Former Tottenham Hotspur forward Garth Crooks has criticised the performance of Emerson Royal following the north London derby defeat to Arsenal.

Tottenham headed to the Emirates on Saturday at lunchtime currently unbeaten in the Premier League table and just a point behind their bitter rivals who occupied top spot.

Antonio Conte once again opted to start the Brazilian at right wing-back ahead of Matt Doherty and summer signing Djed Spence who were both named among the substitutes.

With the game poised at 2-1 in favour of the home side, Royal was shown a straight red card by referee Anthony Taylor after he made contact with Gabriel Martinelli’s ankle from behind.

Crooks claimed that the reckless challenge by the former Barcelona player ended up costing Tottenham the match and that he was given a torrid time by Martinelli up until the dismissal.

He told his BBC Sport column: “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.”

Spursweb Opinion

With Royal set to miss the next three Premier League matches, Antonio Conte has to start either Doherty or Spence for tomorrow’s Champions League clash at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Neither player has had hardly any opportunity at club level this season and are in desperate need of match action to build their fitness, it would be a mistake to start Royal once again.

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