Spurs’ real problem is not Ange as ‘bizarre’ PL scene exposes club’s damning truth: UK View

    Prior to the final home game of the season against Manchester City, a host of Tottenham fans were asked by beIN Sports about their feelings on the clash.

    This was, of course, knowing a Tottenham victory over City would not just bolster their own Champions League hopes, but put arch rivals Arsenal in the box seat to win the league title.

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    A handful said they wanted to see the home side defeat Pep Guardiola’s side.

    But the majority?

    Well, let’s just say one supporter went as far as saying he would “rather sell my mum” than Arsenal lift its first league title since the Invincibles campaign of 2003/2004.

    It completely defied what Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou had thought of the fanbase just 24 hours earlier.

    Speaking at his press conference, Postecoglou said he understood rivalry — after all, he managed in the Old Firm — but “will never understand if someone wants their own team to lose”.

    Unfortunately for Postecoglou, a 2-0 defeat to City proved him dreadfully wrong.

    When Erling Haaland broke the deadlock in the 51st minute, cameras panned to two Tottenham fans who did the Poznan, famously a City celebration.

    A penny for Postecoglou’s thoughts too when chants of “Are you watching Arsenal?” echoed around the $AUD1.9 billion Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

    In fact, we didn’t have to wait too long for Postecoglou’s verdict as footage of the Australian blowing up at a fan went viral, with one user who was in proximity alleging the fan in question constantly called for Tottenham to throw the game.

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    Postecoglou’s frustrations were evident in the post-match press conference, stating the past 48 hours had informed him Tottenham’s “foundations are pretty fragile”.

    He refused to elaborate on whether that was aimed at the club’s fans, players or hierarchy, but he delivered a telling comment.

    “Outside, inside, everywhere,” Postecoglou said.

    “It’s been an interesting exercise. I probably misread the situation in what it takes to make a winning team.”

    Postecoglou added: “Maybe I’m out of step, but I just don’t care, I just want to win. I want to be successful at this football club, it’s why I was brought in.”

    For a club who call one of, if not the best stadiums in the world home, celebrating a defeat that killed off any hope of returning to the Champions League reeked of what The Telegraph’s Jason Burt described as a “small-club mentality”.

    “Yes, it may have effectively handed Arsenal the title,” Burt wrote.

    “Yes, it may have led to more songs and goading with them having last been champions 20 years ago when they gained a result at White Hart Lane.

    “But, so what? Football is about winning. Not about worrying about rivals and Spurs have diminished themselves and Postecoglou’s reaction showed how he felt.

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    “When that chant of “Are you watching Arsenal” rang around the South Stand it felt like a weight had been lifted.

    “Instead it was a yoke being applied and an inferiority complex being confirmed.”

    The Times’ Martin Samuel also questioned what would have been running through Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy’s mind, hearing the club’s fans so preoccupied with taunting their rivals in a stadium built for European nights they were all too happy to kiss goodbye.

    “Imagine when this place was being built,” Samuel wrote.

    “Was that really the dream, a crowd of over 61,000 gathered in the hope Tottenham lose a game that could have put them on the brink of Champions League qualification?

    “Daniel Levy must be so proud.”

    Samuel added: “It was a bizarre atmosphere, frankly, with the crowd not exactly supporting Manchester City, but barely encouraging Tottenham, either.

    “For a game involving a place in history at one end and an outside shot at the Champions League at the other, it often had the air of one of those end-of-season matches that are a fixture obligation, and no more.”

    Credit must be given to Tottenham’s players who, like Postecoglou, were desperate to win and keep their top four hopes alive.

    Postecoglou unleashed in a fiery press conference. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

    Guglielmo Vicario was immense in the first half, producing a magnificent stop to deny Phil Foden’s thumping volley from almost point-blank range.

    Rodrigo Bentancur’s powerful strike from distance stung the palms of Ederson.

    Heung-Min Son almost scored a late equaliser, if not for the outstretched right leg of substitute goalkeeper Stefan Ortega.

    Yet those efforts were completely in vain by the end, not that it seemed to matter much to a worrying amount of Tottenham supporters.

    They did respond with a lengthy rendition of “When the Spurs go marching in” during the dying stages of the contest, but that was only after Haaland buried a penalty to put the result beyond doubt.

    But Burt pointed out the chant simply provided more ammunition for Postecoglou’s press conference.

    “It (the chanting) riled Postecoglou even more,” Burt wrote.

    “His interpretation? That was just defeatism and not defiance.

    “He had it right.”

    Tottenham will go another season without Champions League football. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

    The Champions League may be out of reach, but Tottenham need only a draw against already-relegated Sheffield United on the final day to lock up a spot in the Europa League next season.

    Even prior to that contest, this season has been a marked improvement on Tottenham’s 22/23 campaign where, despite Harry Kane’s 30 league goals, finished eighth and failed to secure European football.

    But an improved points tally or a return to the Europa League will do little to wash the sour taste from Postecoglou’s mouth after the scenes which unfolded against Manchester City.

    If anything, the supporters’ reactions to Haaland’s double shows that although Postecoglou may be ready and willing to bring success to Tottenham, the fans might not be ready for it.

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