Why Ange Postecoglou shouldn't overreact to Tottenham fans' 'Are you watching Arsenal?' celebrations in loss

why ange postecoglou shouldn't overreact to tottenham fans' 'are you watching arsenal?' celebrations in loss

Why Ange Postecoglou shouldn't overreact to Tottenham fans' 'Are you watching Arsenal?' celebrations in loss

It was a once in a generation night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Premier League crown was up for grabs and Spurs could be its kingmakers. Tottenham, with something meaningful to say about the title race in May? No wonder things got strange. And little was stranger than Ange Postecoglou's post-match press conference.

Tottenham may have been defeated, their hopes of a top four finish ended with a 2-0 loss, but his players had given Manchester City a real run for their money with a diligent display that did not lack in fighting spirit. Postecoglou acknowledged as much but his assessment of where Spurs stand at the end of his first season in charge was altogether more morose than anyone might have expected.

"I think the last 48 hours has revealed to me that the foundations are fairly fragile," he said. Naturally when a manager delivers such a stinging critique of the "outside [and] inside" of his club questions about the tactical adjustments he had made, the impressive first half of Rodrigo Bentancur or even how different things might have been if Heung-min Son did what Heung-min Son usually does, become secondary.

Postecoglou never quite expanded on what exactly he had seen in the past two days that had him so concerned about the state of Tottenham -- " you can make your own assessments of what's happened" -- but it does not require much parsing out. Arsenal's win over Manchester United on Sunday had thrust Spurs supporters into a waking nightmare. Aston Villa's failure to overcome Liverpool the following day hadn't snapped them out of it.

The state of the table meant that at least some portion of Spurs supporters wanted little more than a shellacking for their side, anything for a dose of schadenfreude at Arsenal's expense. In the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium the picture was a little more complicated. After all, when you're paying some of the highest ticket prices in England, or travelled halfway across the world to see your team in action there is only so much pleasure to be gained from your team's suffering.

The ground was hardly the cauldron of energy it might be on north London derby day, but there wasn't much to get supporters on their feet anyway. The first-half breakaways that nearly were roused a crowd that was at its loudest chanting against Arsenal, but they may also have been lulled by an impressively conservative display from their team. Spurs completed 17 sequences of nine or more passes in the first half, a tally they have only bettered in four Premier League matches this season. Their direct speed -- the distance they advanced the ball towards goal per second -- was the lowest it has been in a match under Postecoglou. Tottenham were mostly holding firm, positioning themselves as well as could be expected to strike out for the win late on.

That opportunity didn't come, Erling Haaland's tap in setting City on course. That was when the strange things happened, at least after a moment. Once it became apparent that that might be it as far as Tottenham's season goes the chants of "are you watching Arsenal?" were struck up with vigor. Some supporters went further. There were a smattering of Poznans. In the seats in front of the press box two fans dressed in sky blue away shirts seemed to be taking this shot across the Gunners' bows a little too well. Those around them ensured that, with the help of stewards, they were moved out of the ground.

Clearly, instances like that hit Postecoglou in his chest. From his dugout he was seen raging at one supporter, seemingly an individual who had made clear his desire to see Spurs tank. He was no less baffled after 90 minutes of mixed feelings from his supporters than he had been before the game happened. "It's been an interesting exercise," he said, barely suppressing what seemed to be a deep antipathy towards those Tottenham fans who couldn't get on the 'Tottenham win a match' bandwagon.

Almost as the words were coming out of his mouth you could see them being jammed into that familiar narrative about this club. The history of the Tottenham, as Giorgio Chiellini might put it. A team for whom the game isn't really about the glory anymore. A team living down to its (maybe unfair) reputation of being slight, lacking substance, a small club in a big club's stadium.

Postecoglou will know better than anyone whether the social media landscape was reflected at Hotspur Way on Monday and Tuesday. He also appreciates -- as Pep Guardiola and Mikel Arteta do -- that a project to turn Tottenham into winners requires the propulsive force of supporters who demand nothing less. "I can't dictate what people do," he said. "They're allowed to express themselves any way they want. But yeah, when we've got late winners in games it's because the crowd's helped us."

Perhaps, however, this one night sits outside the Tottenham story. The conflicted feelings of the fanbase, even those rooting for loss, are natural. The prize on offer is hardly the sort that fans would bite your hand off for either. Another season of Champions League revenue, Champions League ticket prices and not having much of a chance of winning the Champions League (though Borussia Dortmund's dart to Wembley is a reminder that a middling side can often break out from the pack).

Spurs supporters have had quite enough of not winning trophies without handing them to the other lot down the Seven Sisters' Road. They've had years enough of "we won the league at White Hart Lane" without the sense of being unwilling accomplices to Arsenal glory. If their season offers nothing to celebrate, well at least neither does their rival's.

