Nine-man rotation, including Sonny, was overkill…Postecoglou’s defeat Ange Postecoglou, 58, went for a full rotation and it paid off.
Tottenham Hotspur were 1-1 at full-time against Fulham FC in the Carabao Cup (League Cup) Second Round (Round of 48) of the 2023/24 season at Craven Cottage in London, England, on Tuesday. However, they went on to lose 3-5 on penalties. Spurs were eliminated from the competition after failing to advance to the round of 32.
On the day, Spurs equalized after conceding a goal to send the game to penalties. However, they lost the penalty shootout to end the tournament.
Spurs are not eligible for European competition due to their poor showing the previous season, so they only play in the League, FA Cup, Community Shield, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup, and UEFA Champions League or Europa League or Conference League out of the seven competitions they can mathematically qualify for (League, FA Cup, Community Shield, League Cup, UEFA Super Cup, Club World Cup).
Of these, the League Cup is the one with the most potential for Tottenham to win, although it’s certainly not easy. Generally speaking, Spurs and other strong teams don’t focus on the League Cup as much as they do on winning other competitions, and teams with lesser form can be beaten.
Spurs are desperate to lift any trophy as they haven’t won the League Cup since 2008, so it was obvious that they needed to give it their all. However, Postecoglou went with a rotation that included a number of non-starters for this game.
Postecoglou has named a starting XI of Ben Davies, Micky van der Vaan, Davinson Sanchez, Emerson Royal, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Giovanni Lo Celso, Oliver Skip, Ivan Perisic, Manor Solomon, and Hicharlison Ghiandrazi, with Fraser Forster in goal.
The rotation makes sense. All mid-table clubs entering the second round of the League Cup rotate their starting XI for that round or so. In addition, Tottenham had played the same starting lineup in the second and third rounds, so the fitness levels of their players were down. ‘There was a good reason for the rotation. The problem was overdoing it.
Of the 11 players in the starting lineup, only two – center backs Mickey van der Vaart and Michy Batshuayi Andrade – started against AFC Bournemouth in the league last week. Nine changes were made, including captain and centerpiece Son Heung-min.
What’s more, the opponent was Fulham, a first division team in the English Premier League (EPL). While a nine-man rotation is understandable for a lower league team, it’s hard to understand the reasoning behind over-rotating against a tough EPL team like Fulham.
The over-rotation quickly caught up with them. The backups, who hadn’t played much and hadn’t gotten a feel for the game, struggled against Fulham. Fulham took full advantage and scored the opening goal. Tottenham’s equalizer only came when they were down to 10 men due to a problem with opposing right-back Kenny Tetteh’s cleats.
Rather than shuffling almost all of the starting XI, nine of the eleven, it could have been a different story.
As mentioned earlier, Tottenham have a scheduling advantage over the rest of the league because they don’t play in Europe, so it’s hard to understand why they chose to leave out almost all of their starters. In the end, it was a losing proposition.
Excessive rotation can also have a disruptive effect on team chemistry. Tottenham have been there, done that. During Nuno Espirito Santo’s tenure at Spurs, players such as Ben Davies resented the fact that he used his starters in important league games and completely rested them in less important conference group stage matches.
The excessive rotation prevented the team from getting into a good rhythm, while the inexperienced players, who were not as good as the starters, were completely outclassed by the opposition.
As a result, Spurs lost and were knocked out of the League Cup, which is still their best chance of winning this season. It will be 16 years since they won the League Cup in 2008, and 33 years since they won the FA Cup in 1991. 안전놀이터
On the same day, according to Tottenham’s official social media, Postecoglou said, “The players are disappointed in the locker room. But they are a resilient bunch and I know they will get back on their feet. We took a blow, but we have to get back up and get ready for the weekend (EPL).”
That’s all well and good, but the elimination could have been avoided in the first place. The rotation was acceptable, but the over-rotation was not. It was more like a cold shoulder.