Spurs' Solid Start: Postecoglou's Worries Despite Win
|Ange Postecoglou, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur, reacts during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on September 30, 2023 in London, England.(Image-Getty)
An outstanding beginning by Tottenham Hotspur's new manager, Ange Postecoglou, has set a remarkable precedent in the Premier League. However, despite the exhilaration of ascending to the top of the league table following a 2-0 victory over Fulham, the Australian coach expressed a mixed sentiment, with reservations about his team's lackluster performance in the latter half of the game.
The jubilant home crowd reveled in the goals scored by Son Heung-min and James Maddison, which were expertly executed in the first and second half, respectively. Nonetheless, Spurs seemed to falter in maintaining their grip on the game during the final thirty minutes. Errant passes and missed tackles characterized their gameplay, leaving them vulnerable to the potential consequences of a more tenacious Fulham attack.
Postecoglou's squad currently boasts an impressive 23 points out of a possible 27, having secured seven victories and two draws, positioning them two points ahead of both Manchester City and Arsenal, the reigning champions. Notably, this surpasses the record set by Dutchman Guus Hiddink in February 2009 during his initial nine matches as the manager of Chelsea.
Despite the team's commendable performance, the training ground is unlikely to be filled with complacency, as the candid and straightforward Postecoglou was openly critical of his players' performance in the latter half against Fulham. "The second half was a real letdown," lamented the former Celtic boss in his dialogue with the press. "Our ball control fell far below the standards we've consistently maintained throughout the year. It was arguably the weakest performance we've had in possession."
Postecoglou emphasized the necessity of maintaining discipline in their approach, acknowledging the pivotal saves made by Guglielmo Vicario that preserved their clean sheet. James Maddison revealed that Postecoglou's intense reaction during a similar exhibition in the preseason had been pivotal in driving the team's focus, hinting that stern words might be in store before their upcoming match against Crystal Palace on Friday.
Looking ahead, Tottenham's trip to Selhurst Park presents an opportunity to extend their lead to five points at the summit of the league, a possibility that even the most optimistic fans might not have foreseen. "I am content with the progress we've made, and credit is due to all those involved," stated Postecoglou, cautiously acknowledging their current standing. "We are positioned where we deserve to be, but it's a clear reminder that there is still much work to be done. That second half performance has provided me with substantial food for thought. I won't allow the fact that we emerged victorious to overshadow the opportunity for us to enhance our game."