Tottenham appoint ‘attacking’ Ange Postecoglou as new manager

Ange Postecoglou has signed a four-year deal to replace Antonio Conte as Tottenham’s permanent manager (Steve Welsh/PA) (PA Wire)
Ange Postecoglou has signed a four-year deal to replace Antonio Conte as Tottenham’s permanent manager (Steve Welsh/PA) (PA Wire)

Tottenham have appointed Ange Postecoglou as the club’s new manager on a four-year contract.

The Australian steered Celtic to the domestic treble this season and now moves south for his first role in the Premier League.

Spurs’ chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement: “Ange brings a positive mentality and a fast, attacking style of play. He has a strong track record of developing players and an understanding of the importance of the link from the academy – everything that is important to our club.

“We are excited to have Ange join us as we prepare for the season ahead.”

Tottenham opened talks following Celtic’s Scottish Cup final victory against Inverness on Saturday, determined to make a swift appointment following a chaotic season which saw them sack Antonio Conte and his interim replacement Cristian Stellini and finish eighth in the Premier League – their lowest rank since 2009.

Spurs, who were turned down by Feyenoord manager Arne Slot and considered approaching former Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann, were impressed by the exciting style of football Postecoglou implemented at Celtic.

Postecoglou arrived in Glasgow having previously won titles with the Brisbane Roar in Australia and the Yokohama Marinos in Japan, as well as leading his country to the Asia Cup title at international level. He silenced the doubters as his Celtic side took the Premiership by storm with his brand of all-out attacking football. In his two seasons with Celtic, the club won five out of six domestic trophies.

He had been previously linked with Premier League jobs at Brighton and Crystal Palace.

Postecoglou now faces a tall task at Tottenham, with no director of football currently in place at the club, captain Hugo Lloris departing this summer and Harry Kane’s contract running down. The new head coach will need to establish a new style of play after Conte’s more conservative approach failed, while improving the squad with new recruits in order to challenge for the top four again.

Postecoglou will become the first Australian to manage in the Premier League, and Football Australia’s CEO James Johnson hailed the appointment.

“On behalf of Football Australia, we would like to congratulate Ange on his appointment to English Premier League club, Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. This appointment is a personal triumph for Ange and his family, and we are absolutely delighted for them,” said Johnson.

“Ange personifies the Australian football story: a proud Greek-Australian who immigrated to Australia at a young age and found his place in a new Australia through football. After making a name for himself domestically, from his playing days at South Melbourne Football Club to his success as Socceroos’ Head Coach leading the team to Asian Cup glory in 2015 on home soil, Ange has gone on to test himself successfully in the global football arena against the world’s best.”

Postecoglou celebrates with the Scottish Cup (Getty Images)
Postecoglou celebrates with the Scottish Cup (Getty Images)

Postecoglou built a strong bond with Celtic fans and the club wished him well, while revealing they have already begun searching for his successor.

Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson said: “It has been a pleasure working with Ange, a great football manager and a good man. He has served the Club with such energy and determination and delivered a phenomenal level of success. I would like to thank him for all he has given us and I wish Ange and his family the very best for the future in everything they do.

“Of course, we wanted Ange to stay with us at Celtic and while there is real disappointment that we are losing him, he has decided he wants to look at a new challenge, which we respect.

“As treble-winning champions, the club looks ahead with confidence to the future, with many exciting opportunities ahead. The Club appreciates the tremendous support from Celtic fans this season and we will continue to build from this position of unity and strength.”

Postecoglou said: “I would like to sincerely thank everyone at the club for everything they have given me ... They wanted me to extend my time at Celtic and while I am so respectful and understanding of their position, a new opportunity has been presented to me and it is one which I wanted to explore.

“It was an honour to be asked to be Celtic manager and during my two years I have given everything I have to deliver success to our supporters. Culminating in the Treble at the weekend, my players and backroom team have been brilliant for me on this journey.

“Our supporters have been magnificent to me and I thank them for the way they have embraced me during the past two years. My ambition was always to give our fans a team they could be proud of, a team people talked about and I think we have achieved that.

“Celtic is a phenomenal football club, and so much more – and I will forever be a supporter of this great institution. I wish everyone connected with Celtic nothing but continued success.”