Ange Postecoglou puzzled by Tottenham fans wanting loss to Manchester City

Spurs would help put Arsenal in the driving seat to win the title with victory over Pep Guardiola’s side on Tuesday.

George Sessions
Monday 13 May 2024 19:21 BST
Ange Postecoglou will send Tottenham out to win against Manchester City (Zac Goodwin/PA)
Ange Postecoglou will send Tottenham out to win against Manchester City (Zac Goodwin/PA) (PA Wire)

Ange Postecoglou says he would not be able to understand Tottenham fans wanting their side to lose at home to Manchester City on Tuesday.

Spurs host Premier League champions City in a match that may leave the home supporters with mixed emotions given a positive result against Pep Guardiola’s men would put arch-rivals Arsenal in the driving seat to win the title.

The Gunners currently hold a two-point advantage at the summit, but have played a game more than City, who could return to top spot with victory in north London.

Arsenal forward Kai Havertz claimed after their 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday that he would support Tottenham this week, but Postecoglou rejected suggestions his own fanbase would be happy to lose to City.

“If you’re going by social media then probably 99 per cent of supporters don’t (want Spurs to win),” Postecoglou said.

“To me, I don’t understand it, I never will. I understand rivalry. I was part of one of the biggest ones in the world in the last couple of years with Celtic and Rangers.

“I understand the rivalry but I’ve never and will never understand if someone wants their own team to lose. That’s not what sport is about. It’s not what I love about the game.

“What I love more than anything in the game is the competitiveness, challenging yourself to beat someone and coming out successful. Anything outside of that it’s got nothing to do with sport. It’s got nothing to do with me.

“If other people want to treat it that way, that they get pleasure from other people’s misery, that’s not how I’ve lived my life and how I perceive my role.

“My role is to bring success to this football club and whatever proportion, whether it’s his two mates or 99 per cent of people you know, I know 100 per cent of Spurs supporters want us to win, be successful and win trophies.

“That is without a shadow of a doubt and us winning tomorrow night will help us bring joy to 100 per cent of Spurs supporters.”

Postecoglou struck a similar tone weeks ago when Spurs played Arsenal and it was put to him that a victory could derail the title bid of Mikel Arteta’s team.

Tottenham lost 3-2 to the Gunners and have only managed one victory in six meetings against the current top three, which Postecoglou is eager to improve.

He added: “You think the majority of our fans will want us to not win tomorrow night? I don’t see it that way. I think the majority of our fans will create the atmosphere they always create at our home games.

“We have an opportunity to measure ourselves against the best tomorrow night, a team that is consistently striving for honours. A team we want to try to emulate one day.

“The best way to do that is to measure yourself against them by being yourself. We will go out there tomorrow night, play our football and see where it takes us.”

Spurs will be without Yves Bissouma against City and he has joined Fraser Forster (foot), Destiny Udogie (thigh), Ryan Sessegnon (hamstring), Ben Davies (calf), Manor Solomon (knee), Timo Werner (hamstring) and Richarlison in being ruled out of the final week.

Tottenham ended a run of four straight defeats with a 2-1 win over Burnley on Saturday and Postecoglou has repeatedly reiterated his desire for two more victories to end the campaign.

“It is hard work, it is perseverance, it is resilience, it is quality that will get us where we want. Not to fall for any sort of false dawns or short-term result reactions. Stick to the course,” Postecoglou insisted.

“Thirdly, know what real success looks like. Real success looks like trophies. Anything else in between, bragging rights, whatever it is, it is absolutely meaningless to me, to anyone involved with me. We have a game tomorrow we want to win.”

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