Ange Postecoglou on coping with Harry Kane’s Tottenham exit: ‘It’s the old duck above water’

Ange Postecoglou says in the aftermath of Harry Kane leaving Tottenham Hotspur he had to be like a duck — “looking really graceful above the water and if there’s any panicking happening, make sure it’s under the water where nobody can see, particularly the players.”

Kane, Spurs’ record goalscorer, was sold to Bayern Munich the day before Postecoglou’s first Premier League game in August, and his departure threatened to derail the club’s season before it had even begun.

Eight months on, Tottenham still have Champions League qualification in their own hands — just — as they prepare for their first home north London derby since losing Kane, the record goalscorer in this fixture.

Postecoglou had not previously spoken in depth about the effect Kane’s departure had on him and the team at that moment, but said on Friday: “I think that was sort of the starting point for us. Because I was literally sitting in here the day before the Brentford game and he’d just left.

“So you’re starting a season and the most significant person at this football club, maybe ever, has just left on the eve of the first game.

“And I remember making a real conscious effort of… it’s the old duck just looking really graceful above the water and if there’s any panicking happening, make sure it’s under the water where nobody can see, particularly the players.”

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

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Postecoglou also paid tribute to how the players reacted to Kane’s departure ahead of a season in which they’re tracking to score more goals than they did in the last campaign, despite losing the club’s record goalscorer.

“The players never batted an eyelid — which they could have. Especially when you look at what Harry has done this year (at Bayern Munich). It has been unbelievable.

“You just go, ‘Gee — that’s a significant player that has left this football club.’ And yet he hasn’t been mentioned as much as he would have been had we not been scoring goals.”

As it stands, Spurs are tracking to score 77 Premier League goals, having registered 70 last season. And they will be boosted on Sunday by the return of the fit-again Richarlison, who last started a game two months ago. Postecoglou also confirmed that Ben Davies will start at left-back against Arsenal in place of the injured Destiny Udogie.

(Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

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