Ange Postecoglou makes extraordinary Tottenham vs Man City admission amid Arsenal title race

Ange Postecoglou has revealed that Tottenham's Premier League clash against Man City was "probably the worst managerial experience of my life". A key game in the 2023/24 season with City needing all three points to see them move ahead of Arsenal at the summit of the league going into the final day, Tottenham also required maximum points to keep their slim top-four hopes alive.

Due to the fierce rivalry between Tottenham and Arsenal, many Spurs supporters made their feelings clear ahead of the game that they wanted their team to lose in order to deliver a hammer blow to the Gunners' title chances. Following the 2-0 defeat after Erling Haaland won the game for the visitors with a second-half double, Postecoglou pulled no punches in a very honest press conference and stated that the foundations are "really fragile" at the club.

In front of the media again on Friday afternoon to preview the final game of the season against Sheffield United, Postecoglou discussed his comments, the Man City defeat and the club's rivalry with Arsenal and admitted that he misjudged the feelings of the Tottenham fanbase going into the game.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference at Hotspur Way, he said: “I would like to think I didn’t change my sort of stance or view on it. I think I was asked after the game about the atmosphere and I said I didn’t think it was normal, I didn’t like it. But I also didn’t say that I expected fans to behave differently, that’s their right. I’ve always said that and I still stand by that.

"I also stand by the fact I have an opinion on it. I don’t think it’s right, it’s just the way I feel. I think you support your team to win all the time but that’s my view.

“I guess I got it wrong, plainly I’m in the minority when it comes to that. That’s a lesson for me I guess but I don’t think I expressed any real sort of disappointment in terms of asking or pleading for people to do something against their will. I accept that.

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"For me, hopefully we are never in that situation again but if we are I certainly would approach it differently than I did this time. I didn’t take it seriously, I really genuinely believed that when we got to the stadium it would just be a normal game and it wasn’t so if people feel strongly about it I have just got to accept that.”

Following the defeat against Man City, a video clip of Postecoglou snapping at a Tottenham supporter sat behind the home dugout could be seen on social media. The Australian opened up on the incident and revealed what actually happened.

“Two separate issues. I think if you’re going to sit behind the bench, especially in a home game, you got to be respectful you’re in earshot of the most important people," he said. "He wasn’t happy we just conceded a goal, so I turned around to find out what his problem was and he used language that he shouldn’t and he was abusive and if I hear that I don’t care who it is I will deal with it.

“But he is more than welcome to come back next time and take his seat up and express his opinions. If he swears, if he is abusive, he will cop the same treatment from me again. But at the same time you also feel ‘well mate I cop it at opposition grounds every week give me a break at my home ground.’

"I will try to explain it this way, that is probably the worst experience I’ve had as a football manager in a game because once I realised that I got it wrong in terms of what the atmosphere was going to be like and what people felt, I got a real anxiety within me of what happens if Man City, who are the best team in the world and who were disposing teams quite easily in the lead up, four at Brighton, wherever they played they scored 15/16 goals in the last four games, what if we play as well as they can but they beat us 5-0. I got in cold sweats thinking about people questioning my integrity and the people I work with.

“Even watching the game back, there was a comment somebody mentioned to me in commentary saying ‘Tottenham are having a real go here.’ You are laughing about it, but that is 26 years of my life.

"If nothing else people should know about me, I love this game. I’m very principled. I would hate to think, as Manchester City could have done to us, we are on the end of a heavy defeat and people would be questioning whether I prepared the team. And before people say that’s not going to happen, we know on social media that would have happened. 100 per cent. And I would be up here trying to defend myself.

"Once you started defending yourself you know happens, you're defending something. That's why I was animated on the night. I didn't enjoy the night because I needed the boys to...and credit to them aside from anything else our football was outstanding on the night.

"That was important, not just to me and the players but for our football because again it would have cast aspersions on us as a football club when people are measuring us saying, well I don't think anyone will say that we didn't make Man City earn that win the other night. And it could have gone a very different way without anything changing from us, just by Man City being Man City."

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