Tottenham have the third-worst defence in the Premier League behind only Sheffield and Nottingham in the last 14 games
Gamble is the right word to describe Ange Postecoglou insisting on playing the attacking style of football at Tottenham despite facing a humongous list of players who see themselves injured. Even if he has to resort to playing second and third-choice players, Ange does not seem to shy away from his style of play, which is brave but is surely a double-edged sword.
Moreover, Ange believes that his attacking style of play is the only way to inspire change at Spurs. (h/t Express) High defensive lines and constant pressure are good to watch, but what is surely not a good sight is seeing the ball in the back of your net. Despite Guglielmo Vicario’s brilliance between the sticks, Tottenham have let past an absurd number of goals in recent games and that might surely come to haunt us in the long run.
Throughout the whole campaign, Spurs have conceded 35 goals in the Premier League which is more than the likes of Wolves and Everton. Mind you these are two great teams, but in terms of individual quality, Tottenham are surely up there with the league’s best. Despite that, in the last 14 games, Tottenham have conceded 27 goals second only to Sheffield United (30) and Nottingham Forest (28). In fact, Spurs have only kept one clean sheet in this period which came in a 2-0 win against Forest. Stat: Squawka via Twitter.
Tottenham have now conceded 27 goals in their last 14 Premier League games, keeping just one clean sheet.
Only Sheffield United (30) and Nottingham Forest (28) have conceded more goals in that time. pic.twitter.com/cpF8OY4TMc
— Squawka (@Squawka) February 3, 2024
Attack or defend?
Spurs’ defending in high-pressure situations and set-pieces has been scrutinised and that’s what cost us three dear points in our recent 2-2 draw against Everton in a game where we could have avoided errors to see Sean Dyche’s team through without any faults. Nevertheless, a draw is a fair result considering how poorly Ange’s side defended in some phases of the game.
As earlier mentioned, the high defensive line, a hallmark of Postecoglou’s tactics, can be a double-edged sword. While it contributes to the team’s attacking prowess and creates entertaining football, it also exposes vulnerabilities at the back. Teams with clinical finishers or those adept at exploiting spaces behind the defensive line can capitalise on these openings, leading to conceding goals.
The injury situation compounds these issues, forcing Postecoglou to field second and third-choice players in critical positions. The lack of squad depth, especially in defence, makes it challenging to maintain defensive stability during injury crises. In such circumstances, the manager faces a dilemma; adhering strictly to the preferred playing style or adjusting to prioritise defensive solidity.
While Postecoglou’s commitment to his footballing philosophy is admirable, the current predicament suggests a need for flexibility. Adapting to the circumstances and grinding out results, especially in challenging periods with injury concerns, becomes essential. Striking a balance between an attractive playing style and pragmatic adjustments to secure points in tough situations is the hallmark of a versatile and successful manager.
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Ultimately, the main goal for any team is to secure results, and a pragmatic approach might be necessary to navigate through challenging times. Building a foundation for the future is crucial, but not at the expense of immediate success. Postecoglou’s willingness to evolve and make necessary adjustments will be pivotal in ensuring that Tottenham remains competitive and achieves the desired results in both the short and long term.