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Ange Postecoglou explains reason for Tottenham imploding in late defeat at Wolves

Ange Postecoglou tried to remain upbeat despite his injury ravaged Tottenham losing back-to-back Premier League games this week.

But his verdict of Tottenham’s late collapse at Wolves was damning.


Tottenham were 1-0 up inside three minutes at Wolves on Saturday but after a peformance which saw them drop deeper and deeper to try and hold onto that lead, they conceded in the 91st and 97th minute to lose 2-1 and it put a bow on a truly terrible week for Spurs.

After losing Cristiano Romero and Destiny Udogie to suspension and Micky van de Ven and James Maddison to injury (both will be out until at least the start of 2024), Postecoglou was forced to name a much-changed side to the very settled lineup he’s had for most of the season so far.

Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Emerson Royal all came into the lineup at Wolves but proved why they haven’t been regulars given the style Postecoglou wants to play.

Ange Postecoglou explains Tottenham’s issues in defeat at Wolves

Speaking to TNT Sports in the UK after the game, Postecoglou admitted that all of the changes he was forced to make and a lack of a match fitness was key in the defat.

“It is always a tough game here and Wolves were always going to come on strong but we probably ran out of a bit of legs at the end there,” Postecoglou said. “That is understandable. A lot of those guys haven’t played and they scored a couple of good goals. Hard one for us to take but is what it is.”

Asked further about Spurs’ stand-ins struggling late on, Postecoglou explained the display in more detail.

“Not a lack of fitness, a lack of match conditioning. But not just that. It played a part but at the same time Wolves here at home are tough to beat. They came at us and scored a couple of good goals,” Postecoglou said. “I thought we could have been a bit more positive in the first half. I thought we had some good opportunities to create some good chances. Scoring early, we kind of played a bit conservatively and second half we had a couple of decent opportunities we could have taken.”

Postecoglou explains what went wrong v. Wolves
Tottenham manager details how Wolves were able to comeback to score two goals in stoppage time against his side, resulting in Spurs' second loss in a row.

Anti-Ange playing style has to be a one-off

Postecoglou is right to point out the conservative nature of Spurs’ display, as the players he brought on all reverted to playing the way they like to rather than Ange-ball, which has been so successful so far this season.

Tottenham have to stay true to Postecoglou’s values moving forward and after the international break they have Aston Villa and Manchester City, so that will be a huge test, especially with Yves Bissouma suspended for the former.

Udogie will be back from suspension for those games, while the likes of Ashley Phillips, Gio Lo Celso and Rodrigo Bentancur could all come in to the lineup as they could suit Postecoglou’s preferred style of play better.

Now that they’ve lost two on the spin and have two tough games coming up with key players still missing, now is the time to double-down on Angeball. Not get rid of it.

Match sharpness aside, after a very disappointing week we are about to see just how all-in these Tottenham players are when it comes to Postecoglou’s philosophy.