Six big issues Ange Postecoglou must face up to as Tottenham manager

Hugo Lloris during Tottenham's home defeat by Bournemouth - Ange Postecoglou to Tottenham: The six big issues he faces as manager - Getty Images/Julian Finney

Ange Postecoglou is the latest man to try to succeed where so many have ultimately failed at Tottenham Hotspur during the Daniel Levy era.

Here, Telegraph Sport examines the biggest issues facing the Australian as he attempts to turn the club from also-rans to winners.

Clarity on Harry Kane’s future

This is the big one. Tottenham with Harry Kane is a much different job to Tottenham without Harry Kane. There is no sign of the striker signing a new contract, so Spurs have the choice of cashing in or risk losing him for nothing next summer. Levy, the club chairman, is determined to try to keep hold of him, despite interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Were he forced to sell, then Levy would prefer to ship Kane to Spain, but the 29-year-old is thought to favour the prospect of remaining in England and continuing to chase down the Premier League goalscoring record. Real’s players believe Kane is the perfect candidate to replace Karim Benzema, but the club also have other targets such as Chelsea’s Kai Havertz and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez.

It seems the only way Kane will leave is if he is prepared to force the issue, having failed in an effort to join Manchester City two years ago. Is he prepared to go through that all again, or can Postecoglou help convince Tottenham’s star man to give the club one last chance to match his ambition? One thing is certain, Postecoglou will want clarity on Kane’s situation as quickly as possible.

Handling the captaincy post-Lloris

With Hugo Lloris set to leave, Tottenham must appoint a new club captain. As long as he does not follow the Frenchman out of the exit door, then this will be Kane, who is already vice-captain of his club and wears the armband with distinction for his country. The bigger decision for Spurs and Postecoglou will be who to give the vice-captaincy to or whether to have a more fluid leadership group under Kane.

Clearing out the squad

Tottenham are open to allowing up to seven first-team players, including Lloris and Ivan Perisic, leave the club this summer, while a number of players who spent last season on loan away from Spurs will also be allowed to go. Interestingly, that might not include Tanguy Ndombele, who won Serie A during a season-long loan at Napoli this season. Tottenham, as ever, will look to recoup fees for a number of players but may also be prepared to cut short a couple of contracts to create extra space in the squad and on the wage bill.

Finishing eighth and missing out on European qualification has provided Tottenham with a reset moment and the appointment of Postecoglou has demonstrated Levy is now prepared to go in a different direction. But Spurs will get nowhere if they keep expecting miracles from players who have failed to deliver them time and time again.

Changing the culture

This has arguably been Tottenham’s biggest problem of all in recent years and is something Postecoglou must address. Antonio Conte was the latest manager to speak about attitudes within the club being all wrong, while the All or Nothing documentary gave an insight into what Jose Mourinho was up against. For far too long, Tottenham players have believed they can out-last managers and have felt empowered to take their problems straight to Levy. This was best demonstrated by the clash between Mourinho and Danny Rose that was so famously caught on camera, but it is something that has been widespread within the club for years.

Postecoglou is a straight-talking Australian, who has also forged a reputation for being able to communicate with his players and use a human touch to help motivate them. The fact Postecoglou is already known to chief football officer Scott Munn, who officially starts work on July 1, should be positive and their relationship, together with that of whoever is appointed sporting director, will be crucial.

Danie Levy attending Southampton vs Tottenham last season - Ange Postecoglou to Tottenham: The six big issues he faces as manager - Getty Images/Adrian Dennis
Danie Levy attending Southampton vs Tottenham last season - Ange Postecoglou to Tottenham: The six big issues he faces as manager - Getty Images/Adrian Dennis

Recruiting on a budget

One of the big successes of Postecoglou’s time at Celtic was his recruitment with just about every signing proving to be a big success and provide fantastic value for money. Levy will be hoping that, with the help of a sporting director, he can work similar magic in the transfer window for Tottenham. Recruitment has been a huge problem for Spurs for far too long, with the 2022 January window providing the only real exception when Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski both arrived from Juventus. Tottenham cannot compete financially with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and even Newcastle United, so must find value in the market, which is something Postecoglou has proved to be good at.

Connecting with supporters

Tottenham had momentum behind them when Mauricio Pochettino’s exciting team made a real connection with the club’s fans, but that has sadly been lost since his departure. Never has there been such a big disconnect between supporters and the club, with a growing number deciding to join the ‘Levy Out’ campaign and some even booing their own player, Davinson Sanchez. Postecoglou might not be able to change opinions towards Levy, but he must reconnect the team with the fans if Spurs are to regain any kind of serious momentum. The best way to do that will be to quickly implement his brand of front-foot, entertaining football.