Opinion: Matt Doherty’s game against West Ham was better than you thought

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Matt Doherty
Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Matt Doherty’s start to life at Spurs has been less than ideal. The Irishman has had little game time after disappointing at the beginning of the season and his recent performances have reportedly even led to Mourinho doubting whether he could succeed at Spurs. (ESPN)

However, Doherty was given a chance to impress in the second half of the match against West Ham on Sunday. While the right-back wasn’t fantastic, he did show signs of improvement.

Doherty actually played a key role in Gareth Bale’s great performance against the Hammers. The right back’s charging runs up the right flank created space for Bale in the middle which he capitalised on consistently.

Doherty was also involved in Spurs’ only goal of the game as it came from Bale playing a give and go with the defender and then winning a corner which the team scored from.

The key part of this move was Doherty creating width by staying on the touchline. When he received the ball, Cresswell was drawn out of position to press Doherty and the Irishman played the ball back into Bale who now had space in behind.

Doherty’s crosses were admittedly awful, but it was an improvement on Tanganga’s performance in the first half. That is by no means a dig at Japhet, it just so happens that Tanganga is a centre-back and he gets lost in the attacking third.

With some luck and some more playtime, Matt Doherty can prove to Mourinho and the fans that he was a worthy investment.

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