It wasn’t a good match, by any stretch, but Tottenham Hotspur made it at least interesting at the end. Faced with their second match in four days, a third three days from now, and a squad held together with Scotch tape and chewing gum, Spurs went to Brighton and fell apart. Spurs went down 4-0 to the hosts before clawing two late goals back and pushing for the unlikeliest of comebacks. But it wasn’t enough — Spurs fell 4-2, snapping a three match winning streak
Tottenham’s players looked exhausted, and it’s no wonder. Spurs are still minus a good chunk of their team due to injury or suspension, and the players have put a lot of miles on the tires lately. In his post-match press conference, Postecoglou had nothing but praise for his team of tired players, saying that they’ve done everything he’s asked of them, and he can’t ask for anything more than that.
“Look, fair to say we were looking a bit tired and lacked our usual sharpness, especially at the start of the game. We’ve been starting games well. I guess that’s understandable, we’ve been on this run for a whole now and asking players to perform at levels.
“It’s very demanding the way we play physically and today we kind of looked like a team that wasn’t at its sharpest. Brighton are a good side and they took advantage of that. Ultimately what I do know is the players everything they had they gave and that’s all I can ask for.
“Everything they’ve got, the players are giving me. I can’t ask any more of them. We’re in the position we are because of enormous efforts of a really small section of our squad and they did it again today. They’ve shown that all year. Whatever they’ve got, they’ll give. That’s all you can ask for.”
Tottenham’s had a run of incredibly unfortunate luck since the home loss to Chelsea that saw both Micky van de Ven and James Maddison go down with long-term injuries. More injuries have followed, plus suspensions for red cards and yellow card accumulation. It’s felt like Spurs have been teetering on a knife’s edge for months now, which is probably why Ange has been publicly calling for Spurs to take care of the transfer window business as soon as possible when the window opens.
But it’s tough, man. And Big Ange will be the first person to tell you.
“It’s difficult. It’s been difficult this whole run. We’ve been stretched for a very long time and we’ve just tried to play on through it. That’s what we’ve done and we’re only in the position we are because of the enormous efforts of the players to do jobs that normally is not in their brief but they do it willingly and they give everything. For me that’s all I can ask for. The players have given everything they’ve got and it’s a credit to them. Today we fell short but not for the want of trying.
“I know I say don’t and I don’t make excuses but that doesn’t dismiss the enormous efforts of the players, not just today but through this whole period. They give everything they have, even today. Everything they had in them physically they gave to this game even though sometimes we weren’t as sharp as we have been.
It wasn’t through the lack of trying and that’s what they were doing. Right to the end they were pushing. With every resource in them they were pushing to try to get something out of the game and it’s a credit to them. We are in that position through as much the players’ sheer efforts as our football.”
Tottenham host Bournemouth at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, officially kicking off 2024 and the second half of the season. Spurs defeated the Cherries 2-0 in week 3 behind goals from Dejan Kulusevski and James Maddison.