Tottenham: Ange Postecoglou has fans hopeful after debut season but relationship shows signs of strain

Ange Postecoglou’s maiden season at Tottenham briefly promised to be spectacular, with Spurs top of the table and flying after 11 games.

But they levelled out to a respectable fifth-place finish - more than many predicted when Harry Kane left for Bayern Munich on the eve of their opening game.

A rocky second half of the campaign and early exits in both domestic cups frustrated fans but there were more than enough glimpses of promise to suggest the Australian is building an exciting project.

Here, Dan Kilpatrick assesses their 2023-24 season

The season in one word


Star of the show

Micky van de Ven. All hail the flying Dutchman, who has been outstanding in his maiden season in the Premier League. His pace, physicality and quality on the ball make him tailor-made for Postecoglou’s system.

Micky van de Ven made a huge impact in his first season at Tottenham (AFP via Getty Images)
Micky van de Ven made a huge impact in his first season at Tottenham (AFP via Getty Images)

Biggest let down

Yves Bissouma. The Malian started the season magnificently, looking like Spurs’ answer to Declan Rice, but tailed off amid a series of (often self-inflicted) disruptions to his campaign, including three suspensions and the Africa Cup of Nations.

Most improved player

Pedro Porro. There were serious doubts if Porro could even play in a back four last season but he has arguably been Spurs’ most consistent player under Postecoglou.

Game to remember

Spurs did technically deny Arsenal the title after taking two points off their rivals in an entertaining 2-2 draw at the Emirates. Postecoglou’s side twice came from behind to suggest they may be capable of competing with the top sides sooner than expected.

A crazy game in November (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
A crazy game in November (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Game to forget

It was, ironically, very memorable but Spurs’ 4-1 home defeat to Chelsea in November completely derailed their season. Van de Ven and James Maddison suffered long-term injuries, and Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were sent off - exposing the lack of depth in Postecoglou’s squad.

Rising star

Pape Sarr. The Senegalese was outstanding as a hard-pressing No.8 and even finished the season as a false nine. At 21, he still has enormous room for improvement and is set to be a big player for Spurs going forward.

Fans’ mood

Broadly optimistic, although it is hard not to wonder if the supporters’ relationship with Postecoglou has frayed over the strange Manchester City game.

Grade: B+