Postecoglou's 'patient mask' has slipped

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One of the distinguishing elements of Ange Postecoglou’s reign at Tottenham so far has been his calmness on the touchline. Whether his team were losing, winning, struggling, rejoicing or even floundering, his solid, unperturbable countenance remained consistent.

Given his team’s recent struggles, you’d forgive him for allowing that patient mask to slip at some point. And on Thursday evening it finally did.

It was just before Chelsea took the lead. Spurs had conceded a free kick inside their own half and it was as though the Tottenham manager had looked into the future and loathed what he saw. From the technical area he made it very clear that free kicks of that type were avoidable and could be costly – as Trevoh Chalobah’s headed opener moments later proved.

He went on to issue further admonishments as the half went on, allowing us all a peek into his thinking at a time when so many Spurs players are underperforming. It is possible that a man capable of such tremendous self-control on the touchline may have allowed himself to vent in order to demonstrate he was as frustrated with his team as the supporters.

It appeared the players thrived on their manager’s pitch-side calmness earlier this season. Visible, audible feedback hasn’t exactly restored that spirit of adventure yet.

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