THIS may be a bit premature but Tottenham look like the real deal.
What they have done since letting Harry Kane leave is transform themselves into a squad that is no longer reliant on one player.
GettyBrennan Johnson is one of Spurs’ new stars as he celebrates with Emerson and Richarlison in last Saturday’s 2-1 comeback win vs Sheffield United[/caption]
GettyAnge Postecoglou has ensured Tottenham adapt without Harry Kane[/caption]
Instead, they are a squad to be feared.
I played against Spurs many times. You would try to stop their good players across the whole pitch but also make special plans for Kane, because if he shoots, he normally scores. The intimidation factor was huge.
That has spread across the whole team. Signing James Maddison was a big step up. Richarlison now has space to shine. Son Heung-min can shine. Dejan Kulusevski can shine.
It is still early days but it looks like Tottenham have a talented squad and a manager in Ange Postecoglou to play attacking football — something the fans have demanded since the days of Glenn Hoddle and more recently Mauricio Pochettino.
Yes, Ange lets his players perform with freedom but it is too simple to suggest that taking off the shackles is all he has done to get his team firing.
Over pre-season he worked hard to implement his philosophy and a cohesive style. They play fast and on the front foot. Under Antonio Conte, they were very methodical and slow.
Ange didn’t necessarily have the players to do it his way initially, which is why recruitment was important and they have brought in some proper stars like Maddison, Brennan Johnson and Micky van de Ven.
You can tell the players have had the self-belief and confidence hammered back into them. They believe again that they have quality and they can compete but also that they can make mistakes in attack.
If Maddison wants to play a reverse pass, let him do it. But if he loses it, he knows he needs to get after it.
Under Jose Mourinho, players were blamed for losing the ball and conceding a goal. Ange won’t do that.
Fundamentally, Ange looks and sounds like a good bloke. I would have loved to have played under him.
He looks approachable and like he wouldn’t lie to your face. With Conte and Mourinho there was an ego there.
Back in January, it was all going a bit rotten with Conte. Spurs were just looking to spoil and contain and Arsenal won comfortably 2-0.
This time, I feel it could be a high-scoring contest . . . I hope I haven’t cursed it by saying that.
Tottenham are in a win-win situation. Even if they lose, the good work will not suddenly get undone.
Ange will be given time to mould and stabilise but he speaks like a winner so why not go out and get after Arsenal from the off? Have a real crack, cause some problems.
The top teams, while they tweak and change little things, they all stick to their own way of playing. That is the mindset Tottenham need to develop.
For the first time in a long time, there is optimism around Spurs. Is it premature? Maybe, but for now, it is just so refreshing.
GettySummer buy James Maddison is shining under Postecoglou[/caption]
PAKane bagged his fifth goal in five games for new club Bayern in a 4-3 Champions League victory over Man Utd – but Spurs look fine without him[/caption]