EPL

We haven’t achieved anything – Ange Postecoglou stays calm as Spurs go top

By Sports Desk October 07, 2023

Ange Postecoglou hailed 10-man Tottenham after their 1-0 win at Luton but insisted they have achieved nothing by going top of the Premier League in October.

Spurs produced a gritty display to claim all three points at Kenilworth Road after Micky van de Ven scored his first goal for the club in the 52nd minute following James Maddison’s cut-back.

Tottenham’s task was made a whole lot harder when Yves Bissouma was sent off for two bookable offences towards the end of the first half, the second yellow card for simulation, but Postecoglou’s team held firm in the face of late Luton pressure.

“Two different halves, I thought we played some great football in the first half. I thought it was as good as we’ve played and we probably should have been two or three up,” Postecoglou said.

“Obviously the red card changes the game but again I thought the lads handled it really well. They stayed calm and composed.

“In the end just the sheer will and effort of them to make sure we won, not just the starters but the guys coming on, it was a great collective effort.

“Biss made a mistake. He has been brilliant for us this year. He made a mistake and the good thing is how he reacts to these things.

“His team-mates made sure that mistake didn’t cost us and I’m sure when Biss gets back in the team he will reciprocate and make sure that whatever else happens he can get us over the line.

“With all these things I always look at reactions. What are we doing about it? I thought the reaction was outstanding.”

Victory helped Spurs take over from Manchester City at the Premier League summit with the champions in action on Sunday away to last season’s runners-up Arsenal.

A draw at the Emirates Stadium would keep Tottenham top for the international break, but Postecoglou played down their league position – despite this being their best start to a top-flight season since the club’s 1960-61 double-winning campaign.

He added: “I don’t think you read too much. They’re not silly, they know it’s only October and being top of the league now doesn’t really mean anything tangible apart from the fact that we’ve started the season well.

“It’s not like they’re sitting in there thinking we’ve achieved anything. We haven’t achieved anything. All we’ve done is lay some really good foundations.

“Our goals and ambitions lay in improvement. Can we play better? Can we become a better team? And if we do that then we’ll see where that takes us.”

Luton boss Rob Edwards was frustrated that another strong display failed to produce any points.

Spurs started impressively and could have been 3-0 up inside 10 minutes but Richarlison sliced over from close range before Thomas Kaminski saved another effort by the Brazilian and Pedro Porro rolled wide when one-on-one.

Tottenham remained on top until Bissouma’s red card when he went down under close proximity to Marvelous Nakamba, but there had been no contact and referee John Brooks showed the visiting midfielder a second yellow card.

The clash played in front of a partisan Kenilworth Road crowd hinged on a crucial five minutes after half-time when Elijah Adebayo could not convert Chiedozie Ogbene’s dangerous cross from the right in the 47th minute.

Soon after Van de Ven tapped home when Maddison spun away from Alfie Doughty and picked out the Dutch defender in the six-yard box.

“We had a huge opportunity, a massive chance we didn’t take and we’ve been punished for it because we switched off for the short corner. Those two moments are big in the game,” Edwards reflected.

“They are top of the Premier League, they will have chances and we are new to it. I was really pleased with a lot of what I saw, but I am really disappointed and flat as well.”

Related items

  • Man City match-winner Bernardo Silva: FA ‘don’t care’ about players’ wellbeing Man City match-winner Bernardo Silva: FA ‘don’t care’ about players’ wellbeing

    Match-winner Bernardo Silva has accused the Football Association of not caring about the wellbeing of players over the scheduling of Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final.

    Silva scored the late clincher as a weary-looking City ground out a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday to book a second-successive final appearance.

    Yet – after the game – manager Pep Guardiola hit out at the decision to make City play less than three days after they were taken to a penalty shootout in their draining Champions League quarter-final loss to Real Madrid.

    He contrasted this to the preparation time afforded to Sunday’s semi-finalists Manchester United and Coventry, neither of whom had midweek fixtures, and branded the situation “unacceptable”.

    Those sentiments were echoed by Silva, who felt City had been treated unfairly.

    The Portuguese said: “We didn’t play on a level field because the FA didn’t give us a chance to recover, which in my opinion is not reasonable at all.

    “I’m saying this because we won. If we didn’t win, I wouldn’t say it because I don’t like to find excuses, but I don’t think it’s acceptable we had to play (on Saturday).

