Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal was the low point of the season so far for Tottenham Hotspur and was compounded by a second half red card for Emerson Royal.
A foul on Gabriel Martinelli saw the Brazilian dismissed by referee Anthony Taylor and former Spurs star Garth Crooks has not held back in his assessment of Royal’s performance.
The BBC pundit, who made over 100 appearances for Tottenham in the 1980s, believes that the defenders sending off was what ultimately cost Antonio Conte’s side the match.
Here is what Crook’s had to say about Spurs in his BBC Sport Premier League Team of the Week column:
Spurs “have to learn to keep calm and hold their nerve in big games” says Crooks
Unsurprisingly, no Tottenham Hotspur players made it into Garth Crooks’ team of the week but the 64-year old did take the time to make his feelings clear about his old club’s performance in the 3-1 derby defeat.
Writing about Arsenal defender William Saliba, who he did select in his best XI along with Granit Xhaka, Crooks said: “William Saliba is looking better with every game. His composure in his first north London derby was nothing short of outstanding.
“Meanwhile, Antonio Conte’s Spurs have to learn to keep calm and hold their nerve in big games if they are to be taken seriously or have any chance of winning trophies this season.
“Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris makes ordinary saves look unnecessarily spectacular and is a liability in the games that matter.
“What was equally disturbing was Conte’s lack of ability to see that Emerson Royal was totally incapable of dealing with the threat of Gabriel Martinelli and his sending-off ultimately cost Spurs the match.”
Saliba and Xhaka make Team of the Week
Arsenal duo William Saliba and Granit Xhaka were chosen by Garth Crooks for his Premier League team of the Week after their efforts in the North London derby win for the Gunners.
Joining the Arsenal men were Manchester City trio Kevin De Bruyne, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden along with Everton’s Conor Coady and Jordan Pickford, Newcastle United’s Miguel Almiron, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino, Chelsea’s Thiago Silva and Brighton’s Leandro Trossard.