Football Features

Postecoglou and Maddison help Spurs end six-year wait

By Squawka News

Postecoglou and Maddison help Spurs end six-year wait

Published: 19:13, 15 September 2023

When Harry Kane was announced as a Bayern Munich player on August 12th, Tottenham Hotspur fans must have been fearing the worst. 

Losing their star striker, captain and talisman on the eve of their Premier League opener was a bitter pill to swallow, especially following a disappointing 2022/23 campaign that saw them finish eighth in the table, failing to qualify for Europe.

However, four games into the new Premier League season, those fears are starting to look a little premature. Yes, we’re merely in the opening exchanges of a long campaign, but Spurs remain unbeaten with three consecutive wins following their opening-day draw away at Brentford. Only a perfect Manchester City side sit above them in the table.

New boss Ange Postecoglou couldn’t have asked for a better start to life in North London following his success north of the border with Celtic. In fact, so impressive has the Australian tactician been that he was named Premier League Manager of the Month for August.

Postecoglou is the first manager since Huddersfield Town’s David Wagner (August 2017) to claim the prize in their first month in the division. But the accolades don’t stop there for Spurs.

August returned two assists and a goal for new arrival James Maddison, with the England international extending his tally to two goals in Tottenham’s most recent 5-2 win against Burnley. Maddison has been rewarded for his form with the Premier League Player of the Month award, joining his new manager on the honours list.

It’s the first time in six years that Spurs have picked up both awards in the same month, last doing so with the duo of Mauricio Pochettino and Son Heung-min in April 2017.

Of course, given their promising start, it’ll be no surprise to hear that Maddison isn’t the only Spurs player thriving under Postecoglou.

For example, Yves Bissouma is now the only player in Europe’s ‘big-five’ leagues to already register double figures for interceptions, tackles made and take-ons completed. It’s incredible to see the former Brighton man holding down the Spurs midfield after struggling to get into the good books of previous boss Antonio Conte.

Peter Crouch even suggested Bissmouma is playing like a “£100m player”. Of course, the 27-year-old only cost Spurs a cool £30m last summer.

And then there’s the sheer level of effort the players are putting in for Postecoglou. It’s not gone unnoticed that Tottenham look far more motivated under Aussie, who seems to have won the hearts and minds of key figures in the dressing room.

No player exemplifies that more than Dejan Kulusevski. The Swedish winger has, according to official league figures, already covered a quite ridiculous 47.07km in the Premier League this season — a figure sure to make you need a minute just reading it at this early stage. In fact, in Spurs’ hard-fought 2-0 win away at Bournemouth, Kulusevski covered a whopping 13km and netted his side’s second goal.

The two distances are league highs for the season so far and a single match, respectively.

Most distance covered in the Premier League this season

Most distance covered (km)

  1. Dejan Kulusevski: 47.07
  2. Bruno Fernandes: 46.84
  3. Declan Rice: 46.75
  4. Abdoulaye Doucoure: 46.43
  5. Rodri: 46.37

Most distance covered in one match (km)

  1. Dejan Kulusevski: 13 vs Bournemouth
  2. Bernardo Silva: 12.57 vs Burnley
  3. Rodri: 12.48 vs Newcastle United
  4. Phil Foden: 12.45 vs Newcastle United
  5. Billy Gilmour: 12.34 vs Wolves

It’s still very early days and this group of players still have a lot more to do if they’re to truly convince the Spurs faithful they can once again challenge for European places and, perhaps, a trophy. However, you cannot help but be excited by the first few pages of the Postecoglou story.

The next test for the Lilywhites comes on Saturday at home to newly-promoted Sheffield United. Click here for full team news, odds and betting tips.