5 players that Ange Postecoglou has already improved at Tottenham
Ange Postecoglou has made an instant impact as Tottenham manager. The team look unrecognisable to the miserable mess they were at times last season.
Spurs have taken 13 points from five matches and seem to be enjoying playing this more positive, attacking style of play.
Summer additions like Guglielmo Vicario, Destiny Udogie, Micky van de Ven and James Maddison have made promising starts, but some of the players that Postecoglou has inherited look completely transformed.
We’ve identified five Tottenham players that have already improved considerably under Postecoglou.
After enduring a nightmare debut campaign at Spurs, Richarlison scored his first goal of the season against Sheffield United and looks capable of revitalising his career in north London.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Postecoglou said, “Richy was great. I thought all the subs who came on really helped. But that’s been a consistent theme.
“And yeah for Richy I think it’s the point I was trying to make yesterday – for him to understand that you try and maintain a balance in life. And his football hasn’t been that bad, he’s still been contributing for us.
“Sometimes when you struggle with certain parts of your life you let it go into other areas.
“But the football is one area where he can control, and he works hard every day in training and really got his rewards today. And hopefully, that gives him a bit more of a settled feel to deal with the other areas of his life.
“For everyone, it’s about not letting it overwhelm you. And hopefully, a day like today helps him.”
Big things were expected of Bissouma when he joined for a £25million fee from Brighton last summer. But Antonio Conte struggled to get him performing and he looked an awkward fit in the Italian’s favoured 3-4-2-1 formation.
After a debut season to forget, Bissouma has kicked on under Postecoglou and looks like he could yet become a successful signing for the club.
The 26-year-old has played almost every minute of Spurs’ strong start to the 2023-24 Premier League campaign and arguably been their best player so far.
“Bissouma looks like a £100million player,” Peter Crouch reacted in TNT Sport’s coverage of the Bournemouth win.
Pape Matar Sarr
Fabrizio Romano reported that Spurs turned down over four approaches for Sarr, who made just two Premier League starts last season.
The 20-year-old Senegal international vindicated Postecoglou’s faith with his best performance for the club in his first start under the Australian coach. Not only did he get on the scoresheet but he produced a man-of-the-match performance with an energetic and positionally intelligent display in the centre of the pitch.
“Yeah, brilliant. He’s been great from the moment I arrived,” Postecoglou told reporters following Sarr’s first Tottenham goal in the 2-0 victory over Manchester United.
“He’s got a great energy about him, but he’s got quality there too.
“He’s one of those midfielders who causes the opposition real problems because whether it’s him running with the ball or without the ball, he runs forward, he runs aggressively and he disrupts the opposition.
“He’s just got a great temperament for a young guy. So really pleased for him.”
“I felt really proud, that’s why I went straight over to the fans… I was happy to celebrate that goal with them.” ✨
Pape talks us through his first goal for Spurs 🤍 pic.twitter.com/h4Yn7Qyul2
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 23, 2023
Nobody who watched Romero for Atalanta or Argentina would question Romero’s quality. The centre-back was outstanding in the World Cup last December.
He’s also had more than his fair share of moments for Spurs, particularly during Conte’s strong start – but he was often rash and ill-disciplined during Spurs’ disappointing 2022-23 season.
There were some question marks over whether he’d be able to control his aggression and be well-suited to Postecoglou’s high line and front-foot attacking approach. But so far he’s been quietly brilliant, particularly during the win over Manchester United.
It’s early days, but Romero is yet to pick up a card, already has two goals, and Spurs look incredibly solid with him patrolling the backline.
The Spanish defender arrived in January, prompting hope that he could give them a shot in the arm as they were really beginning to flail. Things didn’t quite work out that way and Porro looked lost and defensively suspect amid Spurs’ dismal latter half of the 2022-23 campaign.
Postecoglou opted for Emerson Royal in the opener against Brentford but has selected Porro in every game since.
Porro had one or two shaky moments against Manchester United, and was questioned by Gary Neville for straying into midfield, but he grew in confidence as the game went on, doing particularly well to win his duels and shut out Marcus Rashford.
He was similarly solid against Bournemouth, Burnley and Sheffield United and looks as though he’s won his place in Postecoglou’s favoured XI for now.