Some managers make it clear that they will never go back and attack their old team. Others keep quiet and do it if they feel the need.
Time will tell which side of the fence Ange Postecoglou falls on. But I don’t consider the Aussie a sentimental type.
He’s a badass who makes big decisions for the benefit of his employers. And I wonder if that will bring him back to Parkhead when he starts trying to rebuild Tottenham Hotspur into a real force in English football.
It’s really interesting that Postecoglou wants to take key members of his Celtic backroom team with him. This is a change in policy from the way it operated before.
What’s even more fascinating is whether the desire to be around people he trusts extends to signing players for the club he’s about to leave. As far as a name goes, it seems like a logical solution to one of the problems Postecoglou might be facing in North London.
Ange Postecoglou is expected to be named new Tottenham manager in the coming days
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him take Kyogo Furuhashi (above) with him to Spurs
His admiration for Kyogo Furuhashi – as a player and a person – is clearly immense. Postecoglou said that while working in Japan he already knew he wanted to make the striker his first signing if he ever got a job in Europe. No matter what club or country it was, Furuhashi came with him.
This level of faith is unusual. And that seems particularly relevant when considering the wider situation at Tottenham.
We don’t know what will happen with Harry Kane this summer, although Spurs insist he is not for sale. He has been linked with Real Madrid following Karim Benzema’s decision to leave for Saudi Arabia. Manchester United also have a long-standing interest.
Spurs are going to need a new striker. If not to replace Kane immediately, at least to give another credible option in that department.
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Furuhashi ends up joining Postecoglou in London at some point. And I could see it being a success, too.
With his movement, intelligence, finishing and work rate, I think he could handle the build-up. He would be a handful for even the most active defenders in the Premier League and, above all, would understand what his manager wanted from him.
That’s only part of the equation, of course. Would Celtic let their most prolific goalscorer follow their manager in the same summer? It would have to be a really big financial deal for a player who still has two years on his contract.
In my opinion, however, Furuhashi has the ability to impact Spurs. And they have the money to try to make a deal if that’s what Postecoglou wants.
His record in the transfer market at Celtic was excellent. Much of this turned to players he knew extremely well. Hence the signatures of Japan.
Postecoglou enjoyed great success in the transfer market during his two years at Celtic
I don’t think he will do it to the same extent with Tottenham, but there’s every chance that an element of that approach will continue. Getting players who know the system, know its requirements and have the quality to succeed seems like an obvious decision for a manager whose approach places high demands on a team. Furuhashi’s name stands out to me.
Are there others? Well, I’ve been a big fan of Cameron Carter-Vickers ever since he joined Celtic. He was in a class of his own in Scotland.
But I’m well aware that he was at Spurs before and didn’t break into the first team, so I don’t know if that would be something that would work.
Jota is the other schemer. In his time, he had tremendous talent. He can score goals, score goals and provide an X factor to a team. He has the potential to be even better than he is right now, but the relentless nature of the Premier League presents a different challenge.
Is he ready to be stable enough in his performance week after week at this stage of his development? It’s open to debate. I would put it as a maybe.
Postecoglou could also try to sign Celtic striker Jota in his first Tottenham transfer window
Like I said earlier, looking from the outside, I see Postecoglou as a very level-headed and smart guy. He does what it takes to succeed. All top managers have a ruthless side and I think we saw it in him.
In the past, he could move to a new club and be happy enough to accept the coaching staff already there. From Australia to Japan and then to Scotland, that was pretty much his way of working.
Coming down to the Premier League is different. I think he knows he will be under immense pressure from the start and the margin for error becomes smaller given the generalized quality of the opposition.
You need people you can trust 100% in this situation. Transforming a team like Tottenham is a huge job but it gets a little easier if you work with coaches who already know exactly how you work.
John Kennedy and Gavin Strachan have been at his side for two years. They are on the same page. They understand his methods and know how to best implement them on a new group of players.
Postecoglou will have seen how Kennedy and Strachan react in good and bad times. He clearly values their contribution and, from his own perspective, it’s wise for him to try to steer them away from Celtic.
Whether they end up going there may depend on other factors.
John Kennedy (right) and Gavin Strachan (left) look set to join Postecoglou at Spurs, and Celtic’s loss will be Tottenham’s gain
Celtic fans will be upset by Postecoglou’s impending departure. On the other hand, Rangers fans will love seeing him from behind. Both testify to the quality of his work.
While that doesn’t necessarily make acceptance at Parkhead easier, I said last week that it should be seen as a good thing for Scottish football that a manager can move from there to such a historic club in England. It shows what is possible and makes the environment in Scotland a bit more attractive for ambitious coaches and players.
Of course, the feeling in England is more mixed. I’ve seen a lot of Tottenham fans say they weren’t convinced Postecoglou was the right fit. It almost feels like a repeat of the situation when he arrived at Celtic two years ago. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t know much about him at the time. When I first heard about his appointment I thought it was odd given his lack of experience in British or even European football.
But he made all skeptics look like fools in Glasgow. And he can do the same in London. I really believe it. Celtic’s loss will be Spurs’ gain.