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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ange becomes first Australian in the Premier League to...

Ange becomes first Australian in the Premier League to...

June 06, 2023 16:58 IST
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IMAGE: Tottenham Hotspurs appoint Ange Postecoglou as their new manager. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur have appointed former Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou as their new manager on a four-year contract, the Premier League club said on Tuesday.

He becomes the first Australian to manage a team in the Premier League and will join Spurs on July 1.

“Ange brings a positive mentality and a fast, attacking style of play,” Spurs chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement.

“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."

The 57-year-old ex-Australia international, who guided the Scottish Premiership club to a domestic treble this season, will replace Antonio Conte as Spurs' permanent boss.

 

They were linked with Feyenoord's Arne Slot, Bayer Leverkusen's Xabi Alonso and former Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann before landing on Postecoglou.

JOB TO DO

Following Conte's acrimonious exit in March, Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason took interim charge at the north London side.

Italian Conte took charge of Spurs in 2021 but became the seventh manager to fail to end their 15-year trophy drought. Spurs last lifted silverware in 2008 when they won the League Cup.

They finished eighth in the league after a dismal campaign and missed European football for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Postecoglou faces many challenges in his bid to spark a revival at Spurs, chief among which is resolving the future of talismanic striker Harry Kane.

Kane, who this year became both England and Spurs' record goalscorer, has one year left on his contract.

He has been linked with a move away from the Premier League side, with both Manchester United and Real Madrid touted as possible destinations.

MOMENT OF PRIDE FOR AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL

Postecoglou has enjoyed success pretty much wherever he has coached over the last 26 years.

He joined Celtic from Yokohama F Marinos, a J1 League club, in June 2021 on a 12-month rolling contract and helped them reclaim the Scottish Premiership title in his first season.

In Japan, he guided Yokohama to their first league title in 15 years in 2019.

His other coaching experiences include spells at Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory, as well as a four-year stint with Australia during which he led the Socceroos to the 2014 World Cup and the following year secured their first major title at the Asian Cup.

"This new chapter at Spurs for Ange is a testament to his enduring determination, skill, and vision as a leader," Football Australia CEO James Johnson said.

"It is also a moment of great pride for Australian football...

"(It) highlights this current golden age as we see more of our coaches making an impact on football around the globe and a steady presence of players across European leagues, particularly in Great Britain."

IMAGE: Christian Pulisic plans to return to Chelsea. Photograph: Marc Atkins/Getty Images

‘I plan to go back, but anything can happen’

US winger Christian Pulisic plans to return to Chelsea despite speculation that his days at Stamford Bridge are over.

Pulisic became the most expensive American soccer player when he signed with the Premier League side in 2019 for some 64 million euros ($68.54 million) but a recent lack of playing time prompted frustration.

"As of right now, I'm a Chelsea player and I plan to go back, but a lot of things can happen. A lot of things can change," said the 24-year-old, who has rejoined the US national team ahead of their CONCACAF Nations League title defence.

The lack of minutes on the pitch became a source of concern in the lead-up to last year's World Cup, with the American eager to get game time to prepare for the tournament, where he helped the United States reach the last 16.

"It's been an interesting journey at club level for me," he told reporters. "I had a... great couple of years and the last couple of years just haven't gone at all how I planned them to be."

Chelsea sacked coach Graham Potter in April and last month hired former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino with reviving their fortunes after they finished 12th in the Premier League, their worst end to the season since 1994.

Pulisic said his time with the national team is helping him recapture his joy for the sport, with a semi-final match against rivals Mexico set for June 15.

"I'm really excited to be here and get some minutes on the field and get back to being that confident player that I know I can be. I want to find my footing again and enjoy the game because it feels like it's been tough to do that lately," he said.

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