Former Tottenham Hotspur star Jamie O’Hara critical of Davinson Sanchez and Emerson Royal after Southampton defeat
Speaking to talkSPORT (h/t Express), ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara was extremely critical of his former club’s defensive performance against Southampton in the Premier League, as Spurs crashed to a 3-2 defeat.
After taking the lead once again in the second half thanks to a Son Heung-min strike, Spurs let slip their grasp on the game and watched the Saints score twice in two minutes to hand Tottenham a league loss at home.
O’Hara, who won the League Cup with Spurs in 2008, has let rip at the defending he witnessed in the game, critical of the Tottenham centre-backs on the pitch. Conte lined up with Davinson Sanchez, Cristian Romero, Emerson Royal, Ben Davies, and Sergio Reguilon at the back.
“I don’t know what has happened at Spurs, but the defending is a disgrace. What you don’t do when you are a centre-back defending is ball watch. You are watching the ball and they are running off the back of you.”
The loss comes as a blow to Spurs’ top-four hopes, as they looked to capitalise on rivals Manchester United dropping points midweek. However, Southampton put a big dent in Tottenham’s Champions League dreams and left them in seventh place in the league table.
Luckily for manager Antonio Conte, his side has multiple games in hand to make up the deficit. The Lilywhites are currently 4 points off fourth-placed West Ham United, despite playing three games less than the Hammers.
Big money signings disappointing
Last night’s loss seemed to be too much for O’Hara to take, with the former midfielder singling out defenders Davinson Sanchez and Emerson Royal for their shocking defensive displays against Southampton.
“The defending at the back was shocking. Honestly… £45million for [Sanchez]. £32m for Royal! It’s embarrassing.”
Conte too will be feeling disappointed about how his defenders fared against the Saints, conceding two goals in as many minutes to give up a hard-won lead in the second half. To make things worse, the Italian watched his side fail to defend the same cross from the right twice, with both attempts leading to goals for the Saints.
The manager will need to take things back to the drawing board and work hard on his side’s defensive position. The return of Cristian Romero from injury will be a positive for Conte, but the Argentine himself cannot do the dirty work on his own.
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Sunday offers a chance for Spurs’ defenders to redeem themselves, when they welcome Wolverhampton Wanderers to town. Tottenham cannot afford to lose any more points in the long run, with Champions League football up for grabs at the end of the season.
Emerson and Sanchez will be especially keen on proving O’Hara wrong, with Conte likely to play the duo once again against Wolves if Eric Dier and Japhet Tanganga are not fit in time for the Wolves clash.