Ange’s Ire at Spurs Mentality

Ange Postecoglou has joined the list of Tottenham managers to have questioned the club’s psyche. After a 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City, he claimed the club’s foundations are “fairly fragile.” This was after Spurs’ penultimate match of the season and the team still had an outside chance of qualification for the Champions League. While they qualified for the Europa League instead – as their fifth place finish was not enough for UCL football – it was a big opportunity lost for them.

However, most Tottenham fans in the ground were actually hoping for a defeat to deny Arsenal the chance of winning the Premier League. Some going as far as celebrating City’s goals against them.

Ange’s Dismay

Spurs did go on to lose the match, leaving their fans happy but Postecoglou frustrated. In the post-match press conference he said:

“No, I think the last 48 hours have revealed to me the foundations are fairly fragile. Outside, inside, everywhere. It’s been an interesting exercise. It’s just my observations. “I’m not going to tell you, because it’s for me. I’m the one who’s got to do it. You can make your own assessments of what’s happened. I understand. I probably misread the situation as to what I think is important in your endeavour to become a winning team, but that’s Okay. That’s why I’m here.” – Ange postecoglou

Mirroring Past Managers

This is not the first time we have heard these times of comments emerge from White Hart Lane. Antonio Conte and José Mourinho had both previously criticized the mentality around the club and ownership.

“Tottenham’s story is this, 20 years there is the owner and they never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stay here. I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench. You risk to disrupt the figure of the manager and to protect the other situation in every moment. Until now I try to hide the situation but now, no, because I repeat I don’t want to see what I have seen today.” – Antonio conte

Conte was signed in November 2021 to win silverware but was sacked 2 years later without any success. He had a said similar thing back in 2023 after a 3-3 draw with Southampton. A game that turned out to be a death nail for his time in North London.

The Italian also said: “Everyone has to take their responsibility. Not only the club, the manager and the staff. The players have to be involved in this situation because it is time to change this situation if Tottenham want to change. They can change the manager, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”

Rival Banter or Something More?

It is worth saying that the players themselves played the game professionally and it should be noted that City are the better team and probably would have won regardless of the situation. Some would say that this was just an unfortunate side effect of footballing rivalries.

But Postecoglou used to be Celtic manager, thus he is well aware of the pressures the rivalries bring but this situation seemed to genuinely rile him. So is there some deep-seated mental block at the club and what can be done to resolve it? 

For a long time, football fans have joked about the “Spursy” mentality, a term which is loosely defined as finding ways to mess up a situation. But this seemed more concerning: it is almost a small club mentality and something Postecoglou’s clearly unhappy with. Only time will tell if ‘Big Ange’ is the man to rectify the mindset and get them to push on and challenge for silverware on a regular basis.

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