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Premier League goalkeeper, two Celtic stars and forgotten Tottenham man could star in Ange Postecoglou’s team

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 1, 2023
Premier League goalkeeper, two Celtic stars and forgotten Tottenham man could star in Ange Postecoglou's team

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Tottenham could look very different next season if they land Ange Postecoglou as manager.

Having failed to sign Julian Nagelsmann and Arne Slot, Spurs have now turned their attention to the Celtic manager.

Postecoglou could be heading to Spurs

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Postecoglou could be heading to SpursCredit: Getty

It might not be quite as desperate as their managerial raids in 2021 when they ended up with Nuno Espirito Santo but club chairman Daniel Levy will not want a repeat of that saga.

But in Postecoglou, Tottenham might have inadvertently found the right man all along.

The Australian coach has won two Scottish Premiership titles with Celtic but it is his style that has caught the eye with a very attacking model.

His usage of full-backs can tighten the grip on opponents, usually using them to overload the midfield – similar to how Mikel Arteta has utilised Oleksandr Zinchenko or Pep Guardiola with John Stones.

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The result gives whoever is in possession an extra player to pass to and can move the ball quickly up the pitch rather than from side to side.

That would be quite the change to the current system at Tottenham, where previous boss Antonio Conte prefers three at the back.

And while it gave them defensive solidity, there was often no cutting pass to break down a resilient defence – something Celtic have not had problems with.

In 38 league matches, the Hoops have scored 114 – exactly three goals a game.

Celtic are on the cusp of an impressive treble

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Celtic are on the cusp of an impressive trebleCredit: Getty
Without Kane, Tottenham would be in trouble

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Without Kane, Tottenham would be in troubleCredit: Getty

Take Harry Kane out of the Tottenham team and they have scored 40 times in the Premier League this season.

Another key component of Celtic’s attacking play has been their use of box-to-box midfielders.

Callum McGregor and Matt O’Riley have been sublime for the Scottish giants this season and it is often something so simply utilised such as body shape to receive the ball.

Combined with an attacking full-back, one of the midfielders already has an option to pass to before the ball has even been received.

So instead of taking a touch, turning and then offloading, all of this can be combined in one movement while also continuing the momentum up the pitch.

Again, Guardiola and Arteta use this method – particularly Arsenal, who dominated sides who prefer to sit back as a result.

O’Riley could be a great option for Postecoglou, who will need more quality in midfield if he arrives at Tottenham.

Both Olivier Skipp and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg are decent options as defensive midfielders but the 57-year-old will need a player to progress the ball up the pitch.

O'Riley could be the answer in midfield

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O’Riley could be the answer in midfieldCredit: AFP

This is something that O’Riley has been excellent at in Scotland while the 22-year-old, who has declared international allegiance to Denmark, is a London boy at heart – born in Hounslow and came up through the Fulham academy.

Something that is also absent from the Spurs squad is creativity and attacking prowess from wide areas.

Heung-min Son has had a worrying decline in form while Richarlison has not impressed.

Lucas Moura is also departing, while Dejan Kulusevski could return to Juventus, leaving space for an attacking player.

One potential answer is Celtic star Jota, who has been supreme for them – scoring 14 and assisting 12 in all competitions.

The 24-year-old’s diminutive height should not put Spurs fans off – a zippy little winger is exactly what they are crying out for.

Jota’s penchant for the sensational would make him a crowd-pleaser as well, the only concern would be whether he can convert his Scottish Premiership form to the Premier League.

Concerning Postecoglou’s usage of full-backs, whether anyone in the current squad could manage those responsibilities remains to be seen.

Jota has been one of Celtic's best players this season

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Jota has been one of Celtic’s best players this seasonCredit: Getty
Destiny Udogie is already a Tottenham player

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Destiny Udogie is already a Tottenham playerCredit: Getty

Ryan Sessegnon will be keen to impress his skillset while Ivan Perisic is an excellent professional – but can he teach an old dog new tricks?

But exciting prospect Destiny Udogie will arrive at the club after a season-long loan at Udinese and the Italian could be the long-term solution at left-back.

On the other side, Pedro Porro and Emerson Royal will battle it out for the right-back slot while the return of Rodrigo Bentancur will prove pivotal as arguably Tottenham’s best midfielder.

The future of Tanguy Ndombele is also one to keep an eye on after proving a fine asset at Napoli, where he helped them win the Serie A title.

His unique qualities might finally be harnessed by an attacking coach in Postecoglou, something Levy would love after forking out a club-record fee for the Frenchman.

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That is if he does not stay at Napoli – but a fit and firing Ndombele could provide Tottenham with some much-needed pizzazz in midfield.

A new goalkeeper will have to be signed with Hugo Lloris leaving and David Raya appears to be the top choice, a fine asset to the incoming boss with how he wants to play out from the back.

Tottenham could have a different line-up next season

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Tottenham could have a different line-up next seasonCredit: talksport

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