Tottenham Hotspur finally returned to Premier League action on Monday afternoon, however, despite Antonio Conte having over a month to work with a large portion of his first-team squad during the Qatar World Cup, the club’s defensive issues from before the break were still very much evident in the 2-2 draw with Brentford at the Gtech Community Stadium.
Indeed, Vitaly Janelt’s 15th-minute strike to put the hosts 1-0 up ensured that Spurs have now fallen behind in nine consecutive games across all competitions, before Ivan Toney doubled the Bees’ advantage shortly after half-time.
And, while goals from Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg did seal a point for the top four hopefuls, Conte will nevertheless be furious that his side once again started a fixture so slowly – with Yves Bissouma, Matt Doherty and Eric Dier all having something of a game to forget in west London.
However, while the aforementioned trio were all well below par on Monday afternoon, it was undoubtedly the performance of Japhet Tanganga that will have most disappointed the 53-year-old Italian, as the centre-back well and truly failed what could easily be his last “big chance” to impress in a Tottenham shirt against Brentford.
Indeed, over his 67 minutes on the pitch, the £8m-rated defender was largely bullied by Toney in the Spurs backline, with the 23-year-old winning just four of his nine duels – a failure rate of 56% – up against the Bees striker, with The Sun journalist Tom Barclay stating his belief that the 26-year-old was “proving difficult for Tanganga to handle” in a post on Twitter.
The £25k-per-week talent also committed three fouls – one of which was for “rugby tackling Toney” – lost possession of the ball on six separate occasions and failed to make a single interception, with these returns seeing the player who journalist Rory Robinson claimed plays like a “construction worker” earn an extremely disappointing Sofascore match rating of just 6.50.
Alasdair Gold also awarded the centre-back a match rating of just four in his own player ratings for football.london, as well as writing of the former England U21 international’s display: “His first start of the season and he was up against one of the toughest challenges in the Premier League right now in Ivan Toney and it showed as the Brentford man ran him ragged throughout.”
As such, with Tanganga being linked with a move away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium already next month, his performance on Monday afternoon will have done little to convince Conte that he is a defender who should be kept on in north London beyond the end of January, as the 23-year-old well and truly failed his big chance against Brentford.