HomeFootball NewsAnge Postecoglou Era at Tottenham Hotspur Begins With a Defeat

Ange Postecoglou Era at Tottenham Hotspur Begins With a Defeat

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Pre-season friendlies are, of course, just pre-season friendlies, but in this age of live streaming and instant social media reactions, Ange Postecoglou was certainly hoping for a better start at Tottenham Hotspur than a 3-2 defeat to West Ham United.

The Greek-Australian manager may have been on familiar soil in Perth but there were no home comforts for him as he watched his new team race into a 2-0 lead in the first 25 minutes at the Optus Stadium. 

Goals from Danny Ings and Divin Mubama put the Europa Conference League holders ahead against a Spurs side giving first starts to Guglielmo Vicario, Manor Solomon and James Maddison.

Angeball In Action

This game was also a first chance for Spurs fans to get a look at ‘Angeball’, the all-action style Postecoglou is famous for. After enduring the defensive style of Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte in recent seasons, there were early signs in Perth that the new manager is keen to play ‘the Spurs way’.

Unfortunately, on this occasion, that meant having 30 shots on goal to West Ham’s 4 as well as 71% of the possession, but still ending up on the losing side. Lukasz Fabianski was busy in the first half, saving from Oliver Skipp, Dejan Kulusevski, Yves Bissouma, Maddison and Solomon.

He was also kept busy in the second half by a completely changed Spurs team, who finally broke through in the 68th minute thanks to Giovani Lo Celso before Destiny Udogie equalised on his return from a loan spell at Udinese.

West Ham claimed the win, however, with Gianluca Scamacca scoring with 12 minutes to go, showing no signs of distraction amidst talk of a return to Italy this summer. 

Winning Isn’t Everything

Afterwards, despite the result, Postecoglou was largely satisfied with what he had seen so far from his players: “Yes, there were a lot of positives, the first thing for me was just to see the players’ willingness to try and implement some of the things we’ve been working on. 

“We’ve been working hard in training, so they’re not going to feel 100%, but their endeavour to try and play the football we want to play, particularly our pressing, these kind of things, we’ve only given them limited information, but it was good to see some of those things in practice.

“We obviously want to win, but that’s not the most important thing right now for me,” said Postecoglou. ”Winning tonight and not playing the kind of football we want… I’d be disappointed with that.”

Postecoglou certainly knows a lot about winning, having joined Spurs from Celtic, where he won a domestic treble in his final season, having also won the Scottish Premiership and League Cup in his first season. 

He became the first Australian to win a league title in Europe during his time at Celtic, having achieved the same feat in Japan as coach of Yokohama F Marinos. Winning trophies and doing it with stylish, action-packed football is exactly what Spurs hope they’ve brought to the club with Postecoglou.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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