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How Ange Postecoglou can break the Spurs hoodoo

Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou was left dumbfounded following his team’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday. The coach, however, was not necessarily disappointed by his squad’s performance on the night. After all, Spurs played fairly well in the game, despite the defeat. Postecoglou’s side recorded more possession and more total shots than their opponents.

Instead, Postecoglou was stunned by how many Spurs fans acted inside the home arena during the matchup. The north London side needed to beat mighty City to have any chance of securing a Champions League place. Nevertheless, a victory would have also helped out bitter rivals Arsenal in the Premier League title race. The Gunners are currently fighting it out with City for the trophy.

The conflicting feelings of the Spurs supporters were on full display inside the stadium on Tuesday. There was an undeniably subdued atmosphere ahead of and during the match against City. Along with an eerie quietness, many songs eventually sung by the Spurs fans on the night surrounded their hatred for Arsenal.

Things came to a head on Tuesday after a fan personally called on the coach to purposively lose the game. Postecoglou did not appreciate the notion and berated the supposed supporter behind the team’s bench. The manager emphatically yelled at the fan, asking him which club he supported. Other Spurs fans were then actually seen celebrating Erling Haaland’s goals for City.

Postecoglou claims the club has “fragile foundations” after strange scenes during game

Following the defeat, Postecoglou was asked if the performance of his team could potentially be a foundation for next season’s plans. “I think the last 48 hours have revealed the foundations are fairly fragile,” replied the coach. “Outside the club, inside the club, everywhere.”

“It has been an interesting exercise. It’s just my observations. I’m not going to tell you more. You can make your own assessment of what happened. Other people, what their priorities and interests are, I have zero interest in – I know what’s important to build a winning team, and that’s what I want to concentrate on.”

“It is what it is, I can’t dictate what people do. They’re allowed to express themselves however they want. But when we’ve got late winners in games, it’s because the crowd has often helped us. I already knew what I wanted to do, I just have to make some adjustments to how I do it.”

Spurs need mentality change if they are to improve on the pitch

Postecoglou’s postgame comments questioning the principles at Spurs echo Antonio Conte’s previous sentiments regarding his former club. The Italian manager ripped the culture at the north London club before departing in the Spring of 2023.

Replacing Conte with Postecoglou was a positive step. The Greek-Australian manager brings an attractive and offensive style of play to his teams. While Postecoglou has received heat for his lack of defensive tactical awareness, things will not change for the better at the club until there is an improvement in mentality.

The fans play a key part in this notion. However, the players and coaching staff can help create this shift in mindset as well. The Spurs fanbase deflated and disappointed Postecoglou on Tuesday. Nevertheless, the manager has to continue to lead the way with his words and actions to help steer the club away from mediocrity.

Spurs are typically part of England’s ‘Big Six’ of elite clubs. Yet, the north London side has not won a trophy since 2008. It was also their only piece of silverware this century. Previous managers have failed to take the team to the next step, but Postecoglou must insist on mental improvements in order to make a real change. If not, the north London side will risk losing their manager to another club soon.

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