fast, aggressive style of play, but he also has a great track record of player development and understands how important it is to work with youth teams,” Levy said.
Tottenham has been a mid-table team for some time, but under Mauricio Pochettino (2014-2019), the club moved up a level, finishing runners-up in both the English Premier League (EPL) and UEFA Champions League (UCL). Pochettino’s team-building skills paid off. Pochettino’s previous trophy-winning managers, José Mourinho and Antonio Conte, have failed to build on this success. Mourinho, in particular, was fired just before England’s Carabao Cup final in the 2020-2021 season, their only chance to win a trophy.
Of the attacking lineup built under Pochettino, Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli, and now Lucas Moura will leave this season. In defense, there have been a number of departures, including England internationals Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier 스포츠토토 and Belgian duo Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. The remaining mainstays, including Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, are in their 30s. It’s time to shake things up.
In a rebuilding season, handing a four-year contract to someone who is known for his ability to develop players and is likely to stay with the team for a relatively long time seems like a sign of long-term thinking. The likes of Kane, Hugo Lloris, and Eric Dier have been heavily linked with transfers this summer. It’s looking like Son is going to have to become a pillar of the team and guide the new, younger players.
It’s not a comfortable path for a trophy-hungry player, but we can only hope that Postecoglou can show his leadership skills sooner rather than later. Tottenham’s first season of rebuilding under Pochettino saw them reach the 2015-2015 Carabao Cup final before falling short. It is possible to speed up the rebuilding process with smart management.