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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Tottenham confirm appointment of Ange Postecoglous as manager

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Ange Postecoglou  [REUTERS/YONHAP]
Ange Postecoglou [REUTERS/YONHAP]

Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Ange Postecoglous as the team’s new manager.

News of Postecoglou’s appoint was widely reported on Monday, but the club had not confirmed the news because it was still working out details with the Australian manager’s former club, Celtic.

Those details were presumably worked out by Tuesday, when Tottenham released an official statement.

“Now that the season and all domestic cup competitions have concluded, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as our new First Team Head Coach,” the statement read. “Becoming the first Australian to manage in the Premier League, Ange will join us on 1 July on a four-year contract.”

Postecoglou leaves Celtic after two hugely successful seasons with the Scottish club.

He led Celtic to win the Premiership in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns and also the League Cup both seasons, adding the Scottish Cup this season as well to lock in the Scottish treble. Over the two seasons he posted a huge 83 wins to just 18 losses and 12 draws.

Postecoglou joined Celtic after three and a half seasons with the Yokohama F. Marinos in the Japanese J League. Prior to that, he coached the Australian national team for four years, winning the 2015 Asian Cup. He earlier coached the Australian U-20 team for six years, and spent most of the rest of his coaching career in Australia’s A-League, except for nine months in Greece.

That experience in Japan, where he won the 2019 J League title, proved hugely influential in Scotland. Postecoglou used his knowledge of Asia-Pacific talent to great effect with Celtic, stacking the squad with players from well outside the league’s normal reach.

By the end of the 2022-23 season, Celtic had seven players in the first team from the Asia-Pacific region — Kyogo Furuhashi, Yuki Kobayashi, Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate and Tomoki Iwati from Japan, Oh Hyeon-gyu from Korea and Aaron Mooy from Australia — as well as Japanese midfielder Yosuki Ideguchi currently out on loan.

All eight of those players joined Celtic during Postecoglou’s two years in charge.

Postecoglou takes over a Tottenham side that finished eighth in the Premier League this season, meaning they will miss out on all European football in the next campaign for the first time since the 2009-10.

He is the fourth permanent manager to be appointed to lead the club since Mauricio Pochettino was fired in 2019, after Jose Mourinho, Nuno Esperito Santo and Antonio Conte. Spurs have been without a permanent manager since Conte left in March.

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]