Opinion: Five things we learned from Tottenham’s Carabao Cup defeat

Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the Carabao Cup this evening, losing 2-0 away to Nottingham Forest despite fielding a very strong starting XI.

Djed Spence
(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Let’s take a look at the five things we learned from the game:

Tottenham are out – Yes, obviously Spurs are out of the League Cup for another year. But you can also look at the silver linings. It would have been easier to take had Conte named a weakened XI, but being knocked out will free up a lot of time in the new year. This should give Spurs time for more preparation for Premier League games, and a slot or two for rearranged fixtures. But Tottenham also need to stop embarrassing themselves in the first half and conceding first.

Davinson Sanchez the standout – It feels like every time Davinson Sanchez is called upon at the moment, he comes up short. For too many years now, the centre-back has carried errors with him in every game, and today was no different. He let Lodi cut inside and curl a shot into the goal far too easily, and was generally all over the place on and off the ball. I’m not sure why Tanganga does not get chances ahead of him, to be honest.

Djed Spence taking his chance – One of the bright sparks in an embarrassing defeat, Djed Spence finally got some meaningful time off the bench, with Conte letting him have 20 minutes or so. One of his first times touching the ball, he drove through the heart of the pitch, gained Spurs 30 yards or so, and won a free-kick. He also went close with a header at the back post towards the end of the game. Surely this warrants some chances off the bench in the Premier League.

Safe hands Forster – The only player in that backline to walk away with his head held high, Forster enjoyed a great debut. Yes, he made a number of routine stops that were straight at him. But he also closed off the angle and made two huge saves with Forest going through on goal. Debuts can be nervy, but Forster looks to be a steady pair of hands, and not bad with his feet either. Well done, Fraser.

The return of depth – For the first time in many many weeks, Spurs had some depth on the bench today. Richarlison was back from injury. Kulusevski came off the bench again. Lucas Moura was there too. If Spurs can keep their forward players fit heading into January, they will surely pick up more comfortable wins. We have to look for the positives after games like that.

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