Tottenham Hotspur secured a much-needed Champions League win against Eintracht Frankfurt on Wednesday evening, with the 3-2 victory seeing Spurs move to the top of the Group D standings – putting Antonio Conte’s side in with a great chance of securing qualification for the knockout stages of the competition.
However, while there were a number of impressive performances on display from the home side, with Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg all catching the eye with dominant showings, there was nevertheless one Tottenham player who once again failed to impress – Emerson Royal.
Indeed, despite having endured a chaotic start to the season, averaging a disappointing WhoScored match rating of just 6.79 over his eight Premier League appearances this term, as well as being sent off in the 3-1 north London derby defeat for an incredibly reckless challenge, Conte appears intent on keeping the faith with the Brazilian, handing him yet another start on Wednesday.
However, once more, the Brazil international failed his manager’s trust, turning in an abject display against the Bundesliga side, leaving many asking the question as to exactly what the club’s £20m summer signing, Djed Spence, has to do to get a game ahead of the 23-year-old wing-back.
Indeed, over his 90 minutes on the pitch, the £35m-rated defender was incredibly wasteful in possession, completing just 35 of his 46 attempted passes – a success rate of a mere 76% – finding his man with just one of his four attempted long balls and ceding possession for his side on no less than 15 separate occasions – not to mention being easily beaten for Eintract’s second.
These returns saw the £40k-per-week full-back earn a SofaScore match rating of 6.8, however, a number of journalists were much harsher on the Brazilian in their own player ratings, with football.london’s Alasdair Gold awarding Emerson a five, while the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick also handed the 23-year-old a five.
Furthermore, the defender came in for a great deal of criticism from journalists on Twitter, with Joe Middleton stating his belief that “Emerson Royal is the most frustrating right back”, Andreas Thau claiming “Emerson Royal is by some distance the worst player on the pitch right now” before adding that “it’s becoming embarrassing”, while Mitch Fretton suggested that “Emerson Royal saw we were strolling and thought: ‘Nah let me inject some chaos’.”
As such, exactly why Conte keeps selecting Emerson ahead of an exciting prospect such as Spence is something of a mystery, as the Brazilian once again failed the Italian on Wednesday.