Even after Tottenham defeated Nottingham Forest 2-0 on Friday night, Ange Postecoglou was visibly upset in the City Ground press room.
No awards were awarded for figuring out why, following a valiant victory that maintained Spurs within striking distance of the Premier League’s front-runners.
Yves Bissouma’s second red card of the season tarnished the evening and significantly reduced the strength of the Australian team. Whenever Spurs’ dilemma with selection seems to be abating, another player gets hurt or gets suspended.
Replays showed that Bissouma’s eyes were on the ball when he unintentionally caught Forest captain Ryan Yates with the toe of his studs during a 50-50 play, but given that Spurs were winning the game, Bissouma may have been more astute especially with Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski strikes putting Spurs ahead 2-0.
Slowing down the action in the VAR room made it look even worse, so it was understandable when referee Jarred Gillett increased a yellow card to a red after being told to check his pitch-side monitor.
Bissouma’s ban will last for the next four games, which include the FA Cup third-round match at home against Burnley and the Christmas League matchups against Everton, Brighton, and Bournemouth. After that, he will most likely travel to the Ivory Coast to play Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The earliest Bissouma is expected to play for Spurs again is the home match against Brentford on January 31. Their final AFCON group game is on January 24.
COMMON SCENE: YVES BISSOUMA OF TOTTENHAM WAS SENT OFF AGAIN AT NOTTINGHAM FOREST AP
Giovani Lo Celso is considered doubtful to play against Everton on Saturday due to a muscular strain, while James Maddison and Rodrigo Bentancur are both out until the New Year, so Postecoglou will likely have to use a makeshift midfield this weekend and possibly beyond. Oliver Skipp, or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, please take the stage.
Although the head coach at Forest refrained from criticizing Bissouma, he later acknowledged that his players must learn to play his style of football “without crossing line”. There is truth to that; the Spurs are still getting used to Postecoglou’s intense, all-out attitude, and with time, their discipline ought to get better.
On the other hand, it is conceivable that Postecoglou is privately annoyed with Bissouma, who is currently getting ready for his third suspension in a season that held out great promise through the first five or six games.
Since his dismissal at Luton on October 7 for two bookable offenses, the second of which was a flagrant dive, Bissouma’s campaign has truly been a complete fiasco, upsetting his rhythm and seeming to undermine his confidence.
Postecoglou’s options might be drastically different by the time he rejoins Spurs, having missed at least eight games due to suspension or international duty.
“Really, Bissouma’s campaign has been a disaster since he was sent off at Luton”
While Skipp is ready to sign another midfield player in January, Postecoglou has not ruled out While Pape Sarr is also anticipated to play for Senegal in the AFCON, Skipp is set to receive his first extended run in the starting lineup.
After joining Spurs for £25 million from Brighton in the summer of 2022, Bissouma struggled to make an impact under Antonio Conte. He missed more than three months of action in February due to a major ankle injury. Bissouma has now had one wasted season at Spurs.
Bissouma’s Spurs career was initially sparked by Postecoglou’s hiring, as the new coach identified him as a potential leader in the team during preseason. However, he is currently sidelined again, albeit for different reasons.
When he rejoins Spurs, Bissouma will need to catch up swiftly to make sure this campaign isn’t another difficult one.