Ange Postecoglou slammed for 'extraordinary' Tottenham tactical failure amid Man City warning


Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou has been told he should've changed his 'extraordinary' high-line system in the wake of going down to nine men against Chelsea in last night's 4-1 loss at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

The Spurs boss saw his team reduced by two following red cards to defenders Cristian Romero and Destiney Udogie, the former of which is set to face a three-match ban including vital clashes against high-flying Aston Villa and reigning champions Manchester City.

Despite the setbacks, his side continued to play a dangerously high line, at one point even playing up to the halfway line with their defenders, allowing Chelsea to consistently ping balls over the top and through the lines. However, they managed to hold the line, frustrating the Blues into making mistakes long enough to have a serious chance at winning the contest.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Guglielmo Vicario's continued efforts saw Spurs stay in the game, with the former making several vital, goal-stopping challenges. However, Nicolas Jackson eventually found a breakthrough before piling on two more goals late on to leave Spurs fans heartbroken after numerous close chances of their own went amiss.

Following the spectacle, Postecoglou highlighted his players' efforts and explained his process of sticking to his high line system was simply the type of person he is. He told Sky Sports: "We were very close to getting that equaliser a couple of times.

"It goes to show the spirit and character, which to be fair the lads have shown from day one. We’ve had all sorts of challenges to overcome, but it was just a metre too far today.

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"It’s just who we are, mate. It is how we are going to be as long as I’m here. We go down to five men, mate, we will have a crack."

Despite being lauded by supporters at full-time and many in the media for putting in a brave performance, some have also highlighted the recklessness and stubbornness on display last night. Former Arsenal and England midfielder Paul Merson claimed they could've ground out a result if they'd simply sat back deeper.

"Tottenham playing on the halfway line with nine players was just extraordinary," he wrote in his Sky Sports column. "I'd never seen anything like it. But Ange Postecoglou should have changed tactics.

"When it gets down to the last 15 minutes or so and it's still 1-1, then you've got to change it. The clock moves a lot quicker with 15 or 20 minutes to go in the final part of the game. Sit nine behind the ball and make it very difficult for Chelsea.

"I like Postecoglou and he probably thought Chelsea were going to score in the second half playing against 10 men, so it's pointless going out with a whimper, playing 10 behind the ball and never looking like scoring a goal. But sooner or later Chelsea had to find that pass in behind. It was very easy. If that was Man City playing Tottenham it would have been 10-1 at least.

"Chelsea should have worked it out a lot quicker. That was worrying. I didn't think it was clever the way they played in the second half. It was there to score five, six, seven goals. But that's what happens when you've got a young team without experience.

"The Tottenham players gave absolutely everything. They got beaten 4-1 at home in a big London derby and the fans are still clapping them off the pitch. Those players are playing for the manager and taking on board what he says." Spurs WhatsApp channel

Son Heung-min and James Maddison of Tottenham Hotspur celebrate win against Liverpool

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