Ange Postecoglou: Tottenham ‘dramatic decline’ comes at crucial stage of season

Richarlison and Son Heung-min struck to raise some anxiety inside Anfield, but Postecoglou cannot be kidded by another display with brutally exposed the flaws in his approach – one the Australian seemingly has no intention of changing.

It is a high-risk strategy in all respects but his defiant stance on his ideology makes it look like a chance he is prepared to take. Best of luck to him.

Postecoglou’s upbeat post-match message was presumably the result of a desire not to give his players another lashing after his broadside last week at Chelsea, where they were beaten 2-0.

It was “glass half-full” analysis of a poor show, hopefully a gallant attempt to keep spirits up otherwise it veered dangerously close to delusion.

The wheels have fallen off the ‘Big Ange’ bandwagon in recent weeks and, for all his efforts at expectation management, there must still be disappointment if Spurs, as looks likely, miss out to Villa on the top four and Champions League football.

Yes, it is an improvement on last season. Yes, it is relatively early days in the Postecoglou project. Yes, they have been more pleasing on the eye than under Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte (not difficult admittedly) but when the pressure was on they failed to deliver again.

Spurs have shown the old lack of self-belief, hence why the frailties in their set-up – that make them far too easy to play and score against – have been brought into much sharper relief.

At their peak this season, they were top of the table on 3 November with 26 points after eight wins and two draws in their first 10 games. It seems an age ago now.

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