Tanguy Ndombele will return to Tottenham Hotspur Way for pre-season training soon once his loan from Napoli ends.
The selection of Ange Postecoglou as Tottenham’s next manager will be a fresh start for everyone at the club. Postecoglou will take a close look at all of the players at his disposal once they return for pre-season training at Hotspur Way after signing on the dotted line at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and finalizing his plans for the next season.
That means individuals who spent last season on loan may easily find themselves in his thoughts, despite looking to be on their way out under Antonio Conte.Tanguy Ndombele comes into this group after spending a year with Napoli in Italy.nThe Frenchman’s time in Napoli’s three-man midfield has been far from easy throughout the 2022/23 season, with starts in the Italian club’s three-man midfield being extremely scarce. Ndombele was an unused replacement in their past five league games, but he started eight of his 30 Serie A matches for Luciano Spalletti’s squad.
He will, however, return to N17 with a Serie A winners’ medal after Napoli ended a 33-year drought to win the Scudetto for the third time in club history. It remains to be seen what happens with the midfielder ahead of the transfer deadline, as his future is uncertain.
While many see this as the ideal time to cut ties with him so that both parties can go their separate ways, Ndombele could be given a fresh start under Postecoglou if the Australian believes the talented midfielder has a role to play in his team going forward. After all, he would immediately fit into his 4-3-3 style, as two of his three midfielders press forward to exploit space front of the striker.
That would suit Ndombele’s game since he could get on the ball and try to influence things in the final third due to his possession quality. Postecoglou likes his players to be courageous and take chances as part of his offensive philosophy, which might open the door for Ndombele to be given another shot because he has the attributes to be a difference-maker for the team and, as a result, get fans out their seats.
“It’s part of who we want to be,” Postecoglou stated after Celtic defeated FJ Jablonec in August 2021 (via Glasgow Times). “We have to be a fearless team that tries to play our football and dictate the game.”
“It’s not easy to be fair, and I do place a lot of responsibility and expectation on the players to do so, but on the other hand, you get great rewards if you’re willing to be brave.” We’ve had fantastic returns from the last few games.”
However, as he has demonstrated throughout his Tottenham career, it is the other part of Ndombele’s game that has proven to be his undoing. Many have questioned his application since signing from Lyon, citing his fitness difficulties, lack of running in games, and unwillingness to go the additional mile and put in the hard yards to aid the squad.
They are the non-negotiables that all managers expect from their players, and they are not negotiable. The Spurs have a player on their hands if Ndombele can marry up both sides of his game. He is gifted on the ball and has the characteristics to rise to the top of the game.
That has not been the case for him in the capital thus far, which is making things difficult for the ex-Lyon ace, as clubs are not lining up to sign him and take him off Tottenham’s hands. Postecoglou will not tolerate a lack of effort from any of his players.
If Spurs players are unwilling to put in the effort and perform the dirty work for the team, they will simply not have a future under Postecoglou. When discussing his Celtic team, the ex-Australia manager stated that the club’s defensive job begins at the front.
“It covers everything. Our defensive job begins at the front, with our front three, whoever they may be, serving as our first line of defense. “The players have bought into it,” he remarked this season in an Optus Sport interview with former Leeds striker Michael Bridges. “It’s very easy to have the incentive of working hard in order to score goals, especially for an attacking player, but giving them the incentive that working hard defensively will also bring you goals has been a big challenge, but the players have bought into it.”
“That’s meant we’re doing a lot less defending deep, a lot less defending in our box as a lot of our defensive work is further up the field. I think the players have just bought more and more into it. A lot of defensive work is around mindset, attitude and hard work.
“As in life people like to work hard when there are rewards there, with defensive work the rewards aren’t as obvious so we try to give them the same kind of incentive to work hard defensively.”
In his first month as Celtic manager, Postecoglou also made it clear that he wants his players to work extremely hard as well as entertain. In an interview with Celtic TV (via FourFourTwo), he said: “It is important not just for him (Kyogo Furuhashi), I said it to the players, that is the expectation of our fans.
“Of course they love the goals, they love the exciting things but they want to know you are putting in a shift because they do on a daily basis. They spend their hard-earned money on getting a season ticket to see them play, they want to see the people representing them put in a shift as well.
“I knew Kyogo has that anyway, he works hard but for me that was the most pleasing thing, that all the players bought into that. They are willing to do the hard work and show the supporters that they are going to give everything until the final minute.”
Ndombele has everything in his locker to catch Postecoglou’s eye in pre-season but it is the other side of the game that the experienced boss, and all at Tottenham for that matter, will want to see from the Frenchman. If he can do that then he could possibly still have a role to play for Spurs as Postecoglou’s three-man midfield would clearly suit him.
Failure to do that, however, and he will find himself playing elsewhere in the 2023/24 season. It would seem mad for Tottenham to finally see the best of Ndombele in his fifth season at the club but one manager could prove to be the making of him.
If that chance arrives under Postecoglou, it will be down to Ndombele to take it with both hands.