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“Postecoglou tactics, hijacked”…Tottenham’s ‘death trilogy’ looms

Tottenham Hotspur manager Angie Postecoglou’s job was put to the test in a crushing defeat.

Spurs suffered a 0-4 defeat away to Newcastle United in the 33rd round of the 2023-2024 English Premier League season at St. James’ Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on Wednesday (Sept. 13).

Spurs conceded back-to-back goals in the 30th and 33rd minutes from Aleksander Isak and Anthony Gordon to go into halftime 0-2 down. Desperate for a comeback, Spurs conceded a second goal in the sixth minute of the second half to Isaac.

After conceding the third goal, Tottenham made three changes in the 13th minute of the second half, including club captain Son Heung-min, but were unable to find the equalizer. Instead, they conceded a fourth goal in the 42nd minute when Fabian Schurrle headed home from a corner kick.

The loss to Newcastle dropped Tottenham from fourth to fifth place. They have the same number of points as Aston Villa (60) (18 wins, 6 draws, and 8 losses), but have lost the goal differential (Villa +17, Spurs +16), handing the fourth spot to Villa.

Despite the drop to fifth, Spurs still have six games remaining. And with the UEFA Champions League expanding from 32 to 36 teams next season, a fifth-place finish in the Premier League could still qualify them for the Champions League if they’re lucky.

However, Spurs have a tough schedule ahead. After the Newcastle game, Spurs will have to face Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool in what is known as the “trilogy of death” starting on May 28th. On May 15, they’ll face Manchester City in the 34th round of back-to-back games.

With four of their remaining six games against the big boys, Spurs are facing the toughest stretch of the season. That’s when Sky Sports pundit Lyall Thomas claimed that Premier League clubs have now figured out Postecoglou’s style of soccer and that Spurs are likely to falter.

“Tottenham have benefited from the early part of the season under Postecoglou against teams that didn’t know how to play,” Thomas wrote on social media on Thursday, claiming that “most teams couldn’t cope with the way Tottenham attack.” “Now some teams and managers are starting to figure out how to play against them,” he continued.

“Now some teams and managers are starting to figure out how to deal with Spurs,” he continued, “and Newcastle is one of them. It’s really simple. This is football,” he added.

Postecoglou, who took over as Spurs boss last summer, has taken the Premier League by storm at the start of the season. Under Postecoglou’s tutelage, Spurs have 토토사이트 won eight of their first 10 games and drawn two to sit atop the Premier League table.

Spurs’ momentum faltered briefly in November of last year, when injuries and suspensions sidelined key players, leading to a five-match winless streak (W1 D1 L4). Fortunately, they got back on track in December and have been in a tight race for the top four ever since.

However, with Tottenham having played over 30 games this season, Premier League clubs have gotten to know Postecoglou’s style of soccer and have found ways to exploit it.

As Thomas points out, Newcastle have adapted their game plan to counter Postecoglou. Against Tottenham, Newcastle had just 27% of the ball. Instead of letting Spurs have the majority of the ball, they pulled the Tottenham line high and then scored on a crisp counterattack.

They also took advantage of Tottenham’s high number of shots from set-piece defenses this season, winning 16 corners and scoring from set-pieces. According to FBref, Spurs have conceded 78 shots from set pieces so far this season. That’s behind only Manchester United (101) and league-bottom Sheffield United (99), both of whom have had defensive issues this season.

The biggest problem for Spurs right now is that Newcastle’s poster child is likely to be copied by Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool ahead of the Spurs game. If Spurs fail to pick up three points in this deadly trio, it could put a red light on their Champions League chances.

The good news is that Spurs’ next game, a home match against Arsenal in round 34, is in about two weeks. During that time, it will be interesting to see if Postecoglou can shore up his team’s weaknesses and prepare them for a tough schedule.

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