After watching his Tottenham Hotspur side throw away yet more Premier League points from a winning position, manager Ange Postecoglou’s patience is beginning to wear a bit thin.
The Australian former Celtic manager did not mince his words after Thursday’s 2-1 home defeat by West Ham United which gave Tottenham a record they would rather not own.
They are now the first team to take a 1-0 lead in five successive Premier League matches without winning any of them and one point from the last 15 on offer has de-railed a season that had looked so promising.
Postecoglou’s attacking philosophy has won much praise since he took the Tottenham job in the summer but however attractive some of his side’s play has been, even with a chronic injury list, he says winning games is what matters.
“We had some unbelievable chances — for us it’s another game, like the Aston Villa game and other games earlier this year,” Postecoglou told reporters. “I said during the week our attacking play has a long way to go. In general we have a long way to go, and tonight was more evidence of that.
“This isn’t about us playing good football, it’s about us winning games of football. I set teams up to win games and 1-0 at halftime was not a good performance from us.
“A good performance would have been 3-0 or 4-0 up. It’s just not having that conviction in front of goal to finish teams off. As simple as that. Sometimes we can disguise how we’re going by playing some nice stuff but like I said from day one, that’s not what I’m about. I want to win and that’s why I came to this football club and that’s the message.”
Tottenham enjoyed overwhelming possession in the first half and led through Cristian Romero’s header. But West Ham hit back with goals by Jarrod Bowen and James Ward-Prowse with their fans joyously singing “Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happening again”.
After Sunday’s enthralling 3-3 draw at champions Manchester City it had appeared Tottenham had stopped the rot.
But after defeat by West Ham left them in fifth place with 27 points, nine behind leaders Arsenal, they will need some picking up ahead of Sunday’s clash at home to Newcastle United.
“There’s no alternative. That’s the game we’re in,” Postecoglou said. “There’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves, looking for a cuddle anywhere.
“There’s only one way to change our circumstances and that is to come here on Sunday and put in a performance, not just play good football but go out there and show some conviction about ourselves as a team.”