'Difficult to remember' - National media question Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou after Chelsea

Tottenham Hotspur's Greek-Australian Head Coach Ange Postecoglou gestures
Tottenham are in a poor run of form under Ange Postecoglou after Thursday's 2-0 defeat at Chelsea -Credit:Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

Tottenham lost 2-0 at Chelsea on Thursday evening amid a worrying dip in form under Ange Postecoglou.

Spurs have now lost three consecutive matches with their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League hanging by a thread. Postecoglou's team are seven points off the top four with a game in hand over fourth-placed Aston Villa.

The Lily Whites are next in action on Sunday with a trip to Liverpool (kick-off: 4:30pm). Below is what some of the national media have made of Tottenham's struggles after Thursday's defeat at Stamford Bridge...

Alyson Rudd of the Times wrote: "This was Spurs’ 300th Premier League London derby and not one they will look back on with any kind of fondness. Chelsea lifted their game for the rivalry but Spurs unaccountably could not find any fervour at all and that coveted fourth place in the Premier League, with its reward of Champions League qualification, is ebbing further into the distance.

"Ange Postecoglou shouldered the blame and perhaps his main failing was not to have noticed that the fun has evaporated. To use chaos productively there needs to be a kind of pact so that one player’s risk-taking is backed up by the rest and everyone is prepared to run and run some more. Once there is doubt or uncertainty, what was once bold becomes stuttering and uneven. As the Spurs head coach conceded, conviction and belief were lacking.

"After being bullied at set pieces by Arsenal on Sunday, Postecoglou was dismissive of the suggestion he should reassess the team’s approach at corners insisting he was simply not very interested in that being his route to success. This added extra suspense whenever the home team won a corner kick and was significant when Chelsea took the lead and then scored again in the second half.

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"Perhaps the Australian finds set-piece work dull or tiresome but a lack of nous at two free kicks at Stamford Bridge was his team’s undoing. Usually a figure of calm on the touchline, Postecoglou was visibly angry during the first half, animatedly berating a number of his players shortly after Chelsea had taken the lead."

Dave Hytner of the Guardian wrote: "Ange Postecoglou says he does not care about the questions being asked about Tottenham’s inability to defend securely from set pieces. The manager believes he will get it right.

"But he could not avoid another hail of them after his team slumped to a third defeat on the spin, their season in increasing danger of fizzling out. And it was some way from being Spurs’ only shortcoming.

"It was Chelsea’s night, this a victory to fire their hopes of a Europa League finish. They were excellent in the first half, Spurs so poor that Postecoglou howled in frustration on a number of occasions. It was difficult to remember seeing him so unhappy."

Matt Law of the Telegraph wrote: "Ange Postecoglou asked an interviewer if he wanted a dossier of what had gone wrong for his Tottenham Hotspur team after their third successive defeat in Thursday’s 2-0 loss at Chelsea.

"With that dossier not forthcoming – and assuming it does not include set-pieces given Postecoglou’s stance on them – Telegraph Sport has attempted to highlight what’s behind Tottenham’s drop-off that threatens to cost the club a top-four place. Postecoglou delivered a touchline rant at his Tottenham players at Stamford Bridge, which perhaps offered a glimpse into the issues some of them are having with belief.

"The Australian seemed to be shouting at his players to stop passing backwards and to push higher up the pitch as too many of them went safety-first against Chelsea. Tottenham’s entire squad appeared to jump straight on ‘the Angewagon’ at the start of the season, but players naturally retreat back towards their comfort zones in adversity."

Rob Guest of wrote: "Ange Postecoglou has quite the challenge on his hands when it comes to reversing Tottenham's current woes. Three successive defeats in the Premier League and with a Champions League place slipping away from their grasp, Spurs have the small matter of taking on Liverpool at Anfield in their next Premier League encounter.

"Their latest Premier League result was one to forget as they fell to a 2-0 defeat away at London rivals Chelsea. Enduring a dismal record at Stamford Bridge having only won once at the Blues' home in the Premier League era, this seemed like the perfect time to put an end to their wretched run in SW6 with Chelsea missing 14 first-team stars and Mauricio Pochettino's team blowing hot and cold.

"With Pochettino coming up against Tottenham for only the second time, he shared a warm embrace with Postecoglou prior to the whistle before going on to greet a couple of his former players. Oliver Skipp was one of those and the other was Giovani Lo Celso, who got up from his seat in the dugout and moved across to share a moment with his old Spurs manager."