Tottenham head coach Ange Postecoglou will keep channelling his focus on problem-solving rather than allowing himself to get frustrated at the club’s growing list of absentees.

Spurs won 2-0 at Nottingham Forest last week, but finished the match with 10 men after Yves Bissouma was shown his second red card of the season.

Bissouma will be suspended for four matches and Destiny Udogie is banned for Saturday’s visit of Everton after he received his fifth caution of the campaign at the City Ground.

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It adds to Postecoglou’s problems with Micky van de Ven, James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur already ruled out until January while attackers Ivan Perisic and Manor Solomon have been long-term absentees since September.

Postecoglou said: “I think it is important from my perspective that you don’t deal in the extreme because it is an emotional game. There are enough people who get emotional about these things so it doesn’t need me to add to that.

“My job in all of this is to ultimately find solutions rather than focus too much on the fall-out of any issues we’ve had because I guarantee you once we get all the players back, there will be something else.

“Like I said, it is important for the players and staff that they know through that process my role is to charter a way forward rather than focus on the fall-out from any challenges we may have.”

Bissouma faced criticism for his challenge on Forest midfielder Ryan Yates but Postecoglou has not felt the need to address discipline with him.

“People can say what they want but he has just mistimed a tackle. It is not like he has gone in dirty on anyone,” the Spurs boss added.

“I have always felt the best remedy is that if a guy feels he is missing out, then that kind of helps in that process of not letting it affect their game but also understanding the impact it can have.

“Always I kind of understand that they are all human beings and they will make mistakes, like all of us they are given the opportunity to learn from those mistakes.”

Postecoglou must now decide how best to replace Bissouma and while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has deputised for him at times this season, Oliver Skipp will get minutes in the defensive midfield role over the next week with games to come against Brighton and Bournemouth.

“Obviously we’ve had Pierre there and Biss, even Bentancur when he came back, so there is a fair bit of flexibility on who we use there,” Postecoglou explained.

“But Skippy can play at six and probably will play there.

“We have three games over the next week so he probably will get an opportunity at some point in that position.”

Tottenham have only lost one of their last 20 league meetings with Everton, but Sean Dyche’s team have been galvanised by a 10-point deduction for a breach of financial regulations in November.

The 16th-placed Toffees are one of the Premier League’s in-form clubs with seven wins from their last 10 fixtures.

Postecoglou concluded: “Sean’s done an outstanding job but when you get hit with something like that, it’s often a measure of the playing group and the manager how they respond to adversity and you’ve got to say the response has been first class.”

Ange Postecoglou admits he owes Newcastle boss Eddie Howe a thank you for his unintended role in his journey to Tottenham.

Sunday will see Postecoglou and Howe go head-to-head for the first time, but back in the summer of 2021 they were the talk of Glasgow.

Howe was widely expected to take the vacant Celtic role only to turn it down following prolonged negotiations, which resulted in Postecoglou getting the nod.

The Australian never looked back and after he won five trophies during his two-year stay in Scotland, it convinced Spurs to give the 58-year-old his first opportunity to be a Premier League manager.

“Oh absolutely, sliding doors moment,” Postecoglou acknowledged.

“There’s probably been no bigger decision in me being here today than Eddie knocking back the Celtic job.

“I haven’t thanked him, I probably should.”

Postecoglou quickly took the Premier League by storm upon his arrival and guided Tottenham to the top flight summit in October, but the past six weeks has produced a five-match winless run and a growing list of absentees.

But the experienced coach is not in the mood to panic, he insisted: “The pressure is the pressure, you know.

“It’s always there, it’s how you kind of treat it and I’ve never let it sort of guide my path or my way forward.

“For me, I don’t have a three or five year plan up my sleeve that’s guaranteed for success. What I do have is a plan that I think will get us to where we need to be.

“How long that takes? I don’t know. It depends on how we keep disciplined in staying and sticking (to) the path.

“It’s how focused you are and how committed you are to go on the path you’ve started. I’m unwavering with that, I just will not budge. I just think that’s what I believe is the best way forward.”

Injuries to Micky van de Ven and James Maddison have proved costly and while Spurs recently welcomed back Pape Sarr and Richarlison, they remain without eight first-teamers for Sunday’s match.

Newcastle boast an equally large number of players on the treatment table, which has opened the door for 17-year-old Lewis Miley, who has impressed over the past month.

Postecoglou has several of his own academy graduates involved in the squad right now and admitted he could turn to Tottenham Under-21 playmaker Jamie Donley, 18, if they continue to struggle for goals.

“It’s fair to say Newcastle are probably the only other club who have gone through anything like we have from an injury perspective. That’s going to affect every club, but I think they’ve battled through it reasonable well, very well in fact,” Postecoglou added.

 

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“Players have an opportunity every day to show what they can do and give me food for thought in terms of selection.

 

“If I’m not doing it, there’s a reason why I’m not doing it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t change for next week or the week after.

