Angie Postkoglu: Tottenham ‘slump sharply’ at crucial stage of season

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illustrate, Ossie Ardiles is the only manager to have coached Tottenham Hotspur to more consecutive defeats in the Premier League than Ange Postecoglou (January 1994 to seven games during February)

  • author, Phil McNulty
  • Role, Anfield chief football writer

Tottenham Hotspur walked off the pitch to Liverpool’s Champions League tie with the door ajar but Anj Postecoglou’s side were tripped and fell to the ground at Anfield.

That’s not to fool anyone in the Spurs camp, either, as in a season that was once filled with hope and optimism, the team’s steep decline continued precipitously at crucial times.

After losing against Brighton, Liverpool had the chance to finish with seven points against fourth-placed Aston Villa, but this passive approach played into Liverpool’s hands in the first 70 minutes, even Even more confusing.

The only serious moment of aggression came as Spurs trailed 2-0 at half-time, with goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario quickly intervening to put a potential stalemate between Christian Romero and his teammates. What turned into an ugly altercation was added to his block list.

Spurs trailed 4-0 after an hour, but further embarrassment was avoided by a series of rhythm-disrupting changes from Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and a sudden display of sloppiness from a team complacent about a simple task.

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illustrate, Son Heung-min made his 300th Premier League appearance today, becoming the third Tottenham player to reach this milestone (after Hugo Lloris 361 and Harry Kane 317)

Richarlison and Son Heung-min’s attack are sparking some anxiety within Anfield, but Postkoglu cannot be fooled by another performance as the flaws in his approach were brutally exposed – and the Australian appears to have no intention of changing at this point.

It’s a high-risk strategy by all accounts, but his defiant stance on his ideology makes it look like an opportunity he’s prepared to seize. Wish him good luck.

Postkoglu’s optimistic comments after the game may have been because he didn’t want to lash out at his players again last week against Chelsea, a 2-0 defeat.

It’s a “glass half full” analysis of a bad show, and hopefully a valiant attempt to keep up morale, otherwise it would be dangerously close to delusion.

The ‘Archangel’ trend has fallen out of fashion in recent weeks, and despite his huge efforts at expectation management, people are still worried if Tottenham miss out on Villa finishing in the top four and Champions League football (as seems likely) Will be disappointed.

Yes, it’s an improvement from last season. Yes, the Postecoglou program is still in its relatively early stages. Yes, they were more pleasing to the eye than the teams under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte (admittedly that’s not difficult), but when the pressure came they failed to excel again.

Spurs have shown a consistent lack of confidence, so the weaknesses in their formation – which make them too easy to beat and score against – have become even more apparent.

At the peak of the season, they topped the standings with 26 points from 10 games before November 3 with 8 wins and 2 draws. It seems like a long time ago now.

‘Tottenham finish fifth without Kane’

Spurs are vulnerable even when winning, but the brilliance of a change in mentality and tactics under the former Celtic boss means a positive strategy to warm fans far outweighs concerns about the chances they concede .

They scored 34 points in their next 25 games, proving they’ve been scrappy for a while.

Postkoglu used the early seasons of managers like Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp as an indicator of slow progress, which made sense, but as the season progressed, obvious issues emerged.

It would be absurd to suggest that Spurs won’t miss out on the world-class talent and impact of all-time striker Harry Kane when he leaves for Bayern Munich. He is almost irreplaceable, what should they do with him? To his credit, however, Postkoglu never took this as a reprieve from his recent decline.

In fact, considering the importance of what Kane has done for Spurs, it’s fair to say they’ve actually done well without him, finishing fifth in the Premier League.

James Maddison, who impressed early in the season, has completely lost his form and has only been used as a substitute at Anfield.

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illustrate, Tottenham have conceded the first goal in each of their last four league games, their longest run of losses since January 2023 (seven games under Antonio Conte)

It all resulted in a four-game losing streak in the league, the longest since a six-game losing streak in November 2004. When you watch games like this and recent losses to Newcastle United, Arsenal and Chelsea, you don’t understand why.

Whatever happens between now and the end of the season, Postkoglu’s first season will be viewed positively, if only to erase some of the memories left behind by predecessors Mourinho and Conte.

Even though Postkoglu’s bandwagon has collapsed, most Spurs fans are still very fond of him. Realistically, he can’t be expected to undo years of bad achievements in a single campaign.

However, the past few weeks have been dire and no amount of polish can hide that. It may go against his nature, but it certainly adds pragmatism to what would otherwise be an air of vulnerability that would always carry with Spurs.

Despite the improvement in the league table, there will never be a feeling of missed opportunity for any team in the Champions League again – and this effort is just another bad memory at Anfield.

Postkoglu has always stressed that Spurs still have a lot to do before they get where he wants them to be. From this evidence, he was not wrong.

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