Ange Postecoglou is the ninth Tottenham manager to try and emulate the last to win a major trophy, Juande Ramos in 2008.
Postecoglou managed a historic fifth domestic Treble in eight seasons with Celtic, adding a Scottish Cup win to the Premiership and League Cup double on Saturday with victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
But the Australian faces a hefty in-tray if he wants to succeed where Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas, Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho, Ryan Mason (in charge for the 2021 League Cup Final), Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte have failed.
Spurs have just finished eighth, their joint-worst league position since lifting the League Cup 15 years ago, and there is plenty for the former Celtic boss to sort out – from Harry Kane’s future to new signings and the disconnect between owners and supporters.
Here, Mail Sport’s Joe Bernstein takes you through the 57-year-old’s in-tray as he prepares to take over at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on July 1.
Ange Postecoglou will take control of Spurs from July 1 after being appointed earlier this week
The 57-year-old had undeniable success with Celtic, winning five trophies in two years
The Australian is tasked with turning the fortunes of the misfiring north Londoners around
1. TAKE CONTROL OF FOOTBALL MATTERS
Clubs are rarely successful when the fans want regime change at the very top of the club.
Manchester United and Everton have found that to their cost in recent years and chairman Daniel Levy is detested by a sizeable section of the Tottenham fanbase, despite overseeing the building of a brilliant new stadium.
Recent green shoots of recovery at Old Trafford might provide an answer. Erik ten Hag has started to turn the ship around by being given more say in recruitment.
It is clear the arrivals of Lisandro Martinez and Antony from Dutch football were on his say-so whereas United previously invested in vanity signings like Cristiano Ronaldo when they seemed to go against the manager’s philosophy to rebuild.
One of Antonio Conte’s biggest gripes was Spurs signing players they felt had resale value.
Hence money was spent on Yves Bissouma and Djed Spence last summer the Italian didn’t consider good enough.
Postecoglou’s record in the transfer market at Celtic was exceptional, particularly bringing in players from Japan.
Levy has employed him to improve the team, Postecoglou has to convince the chairman that the manager really should be the driving force behind potential signings like Harry Maguire – and the future of Harry Kane.
Chairman Daniel Levy (pictured) is despised by large swathes of the Tottenham fanbase
Erik ten Hag has improved Man United after being given more say in recruitment, signing Lisandro Martinez (left) and Antony (right) from Ajax
2. RESOLVE THE HARRY KANE ISSUE…AT LAST
Ironically, Levy’s decision to put a £150million price tag on Kane when Manchester City came calling two years ago has hurt Spurs far more than Pep Guardiola.
City simply won the Premier League without a centre-forward and then signed Erling Haaland. Tottenham have gone backwards even if Kane’s personal form has been good.
Now the England captain holds the cards with a year left on his contract. If Spurs ask for too much from Manchester United or Real Madrid, Kane can simply sit out another 12 months and then leave without Tottenham earning a penny.
Obviously, a fit and firing Kane would be part of Postecoglou’s plans next season but the smart move may be to let him go now if the player wishes.
Even if the transfer fee is a cut-price £70million, that is money the new manager can invest in the rest of the team.
And while nobody on the Spurs books is as good as Kane, a front three of Son, Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski is by no means weak, in addition to any new forward they sign like Kyogo Furuhashi from Celtic.
Richarlison struggled last season but he is Brazil’s main striker and given a run of games in Kane’s absence, his form could easily flip.
Manchester United got better once Bryan Robson left because others stepped in and stepped up. Five years ago, people questioned how City would get on without Vincent Kompany, David Silva and Sergio Aguero. Not bad as it turned out.
Levy’s decision to put a £150million price tag on Kane when Manchester City came calling two years ago has hurt Spurs
Even if Kane only fetches £70million that is money the new manager can invest in the team
3. BUY READY-MADE LIKE HARRY MAGUIRE
Spurs have always been interested in signing younger players hoping their value will rise but it’s not helped them challenge at the top of the table.
Djed Spence, Ryan Sessegnon and Yves Bissouma have not lived up to their reputations or been smart investments.
Harry Maguire’s reputation has taken a battering but it shouldn’t be forgotten he’s been a huge part of an England side that have reached a World Cup semi-final, Euro final and World Cup quarter-final.
He can play in a flat back-four or in a side with wing-backs. He’d certainly bring an aerial presence to the defensive line and is more aggressive in his defending than Eric Dier whose form fell off a cliff last season.
In goal, Brentford’s David Raya is 27 and entering his peak years. He’d be a shrewd signing after Hugo Lloris possibly stopped on a couple of years too long. Furuhashi is 28 and Spurs would be buying more than potential if he came.
All being well, Tottenham’s best creative midfield player Rodrigo Bentancur should return from an ACL in September.
Harry Maguire has been a huge part of the England side to reach a World Cup semi-final and European Championship final
4. REINTEGRATE TROPHY-WINNING LOANEES LIKE NDOMBELE
The players Spurs sent on loan last season were a lot more successful than those who stayed. Surely some of them are worth another chance with a fresh manager in Postecoglou.
Tanguy Ndombele won Serie A with Napoli and Bryan Gil the Europa League with Sevilla. Gio Lo Celso helped Villarreal qualify for Europe.
Others are also due to return hoping they get on better with the new man better than they did with Conte – Harry Winks, Sergio Reguilon and young wing back Destiny Udogie among them, though things did not go well in Rennes for Joe Rodon or Djed Spence.
Postecoglou won’t fancy all of them but there is enough talent in that group to suggest the Londoners would benefit some sticking around.
Tanguy Ndombele won Serie A with Napoli this season and should be reintegrated into the side
5. BE RUTHLESS
Postecoglou has to make some big decisions. If he doesn’t think certain players suit his style, it’s better to get them off the books quickly.
The Australian needs to be ruthless if he is to succeed where his predecessors failed
Players that don’t fit his Ange-ball style should be cut loose if Spurs are to adapt to his way of playing
Oliver Skipp was a popular figure last season for showing more fight than team-mates.
Postecoglou might like that attitude but if he believes the youngster isn’t technical enough for the way he wants to play, better to be direct with the messaging.
A lot of Spurs players struggled last season and Postecoglou’s front-foot approach to the game is very different to the last three managers; Conte, Santo and Mourinho.
It stands to reason then that some of the players signed won’t fit into Ange-ball and Levy can’t fret about holding out for big transfer fees – to give Postecoglou a chance, he needs a busy summer, outs as well as ins.