‘You have to change’: Ange Postecoglou defends removing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg from Tottenham leadership group

In charge: Ange Postecoglou  (REUTERS)
In charge: Ange Postecoglou (REUTERS)

Ange Postecoglou says forming a new leadership group at Tottenham was key to bringing success back to the club — and defended his decision to not include Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Postecoglou named Heung-min Son as Spurs’ new captain after Harry Kane’s exit, with Cristian Romero and summer signing James Maddison as his two vice-captains in a leadership shake-up before the season started.

The Aussie’s changes to Tottenham on and off the pitch have garnered four points from the club’s first two Premier League games, including last weekend’s 2-0 win over Manchester United.

Hojbjerg was previously part of a leadership group, which also included Eric Dier, Kane and wantaway goalkeeper Lloris. Asked on Friday why Hojbjerg was not included in the new setup, Postecoglou said: “He’s training well. I get that people want to read into that [decision], but if you want to change you have to change.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has lost his place in the team. (Action Images via Reuters)
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has lost his place in the team. (Action Images via Reuters)

“You can’t keep doing everything the same and expect a different outcome. It’s pretty obvious. I’ve always done that wherever I’ve done. Unless I change things, personnel or staff, or manner of playing, then what am I doing? I’m definitely not that arrogant to think that just me walking in is going to give us success.”

Postecoglou added: “You have to actually make meaningful change. That’s what the club wanted. By appointing me, I presume they wanted to go in a different direction. Then it’s about making those decisions that institute change. Does it bring more out of people?”

Speaking about Hojbjerg, who Spurs are opening to selling, the manager said: “He trains really hard every day. I thought he played a really important role coming on for us against Man U, the other day. I haven’t seen that it’s diminished his role or that he’s not happy.”

Postecoglou did not rule out adding further new faces to his squad before next week’s transfer deadline, but reiterated that the focus remains outgoings for now.

“These kind of things are pretty fluid; they can happen pretty quickly. At the moment you can see by doing the maths we have got too many players in terms of when we submit our final list.

“There will be guys here who won’t be on that list if nothing changes so I am pretty sure that will change. From now until the end of the window I am sure there will be some movement.”

One of those players who wants to leave is Lloris, and Postecoglou again suggested the former skipper could be on his way out.

“You can’t just have any number of players you want,” he added. “There is a list and it is unlikely we will have three goalkeepers on our final Premier League list.”

Tottenham visit Bournemouth on Saturday in their third match of the new Premier League season.