“Certainly Jamie, I think he’s developing. It’s benefitted him training with us regularly now.

“He’s a permanent fixture in here and within that context I think our next few games, if he keeps developing the way he is, he’ll get an opportunity in a game as well.”

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.”

Micky van de Ven’s first goal in English football fired 10-man Tottenham to the Premier League summit with a 1-0 win at Luton.

Spurs entered this fixture following a controversial 2-1 victory over Liverpool last weekend, where Jurgen Klopp’s side were denied a legitimate goal due to a “significant human error” by VAR operator Darren England.

It meant three points for Ange Postecoglou’s team at Kenilworth Road would send them to the summit for at least 24 hours, but they had to work hard for it after Yves Bissouma was sent off in first-half stoppage-time.

Bissouma was booked twice in quick succession by referee John Brooks, the second for simulation, but Van de Ven’s close-range finish in the 52nd minute earned Tottenham a hard-fought win.

This was the first meeting between the clubs since 1992 and the hostile atmosphere was a throwback to that era with even TNT pundits Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch booed ahead of kick-off.

Spurs had put seven goals past the other newly-promoted teams this season and should have added to that tally inside 10 minutes.

Richarlison was guilty of fluffing his lines twice, firing off target via his shin with the goal at his mercy from Dejan Kulusevski’s third-minute cross before Thomas Kaminski denied the Brazilian with his feet after James Maddison’s slick through ball 60 seconds later.

Pedro Porro was next to squander an excellent opportunity when Son Heung-min played him through and he fired wide. The Tottenham captain also curled into the stand before Luton started to settle.

Huge cheers greeted the Hatters’ first corner in the 25th minute, although top goalscorer Carlton Morris could only send his header off target following Alfie Doughty’s delivery.

The visitors remained a threat and a driving run by Pape Sarr set up Kulusevski, but Kaminski produced an excellent fingertip save to parry the 18-yard curler wide.

Luton had the ball in the net after 39 minutes but it was immediately ruled out and a VAR check showed Elijah Adebayo had shoved Cristian Romero.

Doughty’s free-kick dropped for Adebayo, who after pushing Romero flicked over Guglielmo Vicario and onto the post where Lockyer headed in, only for it to be disallowed.

The free-kick came from a Bissouma foul on Chiedozie Ogbene and referee Brooks booked the Tottenham midfielder for a professional foul.

A second yellow card followed in first-half stoppage time for simulation when Bissouma went down under close proximity from Marvelous Nakamba, but there was no contact and Brooks correctly sent off the visiting player.

Luton should have taken the lead two minutes after half-time when Ogbene held off Destiny Udogie and crossed in for Adebayo, but he could not steer his effort on target.

The hosts were hit with a sucker-punch in the 52nd minute when Van de Ven opened his account for Tottenham.

After a number of corners in quick succession, it proved third time lucky for Postecoglou’s side when Maddison collected Kulusevski’s short corner and brilliantly spun away from Doughty before he cut back for Van de Ven to slot home from six yards.

It briefly silenced the partisan Kenilworth Road crowd but they were soon roaring their team on and Doughty dragged wide soon after the opener.

Morris tested Vicario minutes later and, although Porro sent an effort just past the post for Tottenham in the 62nd minute, Luton started to build momentum.

Jacob Brown headed over before substitute Cauley Woodrow had a weak shot saved.

A deflected effort wide by Doughty was the final warning sign for Postecoglou, who introduced Emerson Royal and Oliver Skipp for Son and Maddison with 14 minutes left but Spurs held on to go top.

Micky van de Ven is no stranger to proving people wrong and has total confidence Tottenham can continue to silence the “negative” talk which surrounded the club this summer.

The Dutch defender has been a revelation since he signed from Wolfsburg for an initial £34.5million fee and has helped Ange Postecoglou’s new-look team win four of their opening six Premier League fixtures despite the departure of record goal-scorer Harry Kane.

While Van de Ven and Spurs are enjoying a new lease of life under Postecoglou, it has not been a smooth journey for the 22-year-old with a career outside of football considered and a difficult first campaign in Germany navigated before he reached England’s top flight.

Van de Ven was on the brink of being released by Volendam during his under-19 days when Wim Jonk’s arrival as manager resulted in an unexpected first-team opportunity. Fast forward five years and he is in the Netherlands senior set-up while quickly on his way to becoming a fan favourite in N17.

“I like to prove people wrong, yeah it is true,” Van de Ven told the PA news agency after he surprised Lea Valley Primary pupils during a school football session put on by Tottenham Hotspur Foundation this week.

“My dad (Marcel) helped me also a lot at Volendam. It was a difficult situation for me because when people say they don’t trust you when you are 17-years-old, maybe you have to look for work or something.

“You have to have a second choice if you can’t make it to be a professional football player and you have to switch. I said to my dad, ‘maybe I have to work,’ and he was like, ‘no! Trust me. One day a person will come, you will get your chance and grab it’.

