Ange Postecoglou tells Tottenham Hotspur star Destiny Udogie star on four yellow cards to not give up his aggressive playing style
Ange Postecoglou doesn’t want Destiny Udogie to change his playing style despite being on four yellow cards for Tottenham Hotspur.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the league game against West Ham United on Thursday, Postecoglou was asked about the discipline issues in his team. Cristian Romero will be suspended for four games if he sees another straight red.
Udogie, meanwhile, will be suspended for a game if he picks up another booking, having already seen yellow in four matches so far this season. Not to mention, the 21-year-old Italy international was sent off in the 55th minute against Chelsea in a 4-1 league loss.
He shouldn’t have been, though, and that is why Postecoglou believes the former Udinese star has been ‘unlucky with bookings’. Addressing the situation, the ex-Celtic manager made it clear that he doesn’t want his defenders to alter their playing style to be needlessly extra cautious.
He said, via Football.London:
“Look, they are defenders, they are put in that position and I think Destiny has been unlucky a couple of times, but at the same time you need that part of your game to be there as a defender, particularly in the Premier League.
“You are facing some of the best strikers in the world and attacking players. Part of what they bring to the game is physicality and Destiny, particuarly, for a full-back is so quick and so powerful, so we don’t want to take that away from him.”
Postecoglou is asking Udogie to himself. There is a difference between being aggressive and being foolish. That line was constantly blurred in the cases of players such as Joey Barton, Pepe, or Sergio Ramos — players known for risking cards due to their extra aggressive playing time style.
But Ange wants Udogie to just be aggressive. That probably means not backing down from duels, tackles, shoulder barges and the likes… that is important because attackers can sense when a defender is scared of a booking.
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Udogie will have to be at his best to avoid a suspension against West Ham, though, considering we play an in-form Newcastle United after that. Once Ryan Sessegnon returns, the Italian can, by all means, take risks again.