Ange Postecoglou given Tottenham midfield advice amid 'too many changes' claim

Tottenham Manager Ange Postecoglou waves at the crowd after during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Luton Town at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on March 30, 2024 in London, England.
Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham side have endured some ups and downs of late -Credit:(Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)


Gustavo Poyet believes that Ange Postecoglou's Tottenham system is "still in the process of getting better and better". Making a fine start to the 2023/24 Premier League campaign and topping the league table early on, Spurs' results and performances have fluctuated since the beginning of November.

Despite Saturday lunchtime's 4-0 hammering at Newcastle United, the Lilywhites are still in a very good position to secure Champions League football come the end of the season. Key to achieving a top-four finish may well be solving their current midfield woes with the team not exactly thriving in the middle of the park at present.

Previously Tottenham's strongest position in Postecoglou's side, you could perhaps now argue that it may indeed be their weakest with the likes of Yves Bissouma and James Maddison struggling to recapture their best levels after their absences from November onwards. Poyet, who feels that a result of chopping and changing in midfield has had an impact, has made it clear that time is key as he himself didn't see his exciting Brighton & Hove Albion team in full flow until about 11 months into his tenure.

"It's a good question. I think there have been too many changes," Poyet, speaking on behalf of Plinko Casino Game, told football.london when asked about how Tottenham solve their current midfield conundrum. "When you have the possibility to swap players around and you have four or five very good players in midfield, you try to play them all and give the team fresh legs but also it's difficult to maintain the consistency. It has been difficult.

"I think Tottenham, even though it doesn't look like, it's still in the early stages of the system of the new coach. It's not like 'this is the team and it will perform'. There are still things to improve, still need to tweak a few things and improve a few things to get consistency.

"What is true is that it is always a great game to watch when Tottenham play. From pre-season to now, there are always goals both ways. I am sure the idea in the future is to control the ones you concede and score.

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"I think his formation is still in the process of getting better and better and it's still early. The problem is that everyone got excited at the beginning of the season because it was incredible football, high pressing, halfway line pressing. It's still the first season.

"I always say depending on the players and the coach. I got the job at Brighton in November and it was probably October the following season - 11 months and two transfer windows - when I said 'now, this is part of my team'."

Rodrigo Bentancur has found himself in and out of the Tottenham XI since he first made his return at the end of October following the ACL injury he sustained at Leicester City in February 2023. Always going to be tough for the player to get back to his previous heights so soon after a serious injury, Poyet believes it will be next campaign when he is finally back at his best.

"The problem with Bentancur is that injury stopped him in his progression and it's tough and a difficulty injury," he said. "I am sure he is a player who is going to play many, many years at Tottenham. I am so happy to see him there. To see a fellow Uruguayan play there is always nice."

One player who has featured regularly in 2024 is January arrival Timo Werner. Signed on loan from RB Leipzig at the turn of the year, the German has proved to be a key player in the final third after so far contributing two goals and three assists in 13 appearances.

Not enjoying the best of times in his first spell in the Premier League with Chelsea, the 28-year-old looks to be better suited to Postecoglou's brand of attacking football and that may result in a permanent move to the club this summer. Poyet believes that is down to the clarity Werner has received from the head coach when it comes to his role in the team.

"I'm happy that he's been playing a lot. That's important," he said. "When he left Chelsea and he went back to Germany, he was maybe thinking he'd lost the chance. Now he's playing and he's having a chance in there.

"I will say something very important now and that's not detrimental of the coaches, I think he knows his role now. He knows he's going to be playing on the left, when he has a chance to go one vs one he needs to get in there and when he can get close to the goal he needs to score. It's very clear, simple, nothing complicated and it's working for him."

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