Ange Postecoglou warns of ‘fragile’ foundations at Tottenham after revealing 48 hours – CBS Sports

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LONDON — Ange Postecoglou has warned that the foundations of the Tottenham squad he is attempting to build are “fairly fragile” after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Manchester City saw them eliminated from the top four race.

Postecoglou did not elaborate on the specific concerns that had emerged for him in the past 48 hours, a period where there has been much debate over whether Spurs and their supporters might want to lose Tuesday’s game so as not to aid the title cause of their great rivals Arsenal. The Australian did, however, state that his concerns were related to “outside, inside, everywhere” at the club.

Two second-half goals for Erling Haaland secured a win for City that means they are in control of their destiny on the final day of the season. Had Tottenham taken a point then it would have been Arsenal in the ascendancy on the final day. Meanwhile, City’s win prompted jubilant scenes in the Midlands as Aston Villa celebrated qualification for the Champions League. Despite losing the talismanic Harry Kane on the eve of the season, Spurs have increased their points total from last season and will assure themselves of Europa League football by avoiding defeat to Sheffield United on the final day.

Given that Tottenham also gave City a fair few headaches in a dramatic encounter – most notably when Heung-min Son spurned a prime chance to equalize in the 86th minute – there is a case to be made that the building blocks are in place for a better second season under Postecoglou. When that suggestion was put to him, however, his response was emphatic.

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“I think the last 48 hours has revealed to me that the foundations are fairly fragile mate,” said the Tottenham manager. “That’s just what I think. I just think the last 48 hours have revealed a fair bit to me. That’s alright. It just means I’ve got to go back to the drawing board with some things.”

Asked whether this was a reference to Tottenham the club or its supporters, he added: “Outside, inside, everywhere. It’s been an interesting exercise.

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“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 endeavor to become a winning team, but that’s ok. That’s why I’m here.”

In that 48-hour timespan, there has been much debate over Tottenham supporters over whether they could stomach aiding the Arsenal cause. Speaking before the match Postecoglou had made clear that he had no truck with such a viewpoint and videos on social media suggested he was similarly unimpressed at supporters in the ground willing their side on to defeat.

Certainly, it was a notably subdued atmosphere in north London, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium briefly rousing itself with anti-Arsenal chants early on. Chances for Son, Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski did bring cries of excitement from home fans but Haaland’s 51st-minute opener was soon followed by cries of, “Are you watching Arsenal?”

Postecoglou said: “I’m just not interested [in the Arsenal rivalry] mate. Maybe I’m out of step, but I just don’t care, I just want to win. I want to be successful at this football club, it’s why I was brought in.

“So what other people, how they want to feel, and what their priorities are, are of zero interest to me. I know what’s important to build a winning team, that’s what I need to concentrate on.

“Of course it [affects the players when the crowd is subdued]. It is what it is. I can’t dictate what people do. 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.”

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