On Monday night, Spurs endured a chaotic London derby, losing 4-1 and marking the end of Ange Postecoglou’s unbeaten Premier League start. The game was marred by red cards for Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie, which ultimately proved costly for the home side. Surprisingly, despite being at a numerical disadvantage, Spurs continued to play with a high defensive line.
Chelsea exploited this high line, breaking through repeatedly to create one-on-one opportunities against Guglielmo Vicario, the Tottenham goalkeeper. While Vicario made some impressive saves, he couldn’t prevent Nicolas Jackson from scoring a late hat-trick with three similar goals, securing the victory for Chelsea.
The decision to persist with the high defensive line came under scrutiny, but Postecoglou defended the tactic, explaining to 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.”
The game involved numerous VAR interventions, including red cards, penalty decisions, offsides, and several disallowed goals. Postecoglou didn’t overtly disagree with the decisions but expressed his dissatisfaction with the process being taken out of the on-pitch referee’s hands.
He stated, “There will be a forensic study of every decision out there, I think that is the way the game is going, and I don’t like it. If you look at all that standing around we did today, maybe people enjoy that sort of thing, but I’d rather see us playing football.”
Postecoglou also reflected on the erosion of the referee’s authority, noting, “You have to accept the referee’s decision. That is how I grew up. This constant erosion of the referee’s authority is where the game is going to get – they are not going to have any authority. We are going to be under the control of someone with a TV screen a few miles away.” In the end, he emphasized, “The decision is the decision.”