However, while Rodrigo Bentancur’s stoppage-time winner was just about enough to ensure that Spurs would take all three points back to north London this evening, the displays of a number of Conte’s starting XI will undoubtedly come as a great cause for concern for the Italian head coach.
Indeed, starting ahead of the rested Cristian Romero at centre-back, Davinson Sanchez did little to support the idea that he is an adequate backup to the Argentina international, earning a disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.5.
He also drew criticism from talkSPORT’s Tom Rennie, who said of the defender’s display in a post on Twitter: “You don’t win the league with Davinson Sanchez in your team. Every time I see him play it looks like his first-ever game of football.”
However, despite the Colombian’s abject performance on the south coast, it was yet again Emerson Royal who most disappointed for Tottenham on the day, leading many to question exactly why Conte insists on picking the Brazilian ahead of the likes of Matt Doherty and £20m summer signing Djed Spence at right wing-back.
Indeed, despite enjoying 65 touches of the ball and making one tackle, two clearances and one interception over the course of his 63 minutes on the pitch, the £34m-rated defender was undoubtedly Spurs’ weakest link against the Cherries. The 23-year-old was arguably at fault for both of Kieffer Moore’s goals, particularly the Welshman’s second.
Furthermore, the £40k-per-week full-back continued a trend of wastefulness in the final third, failing to find his man with any of his four attempted crosses, ceding possession 11 times and notably ballooning a first-half volley so far off target that the ball cleared the Steve Fletcher Stand and ended up in the car park.
As such, it is not difficult to see why the Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick awarded the defender a four in his player ratings, nor it is hard to understand why Andrew Gaffney dubbed the Brazilian “useless” and Carter Gaddis stated his belief the former Barcelona man was “so, so, so bad” against the Cherries, as Emerson once again failed Conte’s trust on Saturday afternoon.