Ange Postecoglou branded ‘arrogant’ as Tottenham boss blamed for Chelsea loss

Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou showed “arrogance” by not changing his tactics during Monday’s defeat to Chelsea, according to former Blues defender Jason Cundy. Spurs were beaten 4-1 after they were reduced to nine players early in the second half.

A Nicolas Jackson hat-trick sealed an important three points on Mauricio Pochettino’s first return to Tottenham since being sacked four years ago. But that doesn’t even tell half the story from a Premier League classic.

Tottenham had Cristian Romero sent off in the first half, with the resulting penalty seeing Chelsea equalise through Cole Palmer. Destiny Udogie, who had been fortunate to stay on the pitch for an earlier foul, was then given a second yellow card a few minutes after half-time.

Postecoglou had also lost summer signing Micky van de Ven to a hamstring injury, meaning three of his four starting defenders were no longer on the pitch. But to the surprise of many, Postecoglou remained determined to stick to his guns and play a high line.

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It worked to some degree, with Chelsea frustrated for the first half an hour of the second half. But the Blues finally broke Spurs’ resistance through Jackson before the striker added two more late on.

Cundy says Chelsea showed signs of improvement even before Tottenham’s first red card. He thought Postecoglou would change formation and tactics at half-time, claiming it was arrogant that he didn’t.

Cundy said on talkSPORT: “Even though the red card obviously changed the game, Chelsea were starting to get a lot more joy and Chelsea started to go through the gears a little bit. That was a game-changer.

“The red card and the pen was obviously a game-changer but at that moment in time, Chelsea were starting to find a bit of space. There was a disallowed goal from [Raheem] Sterling, we were starting to get in behind.

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“I wondered whether at half-time he might have gone to a five at the back. He likes to play attacking football but you can still do that down to 10 men, you can still have the wing-backs that bomb on, but defensively you can be solid.

“But no, he played a 4-3-2 and a 4-3-1. I thought [it was] naive. He gave the opportunity to Chelsea to get in behind.

“It felt almost inevitable that we were going to get in behind, it was just a matter of time. I was surprised that Postecoglou… I have to say there was a bit of an arrogance about not changing it.”

Postecoglou has explained why he stuck to his principles, insisting he would do the same even with just five players on the pitch. He told Sky Sports: “It is just who we are mate, it is who we are and who we will be for as long as I am here. If we go down to five men we will have a go.”

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