Ange Postecoglou hits out at Tottenham's 'fragile foundations' after defeat to Man City ends Champions League hopes

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football Wednesday 15 May 2024 14:22, UK

Ange Postecoglou hits out at Tottenham's 'fragile foundations' after defeat to Man City ends Champions League hopes

Ange Postecoglou questioned Spurs' "fragile foundations" after their defeat to Manchester City in an apparent reference to the furore around stopping Arsenal winning the title.

The Spurs boss watched his side's own Champions League hopes go up in smoke as they lost a fifth game out of six, which guaranteed Aston Villa fourth spot in the Premier League.

But there was still a jovial atmosphere around much of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as Man City moved two points clear at the top of the table, which means they will be crowned champions ahead of Arsenal so long as they beat West Ham on Sunday.

There were claims on social media ahead of the game of swathes of season-ticket holders selling their tickets while those inside the packed-out stadium began singing anti-Arsenal chants once Erling Haaland had put the visitors ahead.

Postecoglou refused to be drawn on the exact source of his frustrations, but said they had emerged in the 48 hours leading up to Tuesday's game - during which he had issued a spiky response when questioned about the proportion of Spurs fans who wanted their side to lose to halt Arsenal's title hopes.

"I think the last 48 hours have revealed the foundations are fairly fragile," he said. "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.

"I probably misread the situation as to what I think is important and the endeavour to become a winning team, but that's okay. That's why I'm here. I just want to win, I want to be successful at this club. That's why I was brought in.

"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."

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie Redknapp reacted to Postecoglou's comments on Sky Sports, and said it had been difficult to watch people surrounding his old club who wanted to see them lose out on a Champions League spot in order to help Manchester City win the league title.

"It's not been easy [seeing people] questioning if Spurs should try and win this game," he said. "There was a chance of Champions League football at this club but people were more interested in stopping Arsenal winning the title.

"That is a culture that's been created for a long while at this club. I was here, I never felt [there] was a winning mentality."

Redknapp also questioned Tottenham's spending habits in comparison to their north London rivals, who despite spending a similar amount over the last two seasons, have leapfrogged them into title contention - while Spurs have been left with back-to-back seasons outside the Champions League.

"Two years ago I was here when Arsenal lost to Tottenham, Spurs bullied them that night," he added. "If you would have said to me that in two years Arsenal would be contending to win the title I would've said well I can't see that.

"What Arsenal have done is buy players that are ready to win titles, not maybe make the team a bit better. What do we need? We need Declan Rice, let's bring him in.

"Challenging to get players to take this club to the next level. That's the mentality of Arsenal that Tottenham haven't got. The stadium is incredible, but the team has to match that.

"They lost Harry Kane at the start of the year, but they should have said to Kane that they want to keep him, or made sure they brought someone in that is a ready-made replacement.

"I've always felt it, and it comes from the top here. I have to be careful because I've often said about Man Utd and the Glazers - but they've always backed the team with the players. Whether they've got it right or wrong they've spent hundreds of millions on the players.

"Here I don't think that's ever been the case. It's absolutely run as a business. The fans deserve better than that."

Sky Sports' Gary Neville on the Gary Neville Podcast:

"I think they could be a little bit annoyed about the [Son] chance during the game and that's just rivalry, we see that time and time again.

"But I don't think they could ever be annoyed by the effort of the Tottenham team and the ability of the Tottenham team. That was a fantastic performance. They kept the ball off City for large parts that first half.

"Teams don't do that. They lacked a bit of punch up front, but they had that punch in the second half. They created three or four really good moments. If Tottenham had got a draw out of that game tonight, no one could have denied them.

"Arsenal could not have any complaints whatsoever. Mikel Arteta will not have any complaints about how Ange Postecoglou and his men have approached this game and gone about their business. They played really well."

Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher on the Gary Neville Podcast:

"I actually think it'll make it worse for an Arsenal fan because at least if City had won this 2-0 or 3-0 and Tottenham hadn't had a go, you could take your frustration out on Tottenham.

"But you can't take your frustration out on Tottenham because they had the chances. They should have got something from the game.

"So as an Arsenal fan, it's that extra punch to the ribs... they are going to have to take their medicine, it looks like in the next few days.

"It's going to be really difficult for them because when you come the whole way through a season and you've done as well as they have and you don't win it at the end... Liverpool have been there a number of times over the last five or six years, chasing this Pep Guardiola machine that is just unbelievable."

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