Spurs: Brennan Johnson’s smashing of Richarlison given Big Ange approval

News Desk
Tottenham striker Richarlison controls the ball

Ange Postecoglou believes there is more to come from Richarlison but even he will not endorse any showboating from the Tottenham forward at Nottingham Forest this week.

Richarlison came under fire last season when he juggled the ball by the corner flag towards the end of Spurs’ 2-0 win at the City Ground.

It resulted in Brennan Johnson, now a Tottenham team-mate, smashing into Richarlison to spark big cheers from the home crowd and while Postecoglou was thrilled to see the Brazilian score twice against Newcastle on Sunday, he does not expect more keepy-uppies from the £60million forward on Friday.

READ: Richarlison showboating furore exposes a ludicrous ‘f*** around and find out’ culture

“I reckon even if you did what Richy did as a kid, someone would give you a whack. That’s just part of football,” Postecoglou said.

“It’s all good. We don’t want to take all the fun out of the game, but every player knows there’s a line and if you cross that line, somebody will bring you back into line pretty quickly. Brennan did that with Richy.

“I hope there’s a lot more to come (from Richarlison), hopefully that’s the platform we’ve given him.

“He’d had a fantastic impact in the Premier League with Everton, he came here and whenever significant money is invested, the expectations rise.

“With a striker there’s usually just one thing people measure you by which is goals and all those kind of factors, but that’s up to him now.

“He showed last week that he can be a real threat at this level both with and without the ball. He won’t be starved of opportunities here and it’s up to him to take those and take his football to the kind of level that we believe he can.”

Richarlison and Johnson will hope to combine at Forest this time rather than clash.

Postecoglou has been pleased with the impact made by Welsh winger Johnson since he made a £47.5m move to Tottenham in September despite contributing only one goal and two assists in 13 appearances for his new club.

He said: “He’s shown already that he can go up a level.

“I’ve been really pleased with him, it’s always hard when players come in late in the window, particularly to a new environment because it’s not like we were already established and he just had to plug in.

“The whole group was still learning how we are going to play and he’s walked in last minute and I’ve been really happy with him.

“And the big thing is that we know there’s still loads more to come.”

Victory for Spurs at Forest would take them level on points with fourth-placed Manchester City, but fifth spot could earn Champions League qualification this season.

A lot depends on England’s coefficient rating, which was dealt a blow when Manchester United and Newcastle finished bottom of their respective groups this week.

READ: How Premier League teams qualify for Champions League and Europa competitions for 24/25

But Postecoglou insisted: “I’m not aiming for fifth spot, mate.”

Meanwhile, the Australian backed Forest boss Steve Cooper, who remains under heavy pressure after one win in 12 matches.

“We all are (under pressure), aren’t we? You would have been coming for me if we didn’t win last week, be honest,” Postecoglou said.

“I really like Coops. A couple of summers ago, the year they got promoted, we actually stayed at the same hotel in Athens, he was with his family and me with mine.

“It can’t be dismissed what an achievement it was for him to get Forest into the Premier League and keep them up. All of us want to make impact at football clubs, he’s made an undeniable impact.

“He is a top manager and I’m sure he will work his way through this one as well.”