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Tottenham Hotspur: Ange Postecoglou’s side shows potential in post-Harry Kane era

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Ange Postecoglou stood with his hands folded, looking out over the vast South Stand at Tottenham Stadium with the satisfied smile of a manager thinking of a job well done.

The Aussie looked modest in his dark sports shirt during the Spurs’ spectacular 2-0 victory over Manchester United. He broke his calm demeanour only twice by raising both arms in triumph after goals.

Postecoglou was delighted to let the Spurs players, who carried out his all-attacking football plan with such determination, receive praise after the match.

He ended up smiling when Tottenham fans, who viewed the match as a feast after the famine and troubles brought by predecessors José Mourinho and Antonio Conte, greeted their new manager.

Postecoglou approached the fans and then quietly raised his fists in the direction of the enthusiastic podium.

The team already sees its new path and style

This day has become significant in many aspects. It was the first home game in the post-Harry Kane era. It was the manager’s first home match to bring such success to Celtic, but was drawn to Parkhead by Premier League appeal.

It was also a day that began with protests against Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy and ENIC owners in response to the sale of Kane and the unpopular new ticket pricing policy.

If it all started with dissatisfaction, then the full support of the Spurs fans was directed to Postecoglou and his new team, culminating in loud applause and cheers that have rarely been heard in recent years.

This is understandable because the team was not the favorite of the game according to any of the bookmakers, including . All experts gave the advantage just to “Manchester”.

Yes, it’s just one game, but there was a sense of relief among Spurs fans who were weary of watching the team seem trapped in the defensive game imposed by Mourinho and Conte.

Of course, Kane’s departure will be noticeable. How can one not feel his absence, given his world class status as the club’s record holder with 280 goals in 435 matches? During the first steps in the era of Postecoglou, his absence will cause pain.

It would be overly stupid, and as premature as it is, to downplay the impact of the Kane sale on future games, but here at least the new Spurs, Postecoglou, have given their fans cause for optimism and hope.

James Maddison was outstanding in midfield, directing the game and giving the impression that he was instantly in his element, while new goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario, signed from Empoli to replace Hugo Lloris, was confident in his actions and also made an outstanding headbutt save by Casemiro.

And here was Yves Bissouma.

Is Bissumah the new leader? Or maybe Sarr, Son or Richarlison?

Bissuma struggled in his first season with the Spurs since joining Brighton, but here he was an outstanding performer, helping Papa Matar Sarr beat Manchester United in midfield, where Casemiro looked like a player with many miles counter, and Mason Mount was, to put it mildly, not very noticeable.

Sarr, just 20, also scored his first goal for the Spurs to break the deadlock four minutes into the break, a well-deserved reward for his performance.

There may be questions about whether Richarlison, who looked unhappy when he was substituted, can score enough goals and form an effective enough link with Son Heung-min to make up for Kane’s departure.

There is a high-risk element to Postecoglou’s strategy, as shown by the opportunities created by even this very mediocre game, especially Bruno Fernandes’ head-spinning first-half wide of goal and Antoni’s second-half shot to the post.

United manager Eric Ten Hag had a strong argument that they should have had a first-half penalty when Christian Romero grabbed the ball with his hand, but the Spurs also had valid claims when the Argentine defender went down under pressure from compatriot Lisandro Martinez in the second half.

Ultimately, there is no dispute that the Spurs were the better team and deserved to win, ending a modest start to the season for United after a solid win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford.

If Ten Hag has any consolation, it’s that United have at least three more points than they had at this stage last season.

For the Spurs, Postecoglou’s calm approach will ensure there’s no over-the-top emotionalism, but – despite Kane’s absence and Levy’s dissatisfaction with the club’s hierarchy – it at least seemed like the toxicity that had built up around the team in recent years was beginning to dissipate.

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