Tottenham supporters must stick with Ange's program, even in defeat

While Tottenham played one of its worst matches of the season in the 2-1 loss to Wolves at home yesterday, supporters must keep the faith and stick with the Ange Postecoglou program.


Patience isn't prevalent in modern society. Many supporters were up in arms about yesterday's dreadful home display, in which Spurs controlled 71 percent of the ball but failed to muster decent scoring chances. Costly individual mistakes, two by Yves Bissouma on the same play that led to Wolves' winner, and the absence of Pedro Porro and Destiny Udogie cost Spurs dearly.

While it was probably the worst performance since losing at Fulham in the Carabao Cup in late August, it shouldn't send supporters into negative tirades condemning Ange's system. Some said after the game that Ange has been found out, while others can't fathom playing so defensively loose. Teams can catch Tottenham on the counter, just like Spurs used to do to opponents under previous regimes. 

Remember, the game was lost yesterday due to Bissouma's pair of inexplicable and inexcusable mistakes. He failed to control on the edge of Wolves' box, pedestrian in coughing up possession. Bissouma can't be faulted for a lack of effort in making up for his gaff, racing back to salvage the situation. However, he compounded his initial mistake by not picking up the wide-open João Gomes, who had acres of space to side-foot the winner home.

You could argue that Tottenham wouldn't have been that exposed if they weren't so obsessed with attacking and playing on the front foot. However, that's the philosophy Ange will forever play. And it's the one most supporters were raving about when the team started the Premier League campaign on a 10-match unbeaten run.

For Ange's system and philosophy to elicit consistently positive results, he must have tailor-fitted personnel. Which, for the most part, he hasn't had at his disposal since the aforementioned unbeaten run. Long-term injuries to James Maddison, Micky van de Ven, Ivan Perisic, and Rodrigo Bentancur, and suspensions to Cristian Romero and Bissouma, along with Son Heung-min, Pape Sarr, and Bissouma absences have derailed any chance of continuity.

Just when things felt like they were returning to normal, Tottenham had to play yesterday's match without Udogie and Porro, both irreplaceable members of the starting 11. The drop-off to Ben Davies and Emerson Royal is as steep as it is stark. Ange's system, to be successful, must have the right personnel, which doesn't include the likes of Davies or Royal. The former has been a brilliant stalwart for Spurs, but he's now way off the pace, especially with what Ange demands from his players.

Supporters often forget this is the first year of what was supposed to be a Tottenham rebuild. Spurs lost their best-ever goalscorer a few days before the season started. Harry Kane's absence was, astonishingly, not felt in the first few months. It is now, though. Add the litany of severe injuries to influential players to that personnel shakeup, and Tottenham supporters should be content with the team's current position.

Considering the rash of issues Ange has faced, and for the most part, overcome, in his first season as Spurs gaffer should fill supporters with joy, promise, and hope. Criticism, while deserved at times, cannot be perpetuated. Ange must be given the time he requires to build the squad of his choosing. That's when he should be judged on his time in north London, not after seven months in charge of a shorthanded, injury-riddled squad that lacks depth. And still, Spurs are just two points out of a Champions League spot with 13 matches to play.

Let's focus on that and not scrutinize every minute bump in the road. Of course, losing to Wolves at home is unacceptable. Ange will be on board with that evaluation. But it's imperative to remain patient and view things through an overarching, macro lens. Trust the process, and, more importantly, trust the man who is the main reason in Tottenham scoring in a team-record 37 straight Premier League contests.