Antonio Conte gave a brutal assessment of Matt Doherty, claiming the Tottenham Hotspur defender wasn’t playing because the Italian ‘doesn’t want to lose,’ as you can see in the video below.
Conte has come in for some criticism in the wake of Spurs’ loss to Arsenal in the North London derby last weekend, with Mikel Arteta’s side getting the better of his in a 3-1 win.
Things were pretty even before Emerson Royal’s sending off, which came at the worst time, both in terms of the match and the publicity around the defender’s own spending to improve his form.
Spurs were already 2-1 down when the Brazilian was given his marching orders, a decision not everyone agreed with and many felt was too harsh.
Certainly Laura Woods gave the Italian manager a cheeky dig, although it was more directed at one of her co-hosts on talk-SPORT, Jamie O’Hara.
The former Tottenham midfielder had claimed that his side would win because Spurs’ manager would outclass Arteta, with Woods then retweeting the video with a kissing face.
With Royal set to be missing from the next three games in the Premier League, including a visit to Manchester United, it leads to the question of who will replace him.
Ahead of Spurs’ Champions League game with Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday, the manager was asked if Djed Spence, bought this summer but having only played one minute of football so far, would get a game, with the fans keen to see him.
“The fans have to be fans,” Conte explained.
“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.”
That’s when Conte turned his attention to Doherty, adding: “Also Doherty last season played every game. 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.”
Doherty came on for the final 18 minutes of the game on Saturday, after Emerson’s sending off, but it was just his second league appearance of the season.
The former Wolves right-back had previously only played four minutes of the opening game against Southampton but has largely had to watch from the sidelines since.
Last season the Republic of Ireland international had a large run of games starting, until he got injured, but even with Royal out with a suspension that seems unlikely right now.Follow us on social media:
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