Postecoglue is becoming a stubborn, excuse-maker…and ignores the worst reports of problems

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Manager Enze Postecoglou bears much of the blame for the North London derby loss.

Tottenham lost the 35th round of the 2023-2024 English Premier League (EPL) season against Arsenal, 3-2, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England, on Aug. 28 (ET). The loss further diminished Spurs’ chances of a top-four finish.

The 0-3 disaster at Fulham was the first sign of things to go wrong for Postecoglou, who had been lauded in the first half of the season, and although he followed that up with wins over Luton Town and Nottingham Forest, both of which are now relegation-threatened clubs.

In the games against Newcastle and Arsenal, two games that should give us a good idea of Spurs’ quality, Spurs fell apart in much the same way. Spurs’ problems, which started to emerge against Fulham, were counterattacks and set pieces. They were vulnerable to counterattacks and conceded goals from set pieces.

It was the same against Newcastle. Newcastle intentionally gave up possession against Spurs and then played a strictly counter-attacking strategy. Tottenham’s reliance on Mickey van der Vaart and Cristian Romero was disastrous. The last goal against Newcastle also came from a set piece, a corner.

After the Newcastle disaster, Postecoglou had a full two weeks to prepare for the counterattack and develop a strategy to stabilize set pieces. We don’t know how Tottenham prepared for the North London derby, but judging by their performance on the pitch, it looks like Postecoglou did nothing to improve their weaknesses.

The first concession was an own goal, which can be considered unlucky, but the other two were reruns of the Fulham and Newcastle games. In the second concession, Tottenham completely missed the presence of Xherdan Shaqiri, while the concession to Kai Havertz was also problematic.

However, after the match, Postecoglou said: “If I thought fixing our set-piece defense was the answer to closing the gap, I would have put all my time and effort into it. But that’s not what we need to focus on. Our set-piece defense has been very 안전놀이터 poor, but there are many other things we need to fix,” he said, seemingly unconcerned about the set-piece defense.

The attacking tactics have also become a little too predictable. They rely too heavily on the flanks, with James Maddison unable to create anything from the center when he is blocked. Even on the flanks, they often end up with crosses rather than organized pattern play, and the striker is Son Heung-min. Son Heung-min is not the type of player who scores goals by contesting inside the penalty box.

While Son’s individual form has dipped from his peak this season, it’s Postecoglou who hasn’t been utilizing him properly. He’s also getting more and more stubborn about his offensive tactics.

Postecoglou and the entire Tottenham squad have been emphasizing “our football,” but Tottenham’s style of play needs to evolve in order to survive. If the same players and tactics are causing the same problems over and over again, it’s time for a change.

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