This article has been sitting in my outbox for a few days – despite confirmation of an agreement by leading journalists (I had been burned by my previous ‘Slot Machine’ articles) I wanted to wait ‘till the scarf was held up!’

Ange Postecoglou has been announced as the new Tottenham Hotspur Manager after the new seemingly standard seventy-something-day search.  Despite this taking the same amount of time as the Nuno appointment the search did feel somewhat more structured.

When Nuno was appointed it was quite clear that he was way down the shortlist (that became a long list) of prospective managers.

Last time there was the public flirting with Paulo Fonseca / Gattuso, who themselves were not near the top of the list.  This time there was only really Arnie Slot and we will never know how close Spurs were to appointing him, whether Spurs were just a pawn in his plan for a new contract or none of the above.

There was the obvious speculation regarding Naglesman after he allegedly turned down Chelsea but I am not sure he was ever on the list.  Like it or not, we know that Pochettino wasn’t either!

Also, Spurs moved very quickly after the Scottish Cup Final (Spurs do very little quickly usually) to suggest that the groundwork of the appointment had been laid.  Also interestingly there are names of certain players being consistently linked with the club.  As was quite rightly pointed out why would Spurs be looking to sign players the new manager may not want……………

A lot of the fanbase are underwhelmed by an appointment from the Scottish League with no other European experience, there is one thing that Postecoglou does and that is winning.

Spurs seem to have made a conscious steer away from the Conte / Mourinho characters who were always going to come up short against Daniel Levy and somehow didn’t really seem to fit with Tottenham from the outset.

Quite how two of the most decorated Managers in World football failed to get a tune out of the Spurs squad will forever baffle me. Money was available to spend – I just wonder how much influence they actually had on what it was spent on.  Maybe this is the reason.

Ange Postecoglou

(Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images)

The early feeling that ‘players willing to run through a brick wall’ for the manager quickly faded away in both the Mourinho and Conte eras and the dressing room never seemed to have the same unity as under Pochettino.

The other school of thought is that certain players were on ‘easy street’ and couldn’t adapt to the robust approach of the coaches.  If that is the case they will soon be found out. From the quotes and interviews I have seen Postecoglou doesn’t suffer fools.

With the talk of a clear-out, it will be interesting to see if Ange shares the same view that Spurs fans have held of certain players over the last few seasons.

Pochettino was quick and decisive in the dismantling of his inherited squad.  To be successful, Ange needs to be given the tools to be able to go through the squad like a dose of salts.

We have seen managers with Premier League know-how and success with perceived smaller clubs not be able to replicate their success at a higher level. Potter, Dyche and Nuno spring to mind.

The one Manager to ‘buck the trend’ is Eddie Howe. Although backed with a shiny new chequebook, he has made some very astute signings.  Nick Pope, Dan Burn and Kieran Trippier spring to mind.

He has also shown that coaching can make a difference to a player as high-profile flops Almiron and Joelinton have been turned into world beaters!  It would also be remiss not to congratulate Nuno on his recent title success.

For Spurs to be successful a policy of youth mixed with good, proven Premier League players pros such as James Maddison etc, sprinkled with World Class performers such as Harry Kane (see below!).

So Harry Kane the conundrum.  For me, the options seem to be.

  1. Sell to Real Madrid now and re-invest the 100m
  2. Allow him to run down his contract, qualify for the Champions League, fall in love with Big Ange and sign a new deal
  3. Allow him to run down his contract and slope off to Chelsea or Manchester United to get the Premier League goalscoring record

One thing is for sure this situation needs to be resolved quickly and decisively to ensure that Ange isn’t behind the nine ball from the start. I will certainly be dreading the back page headlines as the summer progresses!

Also, spare a thought for Ryan Mason.  Clearly ‘One of our own’ and if nothing else seemed to restore some pride/togetherness in the dressing room in his stint towards the end of the season.

While he would undoubtedly benefit from a place on Ange’s coaching staff, to ever be truly considered for the top job I feel he must get experience and ‘earn his spurs’ elsewhere.

Ryan Mason

(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

While everyone talks about Postecoglou having an attacking philosophy Ryan Mason has proved that it isn’t simply about changing a formation.

New formations need to be bedded in top-down through to the academy and latterly practised until they become muscle memory.  Probably the only coach and squad who seem to be able to regularly change their formation and still be successful as Manchester City and Guardiola!

If it had just been a case of tweaking the formation, Conte would have done it.  He always maintained he played the formation that suited the players at his disposal.  Newcastle away probably proved him right.

Whatever happens, I never want to go into a North London derby again expecting to lose as was the case this year.  We need to get the stadium behind the new manager – some of the atmospheres were toxic last year but the style of football on show (and latterly results) did nothing to galvanise the fans.

Ange Postecoglou seems a very likeable character and I am sure that the players and fans will respond to him.  Having said that despite all the calls for patience, in reality, good results or at least performances and green shoots of recovery will be needed from an early stage.

In answer to my question, no I wouldn’t arm wrestle an Australian.  The nation produces winners and coined the expression of 1st losers for runners-up.

Let’s hope that Daniel Levy has pulled this one out of the fire and we are about to embark on a Pochettino-style adventure!  If this doesn’t work, I am not sure where we or he goes from here!

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