Spurs spared their own blushes with a box-office comeback from 2-0 down in the final 30 minutes to earn all three points at the Vitality Stadium – beating Bournemouth 3-2 in a Premier League cracker.
It had initially looked doom and gloom after Kieffer Moore put the Cherries two goals up with his second of the afternoon but now Antonio Conte’s side head into the midweek Champions League showdown with Marseille with the grit between their teeth after an impressive fightback.
Yet still, the Italian’s stubbornness appears to be holding Spurs back, although his attacking changes helped swing the game back into his side’s favour.
Express Sport analyses five things we learned…
Emerson is not good enough…
It really is a mystery as to why Antonio Conte continues to persist with Emerson Royal at Tottenham.
It does not take a football genius to come to the conclusion that he is not good enough, something that was once again evident at the Vitality Stadium.
Emerson ballooned a shot into orbit and the attacking side of his game is supposed to counter his defensive frailties. That just simply isn’t the case.
Opposition managers target Emerson as the weak-link in Spurs’ side and with Matt Doherty and Djed Spence watching on from the sidelines, you do really begin to wonder what they need to do to leapfrog the Brazilian.
Conte stubbornness creating problems
Conte’s stubbornness and refusal to move away from his two favoured systems is starting to become a problem for Spurs, who are all too predictable at times.
Not only that but his loyalty towards certain players is holding Tottenham back. It’s making them easy to work out from an opposition perspective.
The three-man midfield was simply not needed on Saturday at Bournemouth and a trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Yves Bissouma provided zero creativity.
That worked into Bournemouth’s hands as they quickly gained a foothold in the game and there was no surprise to see Spurs wrestle back control after an extra injection of attacking impetus from the bench.
It ultimately proved the difference as they fought back to win 3-2 in the dying embers.
Back-three not working
Conte’s back three is designed to tighten things up defensively but that just isn’t happening anymore.
Spurs are seemingly in a rut and they cannot stop conceding goals. Their faulty backline is no longer providing a platform to grind out victories.
Instead, Tottenham’s underperforming frontline is having to work double hard to try and win their team matches.
With Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison currently injured, that is not the easiest of tasks.
Bournemouth have been excellent under Gary O’Neill but let’s be honest, Spurs should not be conceding goals to the Cherries.
Bryan Gil deserves a chance
Conte compared Bryan Gil to Bernardo Silva on Friday – yet still continues to leave him on the bench.
With Spurs currently lacking inspiration in attack, it’s hard to see why he is not given a go.
After all, he was signed for £21.6m plus Erik Lamela, which is hardly cheap. If he is not worthy of a chance now, you have to question whether he ever will be.
Gil has looked bright off the bench but he is rarely risked by Conte, who does not seem to fully trust him at the moment.
Marseille is cup final
Conte was certainly right when he said Marseille was the more important match of the two – including Bournemouth.
Pressure is now growing on the Italian and failure to make it out of the group in the Champions League would create a toxic atmosphere around the club.
Supporters are already becoming tired of Tottenham’s dull style of football and if it’s not even achieving results, fans will question Conte’s purpose.
Spurs simply have to deliver in the south of France or they could be staring a major crisis in the face – despite starting the season so strongly.