Postekoglou, decision for Tottenham’s future? “Long-term approach”
How many coaches can replace the best players in key moments of the game?
Tottenham manager Angie Postecoglou was able to make such a decision for the team’s long-term future.
Tottenham beat Liverpool 2-1 in the seventh round of the 2023/24 Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on the 1st (Korea Standard Time), increasing its unbeaten record in the league to seven games this season.
Tottenham suffered from Liverpool’s intense pressure in the early part of the first half, but gradually gained momentum with Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones being sent off in the 25th minute. Tottenham, who scored the first goal in the 36th minute after Son Heung-min received a cross from Richarlison, conceded a goal to Liverpool striker Cody Gakpo in extra time in the first half, allowing the score to be tied.
Even with Diogo Jota sent off in the 24th minute of the second half, Tottenham hardly scored an additional goal despite having a numerical advantage of as many as two men. However, in extra time in the second half, Pedro Foro’s cross hit the foot of opposing defender Joel Matip and headed into the Liverpool goal, giving Tottenham the win. I was able to.
In the game that day, Son Heung-min played as a lone striker and scored the first goal, but his physical condition was not normal. He was originally placed on Tottenham’s injured list after the North London derby against Arsenal on the 24th. In the end, due to the aftermath of the injury, Son Heung-min was replaced relatively early in the Liverpool match in the 24th minute of the second half when the game was tense.
Meanwhile, some media outlets paid attention to Coach Postekoglou’s replacement and highlighted the results of his determination.
Global sports media The Athletic reported on the 3rd that “Postekoglou’s willingness to bring in Son Heung-min and James Maddison could reap long-term rewards.”
The Athletic said: “Postekoglou replaced Son Heung-min and Maddison as Liverpool desperately chased victory against nine men. The pair have scored or assisted 10 of Tottenham’s Premier League goals and are their most dangerous strikers. “With these changes, Tottenham’s firepower was reduced, and Tottenham was on the verge of victory against a team that had not won in six years, but a replacement was made,” he said, referring to the replacement of coach Postekoglou.
He continued, “He also replaced two players in the last match against Arsenal. Tottenham scored an additional goal against Liverpool despite the absence of the two players, but his substitution was a meaningful change in that it showed his self-control. The replacement of the two players “It may have been planned in advance, but leaving out your best player at a critical moment requires great discipline. Also, the fact that he remained calm even after Tottenham’s victory was confirmed shows his strength,” he said, referring to Son Heung-min and Maddison. I was impressed by Postekoglou’s self-discipline in being able to substitute even when the team was close to victory.
Coach Postekoglou’s cool-headed replacement has already become a hot topic from the beginning of the season. He replaced Cristian Romero without delay when he suffered a head injury during the opening match. Romero insisted that his condition was fine, but if the issue was ambiguous, Coach Postecoglou proceeded with the substitution to protect the player without hesitation.
The media commented on the advantages of this substitution method, saying, “It will help protect key players in the coming months. If two players had not been replaced in advance against Arsenal, they might not have been able to play against Liverpool. In particular, Son Heung-min last season. “This measure is appropriate as they have played most of their games with injuries. Son Heung-min and Maddison are very important players, so you always want them to play, but proper management is even more important,” he said, explaining that he manages the two players so that they can perform consistently. did.
He also pointed out the positive effect of the substitution against Liverpool, saying, “If the two players had not been replaced in the game against Liverpool, there was a risk that both players, or one of the two players, would miss the game against Luton Town. The team will take a long-term approach against Liverpool. “It will be a satisfactory reward for the team,” he said, praising the two players for being able to use them in the match against Luton Town, where victory is absolutely necessary.
In particular, if Son Heung-min can participate in games regularly under the management of Coach Postekoglou, it will naturally be a great addition to Tottenham’s power. This is because in England, rave reviews are already pouring in for Son Heung-min’s performance at Tottenham this season.
Son Heung-min is leading the team’s attack with outstanding performance in every game except for the opening game against Brentford. In particular, he has been the team’s frontline striker ever since the last game against Burnley, and he has been reborn as a player suitable for Tottenham’s frontline under coach Postekoglou. He scored a whopping 6 goals in 4 league games in September and is ranked 2nd in the Premier League scoring list after Erling Haaland.
The British media Evening Standard reported, “Son Heung-min, reborn at Tottenham, is the center of coach Angie Postecoglou’s front-line plan,” and added, “Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho believe that Son Heung-min is unfit to lead the team’s front line, and that he does not have the presence to hold the ball. “I believed that he lacked speed and directness, making him suitable for playing on the wing. However, under coach Postekoglou, Son Heung-min appears to be entering a new phase in his career as an elite central striker.”
He continued, “At Tottenham, Son Heung-min’s pressing ability, ability to read the game, and finishing ability made him a lethal ordinal. He had a natural penalty box play, beating two defenders and scoring both the first goal against Liverpool and the first goal against Arsenal.”
The Athletic also reported on the 2nd that “Central striker Son Heung-min is the symbol of Tottenham re-created by Postekoglou,” and added, “In coach Postekoglou’s tactics, the central striker often had few touches even if the team’s possession was high. At Celtic last season, Kyōgo Furuhashi finished the season as the Scottish Premiership’s top scorer despite averaging less than 14 touches per game, and Son Heung-min was key in this game against Liverpool by occupying the center back position and creating space for Maddison and the midfielders. “He played an enemy role,” he said, adding that although Son Heung-min has fewer touches than before, he is performing a variety of tactical roles.
In fact, Son Heung-min’s average number of touches in the last four games in which he played as a lone player was 24.75, which is less than half the number of times he touched the ball compared to the average of 51.33 touches in the previous three games in which he played as a winger. But his influence rose significantly. Son Heung-min scored a whopping 6 goals in 4 games in which he played as the top scorer, becoming the team’s highest scorer and the second highest scorer in the league.
In particular, the way they put tremendous pressure on the front line to prevent the opposing defense from building up properly also caught the attention of each game. The Athletic also explained, “Son Heung-min is not as fast as he used to be, but he still has better speed than Kane, and is a player suited to repetitive sprints to push the opposing team back and to put pressure on the goalkeeper.”
According to The Athletic, coach Postekoglou also said of Son Heung-min: “I think the way we play suits Son Heung-min well. He led the defensive pressure we put on Liverpool. I don’t think he was 100 percent last year. “I was impressed with Son Heung-min, who has gotten better this season.
The media also praised Son Heung-min, comparing the similarities between Son Heung-min and Kane. The Athletic said, “Kane is the best finisher in the world, and Son Heung-min is one of the very few players who can compete with Kane in terms of using both feet and mid-range shots. Son Heung-min is a better player who can finish cutbacks and low crosses. He praised Son Heung-min for growing into a player who can be compared to Kane, saying, “I improved my game with precise movements inside the box.”
Meanwhile, with the news that Son Heung-min could play in the game against Luton Town, Tottenham’s chances of continuing their undefeated record in the league have increased.