“So, I kept working, pushing, pushing, pushing and there was the chance and I grabbed it.

“Also when I came from Volendam and went to Wolfsburg everybody said the step was too big, but I wanted to prove people wrong, so that is the mentality.

“It is true (for Tottenham) because what I saw before I joined Spurs was that people were really negative about Spurs.

“Of course, Kane was maybe going to leave and he scored every year 30+ goals, so yeah amazing striker, but we were there to prove them wrong. I think we are doing good now, but it is just the beginning. We need to keep pushing.

“We want to be at the highest level all season, so I don’t know where it will end but we want the best.”

James Maddison, Son Heung-min and Yves Bissouma have taken the biggest plaudits for Tottenham’s transformation from a disjointed, counter-attacking team last season into a front-foot side.

Spurs have scored 15 times in six league fixtures with Son leading the way, but it is at the other end of the pitch where the bravery and boldness in possession begins with Van de Ven and centre-back partner Cristian Romero.

The duo are opposites in style with World Cup winner Romero known for his aggression, while Van de Ven appears calmness personified, but they have quickly built a bond on and off the pitch.

Van de Ven explained: “I think it naturally happened on the pitch and we felt each other quite fast, but when I came he was also really nice to me and showed me ‘here is the kitchen and where you can get this’, so he was sitting with me and we talked a bit.

“It was really nice the first couple of days I was there, but also on the pitch it felt good.

“Of course he won the World Cup, I saw him play the whole World Cup so I know his quality already.

“I think I know what Cuti’s (Romero’s) qualities are and Cuti knows what my qualities are, so we know what we expect from each other. I have his back and he has my back.

“Cuti is just an amazing player and I know when I run in one direction, he is in my back because he is always there. We just feel each other and of course it is amazing when you have this as a centre-back duo.

 

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“Of course we are shouting to each other (in games) but it is not in a negative role or something. It is always positive.

“I think I make him maybe more calm and he makes me more aggressive. He will (always) be a more aggressive player and I am a more calm player, but it fits each other well.”

While it is early days for the Van de Ven and Romero partnership, the youngest member of the duo is crystal clear about his personal ambitions.

Van de Ven wants to become one of the best defenders in the Premier League like compatriot Virgil van Dijk, who he will face on Saturday night when title contenders Liverpool visit Tottenham.

“I am really looking forward to seeing the fans again in the stadium and they will make it a good game from us,” the former Netherlands Under-21 captain added.

“We are going to play our own way and play like we want to play. We don’t have fear for Liverpool.

“I think Virgil was the last couple of years and this year also one of the best defenders in the Premier League, for sure.

“The year they grabbed the title he was unbelievable and showed how important he is for Liverpool. He shows how important he is the last couple of years.

“Yeah, that is my ambition to be one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League and I will work hard for it to make it happen, but I just started so hopefully I can be there in I don’t know how many years.”

:: Micky van de Ven appeared at a school’s football session delivered by the Club’s Foundation at N17 Arena – a community hub located on the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium campus.

Tottenham have completed the signing of key target Micky van de Ven on six-year deal from Wolfsburg.

The addition of the left-footed centre-back is a major coup for the club and helps satisfy the demand of new boss Ange Postecoglou to bring in defensive reinforcements.

Spurs have secured the services of Van de Ven on a contract running to 2029 in a deal worth an initial 40million euros (£34.5million), but with the final fee able to rise to around 50m euros (£43.1m) in add-ons.

The Netherlands Under-21 international has been tracked by the club all summer and, after weighing up a move for him or Bayer Leverkusen’s Edmond Tapsoba, Tottenham pressed ahead with their pursuit of the 22-year-old.

Van de Ven started his career with Volendam before leaving his homeland to join Wolfsburg in summer 2021.

An encouraging 2022-23 season, in which Van de Ven featured 36 times for the Bundesliga club, brought him to the attention of several teams across Europe, with Liverpool also reportedly interested.

Spurs won the race for the Dutchman and he was in attendance for Sunday’s pre-season win over Shakhtar Donetsk after an agreement was reached with Wolfsburg over his transfer last week.

Van de Ven completed his medical at the club’s Enfield training base on Monday and is likely to be part of the travelling party to Barcelona for Tuesday’s friendly against the Catalan club.

Postecoglou refused to directly discuss the defender after the 5-1 victory over Shakhtar but has been open about the need for new centre-backs throughout pre-season.

Ben Davies has played the majority of minutes on the left side of the back four system used by the Australian head coach, but Van de Ven’s pace will be a welcome addition to a team that will also use a high defensive line this season.

Spurs retain an interest in former loanee Clement Lenglet and Fulham’s Tosin Adarabioyo, who only has one year left on his deal.

Tottenham continue to work on incomings but will listen to offers for centre-backs Davinson Sanchez, Japhet Tanganga and Joe Rodon.

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