Sunday People


- Football’s ultimate maverick sounds off

ANGE POSTECOGLO­U could be Mauricio Pochettino 2.0.

The Aussie ticks a lot of the same boxes – he will be the closest Spurs have come in the last two or three managers to the Argentinia­n.

A lot of people will be looking at him, wondering if he can handle a club as big as the north Londoners – not that Celtic is in any way small, but the Premier League is a different beast.

Executive chairman Daniel Levy may have been snubbed by a couple of his first choices but I’ve got a good feeling about this.

This won’t be a man who walks into Spurs’ training ground at Enfield and starts lording it, like a couple of their previous appointmen­ts. He’s humble, he knows where he’s from. He was exiled from Greece as a kid and his managerial career has taken him to several lowerranke­d places all across Australia and the Far East.

He’s 57 years old and comfortabl­e in his own skin. He’ll be able to take a step back and say: ‘If I get the sack in six months, I’ll go on a sabbatical for as long as I need to. It ain’t the end of the world.’

And he has shown at Celtic that he will manage as he sees fit. I don’t think he will take any BS from Levy.

What were the stand-outs from his time in Scotland?

He’s likeable, personable. He looks like a gaffer, sounds like a gaffer, feels like a gaffer – not a head coach.

And Ange likes to play football on the front foot. He likes to press, he likes good technician­s.

A lot is said about the Asian market. He will be able, for sure, to buy two or three from there.

Postecoglo­u knows the

Asian market, and that should give Spurs fresh life.

Levy will use that to his advantage, although the cat might be out of the bag now that

Japanese star

Kaoru Mitoma has been such a success at


Everyone’s swarming all over the region now because those players notoriousl­y command lower fees and wages. I don’t buy into the theory that Ange will buy half-a-side of Japanese players. But he will know where the value is.

And Levy will like that, too, because Spurs need a reboot. The side needs some athleticis­m and speed, in midfield and also in defence.

Everyone has been talking about Liverpool’s engine-room. I think Spurs’ need is just as great, if not greater.

I think they’ve got problems. If you look down their squad list there are 15 of them. I don’t fancy any more than two – Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-emile Hojbjerg.

And I think there are probably 10 defenders on their books, all earning good money, and you have to ask yourself as to how many of the top clubs would want any of them?

Up front, the club cannot go on relying on Harry Kane and Heung-min Son forever. They need some pace and vitality.

Kyogo at Celtic is worth a punt.

For large chunks of last season when Antonio Conte was in charge, and under Jose Mourinho, it didn’t look like they were all busting a gut.

That drive and energy can be imported. But it needs to be driven from inside, as well.

The only downside is if he doesn’t do well in his first 10 matches next season.

The problem is going to be like the one Graham Potter experience­d at Chelsea and David Moyes at Manchester United.

If you don’t have the name recognitio­n of a Jurgen Klopp, then you’re pushing water uphill.

If he doesn’t get results in the first 10 games, it’s going to be ‘Ange who?’

It’ll be: ‘He’s managed Yokohama Rangers and some deadbeats in the Outback.’

Hardly fair. But since when has football been fair? That’s what he’s got to overcome. He didn’t start well at Celtic but picked up momentum and ended with backto-back trebles.

But if he gets access to the Asian market, has a pre-season where he can work on a distinct playing style, keeps hold of Kane and gets his other big players firing again, Spurs’ hopes don’t look bad at all.

 ?? ?? Hojberg and Bentancur are two players new Spurs boss Ange Postecoglu doesn’t have to worry about
Hojberg and Bentancur are two players new Spurs boss Ange Postecoglu doesn’t have to worry about
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