Ange Postecoglou was hired by Tottenham on Tuesday as the first Australian manager in the English Premier League as the London club began its latest reboot after another turbulent season.
The 57-year-old Postecoglou, who has just won a trophy treble with Celtic in Scotland, is the fourth permanent manager to be hired since Mauricio Pochettino’s departure in 2019, and is tasked with the responsibility of turning Spurs’ fortunes around after 15 years without a trophy.
He signed a four-year contract and follows on from Jose Mourinho, Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte, who all had short-lived reigns.
“Ange brings a positive mentality and a fast, attacking style of play," Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said. "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 will hope Postecoglou can emulate the success he had in his two seasons at Celtic, where he won five trophies — two league titles, the Scottish Cup and two League Cups.
“Of course, we wanted Ange to stay with us at Celtic," Celtic chief executive Michael Nicholson said, “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.”
Born in Greece and raised in Australia, Postecoglou was previously coach of Australia and also Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos. He is a blunt speaker, with his players and the media, and has clarity in his vision of soccer.
Postecoglou joins Tottenham at the end of a season in which it failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 2009.
Tottenham has also had to endure the upheaval of Conte’s departure in March, which was quickly followed by the exit of his former assistant Cristian Stellini, who was appointed interim manager until the end of the season.
The team’s form was so poor under Stellini that he lasted just four games — the last a 6-1 rout by Newcastle, which saw Spurs concede five goals inside 21 minutes. Another assistant, Ryan Mason, took over to the end of the campaign.
As well as managerial instability, Tottenham has also lost managing director of football Fabio Paratici after he lost his appeal against a 30-month ban for his part in a false accounting scandal involving former club Juventus.
Levy is under pressure from supporters to get his latest appointment right, with the ongoing trophy drought leading to growing unrest.
Levy's change of strategy — bringing in proven trophy winners in Mourinho and Conte, who are largely pragmatic, defensive-first coaches — didn't work, so he has gone back to his former approach of hiring a manager who plays more expansive soccer and promotes younger players.
One of Postecoglou’s first jobs at his new club may be to try to convince Harry Kane that his future remains at Spurs.
The England striker has one year left on his contract and has been linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid this summer.
Kane became Spurs’ all-time leading scorer this season when surpassing club great Jimmy Greaves’ record of 266 goals. He also set a new record for his country, with 55 goals.
He has scored 213 Premier League goals and is closing in on Alan Shearer’s all-time record of 260.
While his departure could earn Tottenham as much as $124 million to reinvest in the team, it would leave a significant hole for Postecoglou to try to fill.
Postecoglou described his time at Celtic as an “honor.”
“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," he said.
“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."
Football Australia triumphantly hailed the move to Tottenham, with chief executive James Johnson saying it was a testament to Posetcoglou's “enduring determination, skill and vision as a leader” and a “moment of great pride for Australian football.”
It “highlights this current golden age" in Australian soccer, Johnson said, adding his country “has emerged as a new power in global football.”
Postecoglou coached Australia at the 2014 World Cup, the 2015 Asian Cup — which Australia won on home soil — and the 2017 Confederations Cup, before leaving after qualifying the team for the 2018 World Cup.