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Spurs: Oliver Skipp failed Conte’s test vs Palace

Tottenham Hotspur got back to winning ways with a 4-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace on Wednesday night and there was even a rare start for popular academy graduate Oliver Skipp.

However, the England U21 international struggled to impress and may have failed Antonio Conte‘s test with a woeful display.

Harry Kane bagged two of the Lilywhites’ four second-half goals, with his talismanic partner Heung-min Son and Matt Doherty also getting on the scoresheet to lift the north London outfit to within two points of third-placed Newcastle United.

It was the perfect way to bounce back from their humiliating New Year’s Day defeat to Aston Villa, where Yves Bissouma picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and a subsequent suspension.

That’s what allowed Skipp to come back into the fray at long last, having struggled for much of last season with injury. Indeed, it was only his third start in the Premier League this term and just his fifth since the start of 2022.

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Perhaps it was rustiness, as alluded to by football.london reporter Alasdair Gold but it’s hard to imagine him keeping his place when Rodrigo Bentancur returns from injury, particularly after an impressive cameo from Pape Matar Sarr, too.

The 22-year-old gem – once dubbed an “absolute machine” by Opta’s Matt Hayes – registered the worst rating of any Spurs starter on Sofascore, highlighting that he was the poorest of his peers on the night.

He picked up an early yellow card and that certainly limited him somewhat, managing only one tackle. Skipp also lost 75% of his duels, with Wilfried Zaha often gliding past him with relative ease.

As per Sofascore, he was dribbled past twice and in his 66 minutes on the pitch, he only managed 38 touches  – four fewer than goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The aforementioned Sarr quickly racked up 27 after replacing him too.

According to football writer Andrew Gaffney both he and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had “totally lost control of the midfield” in the first half and at the break then claimed Skipp was “chasing shadows” all half.

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Similarly, journalist Matt Brian suggested that the Englishman was “run ragged” in this shocking display, which doesn’t bode well towards his chances of starting again anytime soon.

The young £40k-per-week enforcer, therefore, failed to impress in what was a rare opportunity to stake a claim and he must be careful to not tow the same career path as Harry Winks.

Skipp will do well to be involved against Portsmouth in the FA Cup now.

AND in other news, Spurs close in on dream 1st Jan signing in £35m “special talent”