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Spurs: Conte must finally unleash Djed Spence vs Frankfurt

Tottenham Hotspur will be looking to get back to winning ways when they make the trip to Germany to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League this evening.

Antonio Conte and his side suffered a gut-wrenching defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Arsenal on Saturday as the Gunners, who lead the Premier League standings, looked a world apart from Spurs in the north London derby, particularly in the second half.

Their misery was compounded when Emerson Royal was sent off for a foolish challenge on Gabriel Martinelli and whilst there was no intentional malice, any studs-up tackle is going to leave the referee with no choice but to dish out a red card.

“Royal is just a complete liability,” ex-midfielder Jamie O’Hara told talkSPORT. “Every single week we play him, he makes mistakes.”

Who should start at RWB vs Frankfurt tonight?









Of course, that three-game suspension will only count in domestic competitions, meaning the Brazil international is available for tonight’s clash but it would be just as ludicrous for Conte to trust him going forward.

The Italian head coach was asked about the right wing-back situation during his pre-game press conference and poured a heap of doubt on Matt Doherty’s potential involvement and had a choice of words about Djed Spence, who ought to be starting here tonight (as relayed by the Metro).

“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,” he said of the £20m summer signing, before adding: “We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I repeat I try to pick the best team.”

And then on the experienced Irishman, he said: “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.”

Let’s not write off Spence as not being ready, though. It could be wise for the 53-year-old to do a U-turn on the England U21 international as it would appear as if he’s an ideal fit for his system.

Once described as a “Rolls-Royce” type of player by Gunners legend Martin Keown for his display against them in the FA Cup last season, the 22-year-old dynamo can impact a game at either end of the pitch, having averaged 1.8 dribbles, 1.6 interceptions, 1.5 tackles and one key pass per game for Nottingham Forest during their promotion-winning run in the Championship in 2021/22.

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Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne in action with Tottenham Hotspur's Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

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The wing-backs are arguably the most important role in Conte’s system, so you can forget about stars like Heung-min Son and Harry Kane for a moment, because if the creativity and drive isn’t coming from Spurs’ wide options, then the pair will struggle immensely.

A young and developing Spence is surely a far better and more reliable option than the inconsistent and calamitous Emerson at right wing-back, and as such, the Tottenham boss must do the right thing and unleash him at the Waldstadion this evening – it could prove to be an absolute stroke of genius come full-time.

AND in other news, Conte could unearth a perfect Maddison alternative in Spurs’ 17 y/o “natural finisher”

Article title: Spurs: Conte must finally unleash Djed Spence vs Frankfurt

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