Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Postecoglou welcomes arrival of ‘outstanding leader’ to Tottenham; former Villa midfielder tipped to have major impact

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou during a press conference at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre

Ange Postecoglou Tottenham manager

New Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou cannot wait to start working with his countryman Mile Jedinak after explaining why he has high hopes over his appointment and why he’s also expecting big things from James Maddison.

The 57-year-old Aussie has been drafted in by Daniel Levy as the man charged with reviving Tottenham’s fortunes. Although far from an easy job, Postecoglou underlined his abilities as an outstanding leader during his two years at the helm for Celtic.

During his time in Glasgow, Postecoglou won five of six trophies available to him. And his energetic brand of football had supporters off their seats, in theory making him the perfect match for Spurs.

Of course, succeeding in the Premier League is an entirely new level to winning in Scotland with Celtic. Nonetheless, Postecoglou brings a high-level of confidence with him after finally earning his big break with the Bhoys.

To kick-off the new era, Spurs have already pushed through five signings to take their spending through the £120m mark. Pedro Porro and Dejan Kulusevski have signed permanent deals. The club on Tuesday also welcomed free agent winger Manor Soloman from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Spurs have a new goalkeeper on their books in Guglielmo Vicario, while Maddison has also signed in a £40m deal.

However, the best could be yet to come with Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk revealing three other exciting deals on their radar.

Postecoglou, however, is clearly intent on building a Spurs side that both believes in itself and have a winning formula.

And to help bring that plan to fruition, Postecoglou has appointed former Villa and Crystal Palace midfielder Jedinak as assistant coach.

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‘Outstanding leader’ Jedinak tipped for major role at Tottenham

Discussing his appointment of the 38-year-old, Postecoglou reckons his fellow Aussie will have a major impact at the club.

And speaking to Optus Sport, he’s also happy to give Jedinak his first major coaching role.

“I’ve often said that my biggest frustration with Australian football is that there weren’t enough opportunities,” Postecoglou said.

“I felt that when I finished up with the Australian youth teams and I couldn’t get an opportunity, I couldn’t believe it at the time.

“When I got over here I also realised how tough it is for Australians, even ones based here to get an opportunity.

“I’m really excited to see what Mile [Jedinak] does as a coach.

“It’s his first foray into it, he was an outstanding leader, an outstanding person to work with for the national team so I’m really excited to bring him in and I know he’s going to be a big contributor.”

Talking about his own need to get Spurs upwardly mobile, Postecoglou admits he first needs his players to believe in themselves.

He added: “Absolutely that will be the biggest challenge and that’s what I’m concentrating on at the moment.

“We don’t have the whole group here but the guys we have, it’s about changing that mindset and changing the way the players see the game and maybe their roles within in.

“Because even with the positions they play, there’s going to be adjustments in how I want them to do things. Again, I love that. That’s why I’m here.

“If it was just me rolling up and they’re going out there, doing their thing, it wouldn’t excite me. That’s part of the challenge – it will be a shift from the way the club has played for three or four years.”

James Maddison tipped to make big impact

Postecoglou continued: “In terms of how quickly the players embrace that, the new players coming in will help. That’s the part I have control over, whether that’s James Maddison or Guglielmo (Vicario) in goal.

“They’re players who fit in the direction I want to go in, which helps. Then it’s about seeing with the existing group how many of them are able to adjust and embrace the way we’re going to play.”

Maddison posted excellent numbers for Leicester last season, scoring 10 goals and adding nine assists. And while his efforts could not keep the Foxes in the Premier League, his form earned him England recognition and very high acclaim in the process.

Now Postecoglou will be hoping that form can translate into a similarly-high output at Spurs.

Turning attention to the 26-year-old, the Aussie reckons he can quickly make his impact felt.

“Really excited to get James as part of the group,” he said.

“Any manager will tell you that part of the key to being a dominant team is having multiple attacking threats and having a midfielder who can score and create goals.

“They’re not easy to come by. He’s proven himself at that level in the last few years as somebody who can do that.

“When you look at Tottenham the last few years, they’ve been really reliant on the front three to get their goals.

“I thought it was a really good fit for us to look for a player like James – even better if we could get James, so we ended up getting James.”

‘Maddison can be a leader’

“I was really pleased and the fact we did it early was great because it allows him to have a break. He’s had the birth of twins so I don’t know what shape he’ll be in when he gets here!

“But once we get him in, it means he can come on the tour with us and I know he’s really excited about joining the group.

“He obviously knows a few of the lads and I think he’s in a stage of his career where it feels like he can be a leader, which is great as well because we need players who want to embrace that responsibility within this group.

“Whether it’s their first year in or they’ve been here for ages, we’re going to need leadership on the field and he feels like he can be a player who does that.”

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