Michael Dawson defends Conte for his decisions in North London derby

Michael Dawson has defended Antonio Conte after the Tottenham head coach came in for criticism for his conservative approach in the North London derby earlier this month.

Spurs fell to their first loss of the season at the Emirates Stadium, with Arsenal running out 3-1 winners two weeks ago.

The Gunners were helped by Emerson Royal’s red card just past the hour mark, with Conte deciding to shut shop and opt for damage limitation after being reduced to ten men.

Several pundits questioned Tottenham’s defensive approach following the loss at the Emirates (talkSPORT) and the Lilywhites’ failure to break down Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League clash last Tuesday only added fuel to the fire.

However, Spurs got back to winning ways on Saturday by becoming the first team to pick up three points at the Amex Stadium this season.

Dawson has now pointed to the players Spurs were missing against Arsenal and remarked that Conte did not have the options he would have liked on the bench.

The former Tottenham defender told Sky Sports’ Football Daily: “They are defensive at times, we talk about Spurs and I think for me, even in midweek against Frankfurt, I look and go… they need to get more players in the final third. 

“For your wing-backs and the way Antonio Conte plays, you have to have more from your wing-backs because your holding midfielders don’t really go forward.

“Once Emerson Royal gets sent off, you look at the players who came on and Antonio Conte will then say ‘yeah, I’d get out of there with damage limitation’. 

“Fans won’t like that, of course, they won’t, but that’s the first game they’ve lost this season so you still believe and back the way he’s doing it. I was surprised in seeing those substitutions, I was, but there was no Kuluisevski.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I think pundits often fail to recognise the fact that Spurs rarely tend to give away big chances to the opposition, which means that we often win when we take our chances.

Even in the game against Arsenal, Partey gave them the lead through a speculative attempt and their second goal came from a Lloris mistake. For all their possession, the Gunners did not create too many clear-cut chances till we went down to ten men.

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