Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has brutally ripped one of his Spurs stars amid questions regarding a lack of game time for certain players, following the North London Derby defeat to Arsenal on Saturday.
Spurs were reduced to 10-men in Saturday’s derby at the Emirates after right-back Emerson Royal was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Brazilian compatriot Gabriel Martinelli.
Many Spurs fans called for Emerson to be dropped ahead of the game after failing to impress since joining the North Londoners at the beginning of last campaign. He was signed as competition for Matt Doherty, who joined Spurs in the 2020/2021 Premier League season from Wolves, and who has also disappointed during his two years with the Lilywhites.
However, Emerson’s performances throughout the course of last season coerced the Club to sign another right-back in Djed Spence, the 3rd right-back signing in as many campaigns.
Spence, however, has only been given one minute of action in Spurs’ opening 10 fixtures of the season, an indication that Conte is not yet convinced by the former Nottingham Forest man.
Following Emerson’s three-match suspension, Spurs fans hoped it would result in game time for Spence. But Antonio Conte shut this down, claiming the player isn’t ready.
“The fans have to be fans,” said Conte during his pre-match press conference ahead of this week’s UEFA Champions League fixtures. “The fans is the fans, I understand they can think everything but I see every day what happens during the training session.
“I try to do the best for the team. If they trust me, then they trust me, but the choices are mine. If I didn’t decide to pick one player it’s maybe because he’s not ready.
“We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I repeat I try to pick the best team.”
But it was Irish International Matt Doherty that received the brunt of some brutal criticism from the Italian coach.
“Also Doherty last season played every game,” Conte continued. “Now I’m not seeing him in the right way to start the game. I’m not stupid, I don’t want to lose. I try to put the best team, to pick the best team.
“If they trust me it’s ok, if they don’t trust me then I’m the coach and I need to take the best decision for Tottenham.”
Scathing words for the former Wolves right-back, who’s future in North London is certainly unclear following the comments made by his manager.
Furthermore, Conte sounds like he’s been hearing the criticism of his team selections, emphasising that he picks the team according to what he sees in training, something fans obviously don’t have access to.
Spurs face a trip to Germany to play Eintracht Frankfurt in a Group D UEFA Champions League matchup on Tuesday night, as Antonio Conte aims to banish the memory of the weekend’s result.