Ange Postecoglou’s Spurs pulled apart by media after Brighton loss

Julian Miller
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Julian Miller
30/12/2023
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Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou criticised after big defeat

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News Insights

  • Spurs lost 4-2 to Brighton on Friday morning.
  • Pundits and rival fans have called Big Ange’s tactics naive.
  • The Australian blames fatigue and has called for more signings.
  • Spurs play Bournemouth at home on Sunday night.

Tottenham went down to the South Coast to face off against Brighton on Friday morning. Spurs were outclassed from the off and eventually went down 4 goals to nil. A late comeback brought the score to 4-2, but Spurs’ manager Ange Postecoglou is still under fire for his teams’ poor performance.  

Spurs play naive football, say critics

Ange Postecoglou, who led Australia to their only AFC Asian Cup win in 2015, has always been known to play innovative and exciting football. The 58-year-old South Melbourne native has been widely praised at most of his previous stops, but media in England seem to be singing a different tune.  
 
Jamie Carragher has called Postecoglou’s style naive on multiple occasions. You’ll hear the same criticism levelled at the Australian manager on TalkSport, other radio channels, and on social media every day. Criticism reached a fever pitch on Friday following Spurs 4-2 loss to Brighton.  
 
The Athletic’s Spurs reporter called the loss probably the “worst overall performance” under Postecoglou. Rival Premier League fans piled on Postecoglou, making fun of his tactics and media handling style. Postecoglou’s reactions to his team getting scored on were particularly popular with rival fans looking to “banter” the Spurs boss. 

Ange blames injuries, not naivety  

Unlike after many Spurs losses, Postecoglou chose not to address his tactics at all. There was just one thing on the Spurs boss’ mind; injuries.  
 
We were looking a bit tired and lacked our usual sharpness, especially at the start of the game. We've been starting games well. I guess that's understandable, we've been on this run for a whole now and asking players to perform at levels,” said Postecoglou. “It's very demanding the way we play physically and today we kind of looked like a team that wasn't at its sharpest.” 
 
Postecoglou especially bemoaned his lack of healthy players in defence. When asked about having to play four fullbacks in his back line the Spurs boss said “It's difficult. It's been difficult this whole run. We've been stretched for a very long time and we've just tried to play on through it.” 
 
Despite the poor loss, Postecoglou credited his players. “It wasn't through the lack of trying and that's what they were doing. Right to the end they were pushing. With every resource in them they were pushing to try to get something out of the game and it's a credit to them. We are in that position through as much the players' sheer efforts as our football.” 

Postecoglou calls for signings 

Postecoglou did not shy away from calling for reinforcements in the transfer window when talking about his side’s injuries. After discussing the Cristian Romero injury, Postecoglou revealed he hopes Spurs would act early in the January transfer window.  
 
Obviously, if we can do business early, it’s great for us. Not just because of losing Romero but there’s a whole month there. Why waste it?” Postecoglou said ahead of the transfer window opening in January. “I’d love to do something early in the window but even me saying that puts a challenge on us, because other clubs know we want to do something early.” 

Spurs are in fifth place right now. The betting sites have them as one of the favourites to finish in the top six, but top four seems unlikely at this point in the season unless Postecoglou gets the signings he craves in the January window.