"I am loving Ange! He is breath of fresh air, I love the way he talks, I love the way he sets the team up." On August 27 Jamie O'Hara poured his love out on air for new Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou on TalkSPORT, where the former Spurs player now resides as a host. But after the defeat at Wolves just before the international break, it sounded as if the love had cooled down a bit.
"I was disappointed with the last two performances. Against Chelsea we obviously lost key players and got dismantled in the end. Fair enough, we can take that on the chin, move on,"O'Hara explains to Tribalfootball.com on behalf of Grosvenor Sport in a one-on-one session when asked to elaborate on his comments.
"Then you face Wolves and obviously realise that the squad actually isn't good enough. Without the four key players on your side, Micky van de Ven, Romero, Maddison and Udogie we're just a different team," says O'Hara who thought the start of the game was promising.
"We dictated the tempo and looked quite dangerous, but the cracks still started to appear. I wasn't happy with the way we defended the goals. Ange has instilled a mentality in the side, which I'm all for, which is attack, attack, attack and play a high line. But you're not in Scotland anymore. You're in the Premier League and the top teams are going to punish you.
"If you keep playing a high line with Eric Dier at the back, eventually you're going to get exposed. That's what Wolves did. I know the gaffer wants us to go and win the game and keep trying to score, but we've conceded in the 90th minute. Let's take a point. A point at Wolves is not a bad result, especially in the circumstances that you're in. I think it's a little bit naive from Ange," O'Hara sighs before committing to the big Aussie once again.
"He seems like a top bloke and a great manager. I love him to bits. If that's the way he wants to do it, then that's the way we're going to do it. But we will lose games when you've got these injuries and you're not going to adapt your style", says O'Hara while also admitting Big Ange has only been true to his style.
"Absolutely, but you've got your four best players out! We're not Manchester City. Ange hasn't had the chance to build his squad yet. He's had one transfer window and lost Harry Kane in it. He needs two or three windows. Like Arteta had, like Klopp and like Pep had."
A big talking point after the defeat against Chelsea was the high line Spurs kept playing even when down to 10 men. Some lauded Postecoglu for sticking to his guns, some called him naïve. Where does Jamie O'Hara stand?
"It was unbelievable. I get his thinking behind it. He's like, I'd rather lose, while still trying to win. That's the way we play. But come on, it was suicidal. Chelsea cannot break teams down. Chelsea's best performances this season have been against teams that try and go after them. Like Tottenham did. Like Man. City, Arsenal and Liverpool did. When they've played against a low block, they've struggled. But live by the sword, die by the sword seems to be way with Ange."
A key part missing in the Spurs side in coming weeks is of course James Maddison and O'Hara thinks the former Leicester star is pivotal in getting Tottenham into the top four this season.
"We saw a complete lack of creativity against Wolves. Maddison makes things happen. Him and Micky van de Ven are the two players you can't afford to lose, in my opinion. Van de Ven's been an unbelievable player, one of the best centre-halves I've seen in a long time and to lose him and Maddison just completely derails the season," says O'Hara, who also had to accept Romero missing after being sent off against Chelsea. Yet another red card for the Argentinian, so is he a good enough player to justify his place in the team with the apparent risk of him snapping at some point?
"He's one of the best centre-halves in the league, but he's got to control his temper and the way he plays. He's actually been really calm and composed in the first 11 games, steady in his defensive duties, didn't dive in. I don't know what it was against Chelsea, but everyone just seemed so pumped up. I've gone out into football matches thinking, I'm up for it today and you end up mistiming tackles because you're actually not composed.
"When you're playing at the top level, you've got to have composure and I was really surprised and disappointed with Romero against Chelsea. He can't be getting sent off because it costs as we don't have anyone else to come in. But as a player, him and Van de Ven, for me, have been the best two centre-halves in the league this season."