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HomeSoccerPremier League (PREM)PREM News: Spurs ride slump into matchup with Manchester City

PREM News: Spurs ride slump into matchup with Manchester City


Tottenham Hotspur manager Ange Postecoglou will face the stiffest test of his debut season when his side visits defending league champion Manchester City on Sunday amid a three-match losing streak.

Postecoglou’s Spurs have won rave reviews for an attacking style in stark contrast to the pragmatism of previous full-time manager Antonio Conte last season.

And Tottenham (8-3-2, 26 points) spent much of Postecoglou’s first months in charge atop the league table, though they had also clearly received some good breaks.

But fortune generally balances out over a full season, and the breaks have finally gone against Tottenham during a three-game slide that has dropped the North Londoners to fifth place entering the weekend.

Son Heung-min has not added to his total of eight goals during the three-game skid, which included going down to nine men in a loss the Chelsea, a stoppage-time decider conceded at Wolverhampton Wanderers and most recently a 2-1 home loss to Aston Villa after taking an early lead.

Now comes a visit to second-place City (9-2-2, 29 points). And while it could be tempting to try to pivot from Spurs’ early, adventurous tactics, Postecoglou insists his team won’t and shouldn’t.

“You look at the top teams and there is one common trait amongst them: They all have a plan, they invest in that plan and stick to it,” Postecoglou said Friday. “They don’t shy away from it at the first difficulty.”

City have also had recent league hiccups, settling for a 4-4 draw at Chelsea and a 1-1 tie against visiting Liverpool. They looked to be headed for another disappointment before rallying from two down on Tuesday for a 3-2 win over visiting RB Leipzig in the UEFA Champions League thanks to second-half goals from Erling Haaland, Phil Foden and Julian Alvarez.

Manager Pep Guardiola’s Cityzens are guaranteed a place in the Champions League knockout phase and are in a good position to challenge for a record fourth straight league title. And considering all Guardiola has accomplished, his assessment of Postecoglou — who previously managed Celtic in the Scottish Premiership and Yokohama in the J League — carries some weight.

“Even the games they didn’t win lately, I’m impressed (with the) good things they do and chances they create,” Guardiola said. “Every team plays for the desire of the manager. What he’s done in Japan and Glasgow with Celtic and now, he makes football a better place, people like Ange. I enjoy a lot their approach, all the Spurs fans can admit the impact has been quick.”

–Field Level Media

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