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Ange Postecoglou reveals what his piece of advice to Ben White would be if he was a Tottenham player

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Guglielmo Vicario’s nightmare Derby as Postcoglou comments on Arsenal’s set-pieces arts

Tottenham Hotspur incurred a heartbreaking defeat at the weekend as North London sprayed red paint following Arsenal’s win over the Lilywhites in the North London Derby, and while Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou acknowledged the recent slump, goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario has been subject to criticism owing to his bad day at the office on Sunday.

The Australian gaffer has spoken his mind about the moment when Arsenal right-back Benjamin White tried to annoy the Italian international by trying to undo his gloves. This led to multiple controversial conversations among fans and pundits alike, although this also highlights the set-piece concern at N17.

In the North London Derby, there were a couple of instances where Ben White’s mind games worked for Arsenal, and both of those ended up in goals for the Gunners. Once, the England international tried to undo the velcro on the 27-year-old’s gloves when the corner was about to be launched in the box, which ended up with Tottenham’s Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg heading into his own net. Another of those came when the 26-year-old rammed himself backwards into Vicario, which forced the Italian goalkeeper to hold his line and be out of position when the corner came in, which was eventually headed by Kai Havertz.

Postcoglou shrugs off “dark arts” tactics

Guglielmo Vicario's nightmare Derby as Postcoglou comments on Arsenal's set-pieces arts.
Postcoglou speaks on Guglielmo Vicario & his corner incidents.

The former Celtic boss Postcoglou was quizzed in his pre-game press conference ahead of the Spurs game against Chelsea about whether, in his opinion, these tactics are dark arts or simply cheating. The Lilywhites boss went on to acknowledge them as strategies and insisted he doesn’t hold an interest in them.

“It’s a strategy. You can label it, but it’s a strategy. I don’t take a lot of interest in that stuff; I never have. I’m not casting judgment, but I just don’t really care. If people are going to think that’s going to give them an advantage or whatever, I just don’t worry about that stuff. I just try to focus on building teams that win things,” Ange Postcoglou said (via. Football.London).

When further questions were asked about the distractions it creates for Vicario, the 58-year-old said:

Guglielmo Vicario's nightmare Derby as Postcoglou comments on Arsenal's set-pieces arts.
Tottenham Hotspur star, Guglielmo Vicario had a performance to forget against Arsenal. (Photo by HENRY NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty Images)

“You know what? If it’s not going to be that, then it’s going to be something else. Who cares? I know it’s great theater. Whether he’s trying to undo his glove, tickle his armpit, or whatever, I don’t care. I try to get my players to not worry about that stuff and not focus on that stuff.

“It’s not important, and if you want to go down that avenue, what’s he supposed to do? Turn around and throw a punch, knock him out, or say, ‘Please don’t touch me’. What does that do? Seriously, we’re not in the schoolyard. It’s never been where my focus lies.

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“To be honest, if I saw one of my players do it, I’d be saying, ‘Mate, seriously? Get the ball and play some football’. That doesn’t mean it’s not a strategy that can’t be used, but I just don’t care about it. It makes no impact on me.”

While you could call it strategy, tactics, or simply dark arts, this is a physical game, especially in England, and Vicario simply needs to hold his ground and get better at rubbing shoulders if he wants to go a long way in the league. That performance against Arsenal was a difficult one, but it should also have alarm sirens written over it for the Italian international and should highlight the fact that he needs to develop a thicker skin and not be bullied off the ball so easily.

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