    “It’s too much. We played 120 minutes less than three days (prior) and we had to play against a team that didn’t travel because they’re from London.

    “And they had five days waiting for us and thinking about our game. There’s no excuse for the game to not be Sunday. It’s not acceptable. For all of us as a team, that’s how we feel.

    “It looks like they don’t care because we’ve said it many times. It’s not about wanting to be favourites, it’s about health.”

    Silva feels there could be greater consideration given to the impact of European competitions on players when domestic fixtures are scheduled.

    He said: “I wasn’t fine at all. I’ll be honest, I was feeling my left hamstring and my right calf. This is not fair for Man City, for us.

    “I say Man City – maybe other clubs went through it. This is just our personal experience.

    “They have to pay more attention to these details. We represent England in these European competitions and it’s important for England, for this country, for other clubs to qualify for the Champions League, Europa League, Conference League. So they need to pay more attention.”

    The FA has not commented directly but its position on such matters is that the needs of the clubs, local authorities, police and broadcasters all need to be considered and balanced. It schedules all ties collaboratively.

    In this case, the matter is also complicated by Chelsea having a rearranged Premier League game against Arsenal next Tuesday.

  • Tottenham confirm Destiny Udogie’s season is over Tottenham confirm Destiny Udogie’s season is over

    Tottenham have confirmed left-back Destiny Udogie will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his left thigh.

    Udogie has flourished in his first campaign in the Premier League and made 30 appearances in all competitions for Spurs.

    The Italian defender has caught the eye with his ventures into midfield under Ange Postecoglou but he revealed on Saturday night his 2023-24 campaign was over.

    Spurs said in a statement on their website: “We can confirm that Destiny Udogie has undergone surgery to his left quadriceps, having sustained an injury in training earlier this week.

    “The defender will continue his rehabilitation with our medical staff and is expected to rejoin the squad during pre-season.”

    News of Udogie’s injury is untimely for a Tottenham team who lost 4-0 at Newcastle last weekend. Spurs lost ground in the battle for Champions League qualification as a result and are currently three points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa.

  • Thomas Frank ‘optimistic’ as Brentford show they can thrive without Ivan Toney Thomas Frank ‘optimistic’ as Brentford show they can thrive without Ivan Toney

    Thomas Frank is excited about Brentford’s attacking potential going into next season after Saturday’s 5-1 thrashing of Luton.

    The Bees ran riot at Kenilworth Road with Yoane Wissa on target twice and Bryan Mbeumo able to pull the strings as the fulcrum of a fluid attack.

    Keane Lewis-Potter also got on the scoresheet along with substitute Kevin Schade, while Mikkel Damsgaard caught the eye in a display all the more impressive given Ivan Toney’s absence.

    With Toney eager to move on this summer, the five-goal spree at Luton was a timely example of Brentford being able to show there will be life after the anticipated departure of their talisman.

    “We were very good offensively,” Frank acknowledged.

    “Wissa getting two goals, a fantastic goal. Keane got a goal, Kevin Schade coming off the bench and got a goal.

    “Bryan probably should have got a goal, but was at least two assists and was involved in all the goals, so very pleased with that.

    “I think it is promising. I was actually going into this season very optimistic.

    “I am always optimistic. Sometimes too optimistic! But I think it is good to have belief in your players.

    “Then we have been so unlucky with injuries. You can see when we get more of our best players back the potential in the team.”

    Saturday’s comprehensive win extended Brentford’s unbeaten run to five matches and Frank has set the target of ending a “tough season” on a high.

    The Bees could be boosted by the return of Toney at Everton next weekend after he was absent at Luton due to his ongoing hip issue.

    Frank revealed: “He was very close. If this was a play-off final, which it wasn’t, then I would have played him, but we need to get him absolutely right and fully fit.

    “I meant what I said before, after Sheffield United, that I thought he would be ready for this game. It was just too short so I strongly believe he is ready for Everton. I really hope that.”

    Meanwhile, Luton boss Rob Edwards admitted there would be no major repercussions following their second consecutive 5-1 loss.

    “I didn’t rant and rave,” Edwards explained.

    “I am not sure it would have had too much of an effect right there and right then. It might be a case on Monday. I’ll see how I feel once I have reviewed things.

    “This week we need to show the things we’ve not done well enough and try to correct some things, but at this stage of the season as well what we can’t do now is lose people or blame people.

    “I can’t become a different person just because we’ve lost a game of football.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.