As has become something of an unwanted trait of Spurs in recent weeks, the visitors once again started the fixture incredibly slowly, creating little over the first 45 minutes of the match and hitting the target with just one shot.
This slow start was punished shortly after the break, first when Renan Lodi was afforded an enormous amount of time on the edge of the Tottenham box before curling brilliantly beyond Fraser Forster, before Jesse Lingard nodded in Forest’s second just seven minutes later.
And, despite Conte making a host of second-half substitutes, the north London outfit simply did not have enough to get themselves back into the game, despite the best efforts of one of the Italian’s aforementioned introductions, Djed Spence.
Indeed, the right wing-back was finally handed an extended period of time in which to impact the game, with the club’s £20m summer signing’s only three outings for Tottenham this season all having lasted exactly one minute each.
Against Forest, however, Spence was undoubtedly Spurs’ brightest spark, with the 22-year-old’s surging runs up the right flank representing the most danger the visitors created over the course of the 90 minutes, while the England U21 international’s late header also forced Wayne Hennessey into an excellent save.
Regarding his metrics more generally, the defender’s 21 touches of the ball, 12 passes completed and one shot on target did not see the £25k-per-week talent earn a very impressive SofaScore match rating on the night – coming in at 6.4 – however, journalists watching on awarded the youngster much more credit.
Indeed, in Alasdair Gold’s player ratings, the football.london reporter awarded the “huge problem” – in the words of Trevor Sinclair – a match-best seven, as well as stating of the £19m-rated starlet’s performance: “The brightest of Spurs subs, trying to take the game to Forest with a few surging runs up the pitch and one header that forced Hennessy into a flying save.”
Meanwhile, speaking on Sky Sports Soccer Special (09/11/22; 21:30), Jobi McAnuff also heaped a considerable amount of praise on the full-back, stating: “He has been really, really good since he came on. I think he has given Antonio Conte something to think about.
“He is one of the only real positives from a really poor night from Spurs. But again, they can’t keep giving themselves a mountain to climb every time they go out. They are conceding, not just the first one, it becomes so hard to win the game because they are then chasing it.”
As such, with Spence very much proving to Conte that “he’s ready” for a more regular starting spot in the Tottenham side against Forest, the Italian simply must start to place his trust in the 22-year-old, as the defender undoubtedly stole the show for Spurs last night.