Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Tottenham player Matt Doherty breaks silence about Antonio Conte’s “I’m not stupid” remark

Tottenham player Matt Doherty breaks silence about Antonio Conte’s “I’m not stupid” remark

When asked about his team selection after Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, in which Matt Doherty played only 18 minutes as a substitute, Antonio Conte was visibly irritated.

When asked about Djed Spence’s playing time, or lack thereof, Conte said he isn’t ‘stupid’ and urged Spurs fans to trust his team selection. He also referred to Doherty (via NottinghamshireLive):

“We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I repeat I try to pick the best team. Also Doherty last season played every game. Now I’m not seeing him in the right way to start the game.”

“I’m not stupid, I don’t want to lose. I try to put the best team, to pick the best team. If they trust me it’s ok, if they don’t trust me then I’m the coach and I need to take the best decision for Tottenham.”

This was bound to cause a stir in the media, but those who read the entire interview and understood where Conte was coming from might realize that he didn’t mean it ‘that’ way.

If he chooses Spence or Dohery, he will never say that is ‘stupid.’

He clearly meant that he knows what he’s doing and that the team he chooses is to the best of his knowledge.

Doherty has now responded to the incident calmly and logically, dismissing the issue as a case of misinterpretation. He stated (via the Evening Standard):

“To be honest, some of the lads, and one of my best friends, said that it was taken out of context. I didn’t read the whole thing, but they said to me that it was, and I trust their opinion.”

“Look, I spoke to the manger when I was on international [duty], I know what he expects of me. I took no offence to the comments at all. It didn’t spur me on.”

So there you have it. Just unnecessary drama. The 30-year-old Republic of Ireland international is a seasoned pro.

He understands his position in the pecking order and what is expected of him. Furthermore, he would have seen the manager’s recent praise for him.

There’s no telling whether Conte’s decision to start the former Wolves defender against Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex on Saturday was intended to compensate for his misconstrued comments, but it was a good show of faith in the player.

It was also his first league appearance of the season. Hopefully, he can build on this and remain a contender even when Emerson Royal returns from his red-card suspension.

Tottenham player Matt Doherty breaks silence about Antonio Conte’s “I’m not stupid” remark

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