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Can Spurs Secure a Top Four Finish This Season? Insights from The Athletic

Assessing Tottenham’s Top Four Aspirations Under Ange Postecoglou

Tottenham Hotspur’s journey under Ange Postecoglou has been a focal point of discussion, particularly following a nail-biting North London Derby. The Athletic’s Ayo Akinwolere, along with pundits Jack Pitt-Brooke and Seb Stafford-Bloor, dissected Tottenham’s performance and prospects on a recent podcast.

Tottenham’s Tactical Tussles

In the conversation, Seb Stafford-Bloor initially highlighted Tottenham’s misfortune in the derby, especially regarding some controversial officiating decisions. However, he pointed out, “Ultimately, if you don’t do the basics of the game well enough, if you don’t defend set pieces, and you get punished, I don’t think that is unlucky. I think that’s just a kind of a failure to prepare.”

Jack Pitt-Brooke chimed in on Christian Romero’s influence in the match, praising his refusal to lose and his audacity to go off-script, which notably led to a goal that reignited Spurs in the game. “Sometimes, Tottenham and a lot of teams like this, but they need players who are willing to go a little bit off-script and to play the situation,” Pitt-Brooke observed.

Striking Balance and Building Forward

The discussion also touched on the potential tweaks needed in the squad to solidify Tottenham’s top-four finish aspirations. Stafford-Bloor described Spurs’ attacking play as sluggish and predictable, noting, “When they get beyond 70 yards, it’s like they’re playing in a foot of grass; everything becomes so slow.”

Romero’s unpredictable play was seen as a vital component for Tottenham, with both panelists agreeing that his type of bravery and tactical expression was crucial. Stafford-Bloor further emphasized, “You need that unpredictable element that’s kind of necessary to make you harder to defend against.”

Managerial Musings and Future Prospects

On Ange Postecoglou’s impact, Pitt-Brooke highlighted the manager’s significant role in addressing the team’s weaknesses, particularly in defending against counters and corners. “What were they working on for those two weeks because they didn’t really see much of an improvement in the two glaring areas that everybody knows Tottenham need to improve on,” he criticized after Tottenham displayed similar vulnerabilities in consecutive matches.

The pundits also pondered the need for additional strategic coaching roles, like a set-piece coach, to fortify Tottenham’s tactical setups.

Concluding Thoughts on Spurs’ Season Trajectory

As the podcast wrapped up, the conversation acknowledged that while the road ahead for Tottenham under Postecoglou has its challenges, there are also genuine signs of potential. “If they were to add for instance, the right type of forward at the top of the pitch or a couple of elements, you could see it moving forward pretty quickly,” Stafford-Bloor remarked optimistically.

Jack Pitt-Brooke summed up by reminding listeners that despite some disappointment in performance, the season still holds many positives. The early success might have set high expectations, but it’s crucial to view the bigger picture and the gradual progression under Postecoglou’s stewardship.

This discussion on The Athletic Podcast not only showcased the insights of seasoned analysts but also framed the narrative around Tottenham’s evolving strategy under their new manager, with an eye on climbing into the top four of the Premier League.

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