Tottenham Hotspur have began the season on the right track scoring seven out of nine possible points. In spite of that it is important to put into context the summer of the Londoner side, as the departure of Harry Kane was a major setback for the club.
Another aspect to factor in is the arrival of Ange Postecoglou as new manager after choosing ‘serial winners’ in the past, like the cases of Mourinho or Antonio Conte. The Greek coach could provide a breath of fresh air to the Spurs’ playstyle, as his profile is really different to that of his predecessors.
When it comes to their participation on the transfer market, Tottenham have brought in some solid players like Pape Matar Sarr, Micky Van de Ven, James Maddison, Vicario or Manor Solomon. Udogie or Lo Celso, who return from loan spells, are also additions to take into account.
The truth is that, in spite of the huge hit their forward line takes with Kane leaving, the rest of the positions have been upgraded compared to last season. Although it is clear that the impact of the English striker was immeasurable, Spurs could still surprise us without him this season.
For now, Postecoglou’s coaching is showing on the team’s performance, as its style is more associative and recognisable than with previous managers. The main difference can be found in the formation, since it has gone from a 3-4-3 with Conte to a 4-2-3-1 that favors some of the players that did not fit as well into last year’s system. The team is looking to gain protagonism with the ball, and the Greek manager is turning those intentions into a reality.
In the four-man backline, they finaly have a promising left-back in Destiny Udogie, an extremely powerful player with a long stride. Van de Ven fits great next to “Cuti” Romero in the core of their defense, bringing in quality and aerial presence, and Pedro Porro, who is now oficially owned by the club, completes the starting backline of the team. A completely renewed defense that, with the help of Vicario, has managed two clean sheets in a row in the Premier League.
One of the biggest winners from Tottenham switching to their new system has been Bissouma. The former Brighton player now has Sarr as his squire in midfield, allowing him to shine like he did for ‘The Seagulls’, breaking lines while pushing the ball up the pitch and delivering it to his teammates.
James Maddison is the cherry on top to the midfield, as he has adapted perfectly and his manager has nailed the way his should be utilized to take advantage of his shot and ability to playmake. He has already registered three contributions (a goal and two assists) in the first three matches of the league.
In spite of the hole left by Kane’s absence, Son and Kulusevski have stayed at the club, so the performance of the wingers is still guaranteed. When it comes to the striker position, it is true that Richarlison‘s performance last season was dreadful, but he is a player with potential and quality to provide goals for his team. However, it will be impossible for him to achieve anything close to the level of the English forward, as we are speaking of one of the best players in the history of the club.
Summer was rough for Tottenham. We will see if Postecoglou is able to keep on changing the team’s playstyle like he has so far and how things will turn out for a team that will certainly miss the goals of Harry Kane.
How far can this project go?
Translated by Nuño Alonso.
Main image: @SpursOfficial.