Recent history tells us to not jump the gun when it comes to Tottenham and hiring managers, but, barring a dramatic change of heart, it looks as if poor Ange Postecoglou is going to be the man to lead the club's "painful rebuild".
It was Mauricio Pochettino who offered such an ominous forecast before his unfancied Tottenham outfit reached the Champions League final in 2019. The Argentine knew what was coming however the 2018/19 campaign ended, and the new Chelsea boss has been proven so horribly right.
Spurs have been in a shambolic state either side of Antonio Conte's initial brilliance following Pochettino's sacking in November 2019. The club has seemingly refused to accept the need to rebuild, but the lows they sunk to in 2022/23 has forced the hierarchy to return to a project.
In Ange Postecoglou, a long but certainly not a big name, Tottenham have finally changed tack from their recent appointments, and while some query whether the Australian has what it takes to shine in the Premier League, this was a risk the club simply had to take even if more lucrative options were available.
The 57-year-old's task is a mammoth one, and here's how Tottenham could line up with big Ange at the helm.
GK – David Raya – Hugo Lloris is on his way out of north London this summer, and Tottenham have been linked with a move for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya. The Bees have already signed the Spaniard's replacement and it'd be a surprise to see Spurs not make a move. The Lilywhites desperately need a keeper competent with the ball at his feet.
RB – Pedro Porro – His defensive work does leave plenty to be desired, but Porro is a bundle of fun and he could quickly develop into one of the Premier League's most potent full-backs. He's excellent in the final third, and Ange, who typically used inverted full-backs at Celtic, must find a way of consistently getting Porro in optimal positions in the final third.
CB – Cristian Romero – Romero endured a down year in 2022/23 despite lifting the World Cup with Argentina in December. Nevertheless, the aggressive centre-half would've been the cornerstone of Tottenham's defence no matter who was appointed as manager. He's, by some distance, the best defender they've got.
CB – Clement Lenglet – Spurs will surely target a centre-back or two this summer, and they desperately need a defender capable of playing on the left side of the defence. After failing in their pursuit of Alessandro Bastoni last year, the club eventually settled for the loan of Lenglet, who they could sign permanently after a decent season in 2022/23. Lenglet is the ball player Ange requires, but he's not good enough to be a regular Premier League starter.
LB – Destiny Udogie – Ben Davies remains a serviceable option and he should still be around next season, but it won't be long until Udogie, who was signed last summer before being loaned back to Udinese, emerges as Ange's number one left-back option. However, the incoming boss may have to get creative with his usage of Udogie considering that he thrives in the final third. Forcing him to play inside may not be the best idea.
DM – Yves Bissouma – With Porro and Udogie in the side, the holding midfielder will play a huge role in the build-up and he'll be expected to drop in to form a back three to allow both full-backs to bomb on. Bissouma's first season at Spurs was hugely disappointing, but he certainly wasn't helped by Conte or injuries. The former Brighton midfielder could blossom into something special in north London, and Ange may well be the man to maximise Bissouma's talent.
CM – Rodrigo Bentancur – The new boss will be without Bentancur for the start of next season as he continues to recover from a torn ACL, so Pierre Emile-Hojbjerg, Pape Matar Sarr or, dare I say it, Tanguy Ndombele will initially be expected to play one of the #8 roles in Postecoglou's preferred 4-3-3. Bentancur had proven to be a revelatory addition before his long-term setback.
CM – Giovani Lo Celso – There are very few players in the Tottenham squad, if any, that are currently suited to performing as a number #8 within Postecoglou's framework. Lo Celso, however, is one. The Argentine's time at Tottenham has so far been forgettable, but his brilliance has manifested time and time again for both Villarreal and Argentina in recent times. Under a more dynamic and progressive coach, Lo Celso could finally thrive in north London.
RW – Dejan Kulusevski – Kulusevski has the potential to develop into an #8 under the new boss, but, for the time, being, he remains the club's starting right-winger. Spurs will sign the former Juventus man permanently this summer despite failing to secure Champions League football, and supporters will be hoping to see the very best version of the Swede manifest under Ange following a disappointing 2022/23 campaign.
ST – Richarlison – Real Madrid's interest in Harry Kane is seriously concerning, and although the England captain has his heart set on the Premier League scoring record, a move to the Spanish capital would be seriously hard to turn down, especially given Spurs' current situation. They're not in a position to compete for the highest honours. Should Kane depart, Richarlison, who endured a wretched debut season, will be tasked with filling the biggest of boots.
LW – Son Heung-min – A Kane exit will once again increase the scoring burden on Son, who, a year after his Golden Boot-winning campaign, looked miles off the pace. Supporters will hope the South Korean's slump was merely temporary because he has a big role to play in the club's rebuild.