Ange Postecoglou: New role for recently signed £40m super star

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou may decide to play James Maddison in a new position this season.
That’s according to journalist Lyall Thomas, who was speaking on the Last Word on Spurs YouTube channel.Pre-season has already begun at Tottenham, although not every player is in training yet.

Those who were on international duty last month have been given an extended break ahead of the new campaign.

That may not stop several players, including Oliver Skipp and Destiny Udogie from cutting their breaks short.

Every player is now in a position where they have to impress a new coach and no one will want to waste any time in doing so.

Ange Postecoglou will already be starting to form his opinions on his players.

And Thomas believes James Maddison could be played in a new position by Postecoglou when he arrives to start training.

After leaving Leicester, he was always going to have to learn a new set of tactics at Spurs.

The Australian coach may have already decided where he fits into his starting line-up.

Postecoglou might play Maddison in new position

Speaking about Maddison’s arrival at Spurs, Thomas said: “As I said, it goes back a lot longer than 12 months. He’s a player Tottenham have had on their radar for years, since [Mauricio] Pochettino’s time.

“Like I said they had the chance to sign him before, they didn’t think it was quite the right time, didn’t think he was ready.

“I think Ange [Postecoglou] sees him as a number eight even though he’s played as a ten.

“I think he sees him as an attacking number eight. If you look at the way Celtic played last year, he used Matt O’Riley a lot as a very advanced number eight.

“If you look at Matt O’Riley’s stats, who was another player who had a great season last year, he had more touches in the opposition box than any other Celtic player and he’s a midfield player.

“So, that should give you an idea of how far forward, how advanced [James] Maddison will play, even though technically he’s going to be a central midfield player.

“I think he’ll be the one that will be dictating and creating chances really high up [the pitch]. Very similar to how Christian Eriksen played in Mauricio Pochettino’s formation.”

TBR View – Spurs could get very best out of Maddison

After joining Tottenham for £40m, there’s already a level of expectation on James Maddison.

His goals and assists tally in a relegated side last season were fantastic.

He typically played as a number ten, although regularly had to drop deeper to pick up the ball.

Postecoglou may have noticed that and that might be why he’s considering playing Maddison in a deeper position.

He’ll definitely be in possession more often if he plays as a number eight, but there may be concerns about his ability to do the defensive side of that role.


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