Antonio Conte was given a damning insight into the mess into which he’s walked at Tottenham Hotspur as he took charge of his first match in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday night.
Spurs got revenge on Vitesse by defeating them 3-2 in north London but it wasn’t without its scary moments. Five goals, three red cards. An absolutely chaotic second-half. And 90 minutes which epitomised their struggles.
Cristian Romero saw red for a second bookable offence which left the Italian in the lurch on the hour mark but he wasn’t the only player to let his new manager down on the night.
One of those was also his defensive partner Eric Dier, who will be a lucky man to keep his place under Conte in the coming weeks and months.
As the most central of the three defenders, the 27-year-old was present on the ball more than any other Lilywhites player, registering 82 touches, but he was a little off-par with his ball-playing, managing a passing accuracy of just 86%, which was slightly below his average in the Premier League.
However, more worryingly, he failed in his defensive duties, winning only two of his five duels (40%), whilst he was dribbled past once, committed one foul and lost possession ten times, as per SofaScore.
The Englishman was also partially at fault for Jacob Rasmussen’s goal as he was well beaten by the visiting centre-back inside the penalty area to make the game 3-1.
It’s easy to see why some supporters have often dubbed him a “liability.”
Dier’s dismal display was described as “unconvincing” by the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick in his post-match ratings column. It’s also rather telling that Hugo Lloris received his fair share of plaudits as the Frenchman often bailed out his defenders with some fine saves throughout the game.
The £19.8m-rated colossus, who is reportedly earning around £85k-per-week in N17, won’t have impressed the 52-year-old too much as his and the team’s defensive frailties were put on full show against the fifth-placed side in the Eredivisie.