Ange Postecoglou: ‘There is more to come from James Maddison’

Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou feels that there is still more to come from James Maddison following his maiden Spurs goal in their 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Ange Postecoglou believes that there is still more to come from James Maddison following the Englishman’s first goal for the club in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth.

The former Leicester City man was a slight doubt for the visit to the Vitality Stadium due to an injury scare in last week’s victory over Manchester United, but he was passed fit to start and continued his stellar start to life in Spurs colours.

With just 17 minutes on the clock, fellow midfielder Pape Sarr – who netted his first Spurs goal against the Red Devils last weekend – slipped through Maddison for his own maiden strike into the bottom corner.

The 26-year-old’s inaugural goal follows his pair of assists on the opening weekend against Brentford, as Spurs’ decision to fork out £45m for his signature continues to be vindicated.

Waxing lyrical about Maddison in his post-game press conference, Postecoglou reserved special praise for the England international given his disrupted week of training, and the Australian believes that Spurs’ system suits him to a tee.

Tottenham Hotspur head coach Ange Postecoglou pictured in August 2023© Reuters

“There wasn’t anyone happier than me when we got him. I was delighted. I wouldn’t say I’m surprised, but I’m overjoyed at the footballer I’ve got,” quotes Postecoglou as saying.

“The way he’s embraced the whole club, where he’s at in his life. He really wants to be the person. He’s that creative force for us. He works hard, he wins the ball back, presses. He’s not like he just comes to life when we’ve got the ball.

“He’s had a disrupted week. He only had one session with us, but for him to put on a performance like that is credit to him. And I think there’s more to come, when he gets more understanding with our forward players and they get more understanding with him. He’s going to keep improving. If we got him in the bargain bin, that’s great for us.

“I think the way we play more than sort of maybe me personally definitely suits him because it requires us to have the ball, play in the opposition half and it gives guys like him the opportunity to receive the ball in areas where they can do the things they love to do rather than us limiting the amount of times he gets on the ball.

“We’re trying to give him and the other creative players as much as the ball as possible for them to do the stuff that they love to do. I think the way definitely suits him.”

Dejan Kulusevski celebrates scoring for Tottenham Hotspur on August 26, 2023© Reuters

Bournemouth were not short of chances to peg Tottenham back in front of their own fans, but Dejan Kulusevski delivered a second-half sucker punch, sweeping home from Destiny Udogie‘s cross.

Alongside the likes of Maddison, Sarr and Yves Bissouma, Udogie is also enjoying a breakout season in Postecoglou’s team, although he was forced off eight minutes before full time.

However, Postecoglou allayed fears of an injury to the 20-year-old left-back and insisted that his substitution was a precautionary one, adding: “I think he just kicked the ground from what I understand.

“He didn’t want to come off but at that stage the way the rules are at the moment they go off for 30 seconds and I thought it was better putting Benny [Ben Davies] on and keeping the tempo up in the game for us. Just speaking to him now he’s fine.”

Spurs now turn their attention to Tuesday’s EFL Cup second-round showdown with London rivals Fulham before resuming Premier League duties away to Burnley on September 2.

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