Spurs finally return to Premier League action this evening following their last-minute postponement at Burnley on Sunday afternoon.
Back in north London, Antonio Conte’s side welcome top-flight newcomers Brentford to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the most intriguing of encounters.
Only three points separate the Lilywhites and the Bees heading into kick-off, which is a rather damning indictment on the latter’s incredible rise and the former’s recent fall from grace.
It means that Spurs’ last competitive fixture was nearly a week ago, in which they were humiliated by the Europa Conference League’s lowest-ranked team, NS Mura, who defeated a heavily-rotated lineup in Slovenia.
Amongst the starters that day was right wing-back Matt Doherty, who you would think is a perfect fit for the Italian’s system but truth be told, he has never been good enough and that much was evident under Jose Mourinho. And then perhaps the writing was on the wall when his former Wolves boss Nuno Santo snubbed him frequently in N17.
Indeed, the Republic of Ireland international has been a bit of a walking liability and somewhat a £15m transfer disaster.
After last week’s game, former Spurs midfielder Jamie O’Hara unleashed at the 29-year-old, and few others, deeming them all “shocking” to Sky Sports News. Similarly, Evening Standard reporter Dan Kilpatrick described him as “wasteful” and rusty” in his post-match column.
Mourinho, who signed the defender in his first summer at the club, was once seen berating Doherty for his limp display against Liverpool and it even led to reports suggesting that his future was in doubt under the Portuguese, per ESPN.
Clearly not much has changed as he has started only five games in 2021/22.
The north London outfit clearly felt comfortable with Doherty providing competition to summer signing Emerson Royal as they cancelled Serge Aurier’s contract to allow him to find a new club post-deadline day.
Fans around the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium have also regularly laid into the Irishman, some calling him a “liability” for example, so it’s clear that he has just been one massive disaster and as such, he should have no involvement against Brentford on Thursday evening.
With Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbuemo in fine form, scoring six goals between them, Conte cannot afford to carry someone like Doherty and instead, he must bring Emerson back into the fold, as he planned to do at Turf Moor a few days ago.