Of course Postecoglou and his players, who betrayed no sign of wanting to spoil things for Arsenal, couldn't see that. They would do well, however, to not see this freak occasion as more than it was.

OTHER NEWS

2 hrs ago

Ranbir Kapoor's Ramayana Is NOT A Two-Part Project | EXCLUSIVE

2 hrs ago

Senior-level IT hiring focuses on new-age skills

2 hrs ago

ONGC dividend 2024, Q4 results today: Date and time

2 hrs ago

Internet sensation Nancy Tyagi strikes Cannes again with her self-made shimmery saree

2 hrs ago

Insolation Energy Ltd. Reports 419.50 per cent Surge in FY24 Consolidated PAT

2 hrs ago

Multibagger Stock: Jeena Sikho Lifecare share price gains over 500% in 1 yr, more than 1,300% since 2022. Time to buy?

2 hrs ago

When will your investment double, quadruple? Know the rule of 72 and 144

2 hrs ago

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani & Family Cast Their Vote In Mumbai | N18V | CNBC TV18

2 hrs ago

FII Selling: Foreign investors sell stocks over Rs 28000 crore so far in May; here's why

2 hrs ago

Windows vs Mac mini PCs: Which are the best Mac mini alternatives out there? Let's find out

2 hrs ago

‘Focused, flourishing’: Swiggy on video showing delivery agent walking past Taapsee Pannu

2 hrs ago

Retirement Planning: Over Rs 10 lk interest income with THIS govt-backed scheme - Interest rate, tax benefits

2 hrs ago

India's submarine project battles hurdle amid rising China, Pakistan pressures

2 hrs ago

Vedanta Dividend 2024 Record Date: Rs 11 per share payout - Check ex-date, payment date

2 hrs ago

When This Jackfruit Tree, Now Enshrined At A Temple, Saved The King Of Travancore

2 hrs ago

Kiara Advani expresses her excitement for joining Hrithik Roshan in 'War 2' and Ranveer Singh in 'Don 3'

2 hrs ago

Iranian President Raisi dead: What we know about US-made Bell 212 chopper that crashed

2 hrs ago

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Bobby Deol, Sunny Deol, Rekha, Sara Ali Khan, Tejasswi Prakash cast their vote

2 hrs ago

Why Congress may think twice before hauling up Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury

2 hrs ago

Kannada Actors Darshan, Kichcha Sudeep Wish Telugu Actor Manchu Manoj On His Birthday

2 hrs ago

Shaadi.com's Anupam Mittal calls panic attacks 'scariest thing he has ever experienced'

2 hrs ago

The majestic blue-grey sei whales resurface along Patagonian coast of Argentina

2 hrs ago

Signature Global Buys 14.65-Acre Land in Gurugram for Around Rs 350 Crore to Build Premium Homes

3 hrs ago

Why Telhara, near Nalanda in Bihar, could throw new light on India’s history

3 hrs ago

Wasim Akram mocks 'Aajkal ka cricketers' busy on mobile, netizens say 'nailed it'

3 hrs ago

Injured Aishwarya Rai Arrives Alone to Cast Vote, Tells Crowd to Move Aside; Video Goes Viral | Watch

3 hrs ago

Kamal Haasan's character in 'Kalki AD 2898' to take center stage in part 2!

3 hrs ago

MS Dhoni's future in IPL 'up to BCCI' as Rayudu defies Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma to make unusual demand for MSD

3 hrs ago

Maintain buy on dips strategy as Nifty to test 23,000, pick these 3 stock ideas for short term

3 hrs ago

Kalpataru signs Saudi Aramco's EPC project with contract value worth Rs 7,550 crore

3 hrs ago

Kapdaganda Shawl, Unique To Dongria Kondh Tribe Of Odisha Gets GI Tag | ABP News

3 hrs ago

ITR Filing 2024: Can I claim capital gains exemption for two plot sales by investing in one house?

3 hrs ago

BYD Seal electric sedan clocks 1,000 bookings within three months of launch

3 hrs ago

Elon Musk goes to China & Indonesia, eyes Lanka trip after cancelling India visit. Why Tesla CEO's itinerary matters

3 hrs ago

Dharmendra gets annoyed with media after casting vote for Lok Sabha Elections 2024

3 hrs ago

'Varshangalkku Shesham' box office collections day 39: Vineeth Sreenivasan's drama struggles, collects Rs 2 lakhs

3 hrs ago

Akshay Kumar, Arshad Warsi Go On A Bike Ride As They Wrap Jolly LLB 3 Rajasthan Schedule, Share Fun Video

3 hrs ago

Gauahar Khan furious at authorities for not being allowed to vote: ‘Here people are fighting and going berserk’

3 hrs ago

Head and neck cancer is emerging as prevalent concern in India. Know its causes, symptoms, who are at risk

3 hrs ago

ICMR Slams Study On 'Serious' Side-Effects Of Covaxin, Demands Apology From BHU Professors