Tottenham Hotspur have made an extremely successful start to the new season under their new coach, Angelos Postecoglou. Without the departed Harry Kane, the Spurs suddenly play very refreshing and respectable offensive football.
After Harry Kane’s departure, many Tottenham fans had justified concerns about the future of their club. After all, the England striker, who has been lacing up his football boots for the London club since he was eleven, collected a total of 344 points (280 goals, 64 assists) in 435 competitive games for Spurs. In the end, however, he was no longer able to resist the extremely lucrative call from Munich. Kane’s time at Spurs ended after more than 19 years with the question of who should actually be responsible for the goals at Tottenham.
Barely a month after his transfer to the German record champions, the topic of Kane in north London seems to have been forgotten. The Spurs made an extremely successful start to the post-Kane era with three wins and one draw from four games, and the question of a suitable successor for the 30-year-old no longer arises after eleven goals have been scored in those four opening games .
Tottenham Hotspur inspire under Postecoglou with refreshing attacking football
The new coach Angelos Postecoglou played a large part in the strong start to the season. The Australian with Greek roots managed within a very short time to spread a new euphoria among Spurs supporters. After rather staid years under the two defensive fanatics José Mourinho and Antonio Conte, Tottenham impressed in the first four PL games with refreshing and extremely handsome offensive football.
Sure, Tottenham haven’t had to compete against the really big names yet. Apart from a convincing 2-0 win against Manchester United on the second match day, which is still in a kind of finding phase after a summer of transfers with many arrivals and departures, the opponents were Brentford (2: 2), Bournemouth (2: 0) and Burnley (5:2) rather smaller calibres. But in recent seasons it was often against such types of opponents that the Spurs left the important counters in the fight for a place at the top of the table.
Postecoglou even managed to compensate for Kane’s departure without making large and, above all, expensive new commitments. The role formerly played by the England striker was occupied by Richarlison for the first three matches and then ex-Leverkusen striker Heung-Min Son, who proved with a three-goal against Burnley that he can also hold the position of sole nine.
Tottenham Hotspur: Big names need to sit on the bench
In addition, newcomer James Maddison, who moved from relegated Leicester City to north London for a comparatively cheap transfer fee of 45 million euros, was particularly convincing in the first few games. As a new playmaker, the attacking midfielder has already contributed two goals and two assists, making him Tottenham’s top scorer at the moment. In Postecoglou 4-2-3-1, as a nominal ten, it gets all the freedom it needs to bring its creativity to Spurs’ attacking game.
Overall, Tottenham’s game in the last third seems much less focused on a single person. While Kane has been the clear linchpin of the Spurs offensive in recent years, it now gives the impression that the team can appear much more freely, creatively and less statically. The result of this is bold, powerful attacking football without blindly running into every opponent’s knife and conceding three goals in every game.
Offensive aside, Tottenham’s starting XI under the Australian coach is a mix of players Postecoglou’s predecessors had no real use for, such as Pape Sarr, Yves Bissouma (both central midfield) and Destiny Udogi (left-back), as well as some smart signings. In addition to Maddison, these include central defender Micky van de Ven (VfL Wolfsburg), keeper Guglielmo Vicario (FC Empoli) and right-back Pedro Porro (Sporting Lisbon).
Postecoglou does not shy away from putting big names on the bench, some of which were undisputed under Conte. Ex-Bayern players Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg and Ivan Perisic as well as Giovanni Lo Celso have only made short appearances so far.
Tottenham Hotspur: Fans write song for Postecoglou
Postecoglou’s popularity with the fans hardly affects it. So it only lasted until the second day of the game, the 2-0 win against ManUnited, before the first stadium song was dedicated to the Australian out of gratitude – in the classic English manner. Spurs fan James Black quickly rewrote Robbie Williams’ classic “Angels” to “Ange” (abbreviation of Postecoglou’s first name Angelos). On the one hand, it contains a hymn of praise for Postecoglou, on the other hand, it also deals against the ex-coach Conte, Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino and even Christian Gross and their boring and not very successful football:
Within a very short time, the song gained enormous popularity in England, which is why even Robbie Williams himself became aware of it and quickly put a video online on his Instagram channel in which he sang the rephrased refrain. As a self-confessed supporter of his hometown club Port Vale from Stoke-on-Trent, the British musician even suspected that he was now a Spurs supporter himself.
And Postecoglou also knows how to score off the pitch with his open, charming and quick-witted manner. He ironically replied to a reporter’s tactical praise at a press conference that he was merely copying the way ManCity coach and colleague Pep Guardiola played, after expert Gary Neville had immediately accused him of using the Catalan’s ideas.
Tottenham Hotspur is more fun than Bayern
Either way: The success with which Tottenham is currently playing its games proves the Australian right. Due to the early point in time in the current season, it is still too early for any predictions. What remains to be said, however, is that Tottenham coped with Kane’s departure better than many might have imagined when he made his move.
Up until the Londoners’ first goal of the season, some bereaved Tottenham fans didn’t even seem to be sure whether there could even be football at White Hart Lane after Kane. Ironically, however, the football Spurs are currently playing is in many ways even more fun to watch than what Bayern Munich is currently capable of delivering.
Premier League: The current table
#MannschaftSp.SUNToreDiff.Pkt.1Manchester City440011:29122Tottenham Hotspur431011:47103Liverpool FC43109:36104West Ham United43109:45105Arsenal FC43108:44106Brighton & Hove Albion430112:6697Crystal Palace42115:4178Brentford FC41308:5369Nottingham Forest42026:60610Aston Villa42028:9-1611Manchester United42025:7-2612Chelsea FC41125:50413Fulham FC41124:10-6414Newcastle United41037:70315Wolverhampton Wanderers41034:8-4316AFC Bournemouth40224:8-4217Sheffield United40134:7-3118Everton FC40132:8-6119Luton Town30032:9-7020Burnley FC30033:11-80