It’s been a week to forget for Tottenham and Antonio Conte, as defeats to Manchester United and Newcastle have seen Spurs fall into the chasing pack behind Manchester City and Arsenal.

Starting midweek, a trip to Old Trafford marked a real test for Spurs; having picked up results consistently without performances to match, this was a chance to send a message to the rest of the league that we can win away against our rivals.

However, it didn’t go to plan. We were comfortably second-best; 19 shots for United marked the most for any side in the first half of a Premier League game this season (Sky Sports). We were fortunate to enter the break level.

But within a minute of the restart, Fred’s deflected effort put the hosts a goal up, with Spurs failing to respond as United pressure continued to build.

With just over 20 minutes to go, Bruno Fernandes’ strike all but killed the game, with Conte waiting until the 84th minute to make his first change – a triple substitution which saw Ryan Sessegnon, Davidson Sanchez, and Lucas Moura enter the fray.

Although hardly awe-inspiring, by then it was too little too late, and in ending the game with 28 shots conceded – the most of any Premier League side this season, it was an evening to forget for Tottenham.

There’s no two ways about it, we were thoroughly beaten, and ultimately, 2-0 was flattering.

But a hellish defeat from the Red Devils wasn’t the end of Spurs’ torrid week, as just four days later, we became the talk of the toon.

The first of several talking points took place pre-kick-off, as Emerson Royal reclaimed his place over Matt Doherty.

Given the Irishman’s form and Conte’s reaction to his performance last weekend, Emerson’s return was certainly surprising, as Doherty seemed odds on to start.

The Brazilian was quick to remind Spurs fans why he’s so frustrating to watch, offering very little going forward in a match where we could have used Doherty’s attacking threat.

Yet contrary to the result, Spurs, and mainly Son started well. 

The Korean had four shots in the opening 10 minutes (Understat), the last of which was a close-range effort that should have opened the scoring, however, he was quiet for the remainder of the game.

Moreover, an array of shots from Son, Kane, Sessegnon, and Dier saw Spurs dominate the opening 30 minutes, but as is often the case, we went on to rue missed opportunities.

Callum Wilson’s opener is certainly up for debate; his collision with Lloris can be argued either way, but ultimately, if it were Kane on Pope, I’d have felt aggrieved to see the goal ruled out.

But foul or not, the blame lies with Spurs’ captain, as he should have cleared the ball rather than seemingly dribble past an onrushing forward.

Credit where it’s due, Wilson’s finish was sublime, but not for the first time this season – nor the last time in this half, Lloris was at fault as Tottenham conceded a needless goal.

Just 10 minutes later, another pair of Lloris errors doubled Newcastle’s lead; all but ending any chance of a Tottenham comeback.

Poor distribution from the Frenchman was cut out by Sean Longstaff before Miguel Almiron eased passed Lenglet and squeezed the ball under Lloris.

Firstly, the ball out was indicative of our game. Despite Newcastle’s relentless press, we were insistent on playing out from the back.

Without Hojbjerg and Romero – two of our better ball players in that area, we were caught out time and again, failing to rectify a regular mistake.

However, again, the blame for this goal lies with Lloris, as the Frenchman’s ball out was incredibly poor, and furthermore, a strong argument could be made that he should have done better with Almiron’s subsequent shot.

Spurs fans have grown accustomed to an unforced error from Lloris, but to make two in such an important game is frankly inexcusable.

As mentioned, Hojbjerg was sorely missed, as although Bentancur put in a fine performance – perhaps the only Spurs player to do so, he could have done with being alongside his usual partner.

Bissouma is clearly still settling in the side, and having just returned from a long-term injury, Skipp looked slightly off the pace – both were a big drop-off from the Dane.

Early in the second half, Kane’s header from a corner halved the deficit but with 30 minutes left, but this is where the absence of Kulusevski and Richarlison was obvious.

Likely, one of the two would have started in place of Skipp, and if we were still trailing with 20 minutes to go, the other would have made a late appearance.

Having Lucas Moura as the only real attacking option isn’t good enough against a top team such as Newcastle, and Tottenham may be regretting not bringing in another forward late in the summer.

Conte must now be left scratching his head, as having made the change to a 3-5-2 Spurs fans called out for, across the last two games, we arguably look worse than in the 3-4-3 early in the campaign.

Hopefully, Romero and Hojbjerg’s return will be imminent, with Richarlison and Kulusevski’s not far behind, as it was abundantly clear how big a miss each was on Sunday.

With a must-win Champions League game ahead, where Spurs will be heavy favourites, the squad must try and put aside last week’s misgivings and return to winning ways against Sporting Lisbon.

What follows is a trip to relegation-tipped Bournemouth, so if nothing else, at least on paper, Spurs have two arguably winnable games that should hopefully see us get back on track.

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