Tottenham Hotspur have had a really eventful start to the 2022/23 season. They have maintained their ground in the Premier League, sitting in third place after the first few months and five points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Some of their games have been full of drama – including the 2-2 draw against Chelsea where manager Antonio Conte was involved in seriously heated scenes with Thomas Tuchel.
Despite their impressive start to the season, not all Spurs fans are convinced.
There are some who are really frustrated with their style of play, with Conte being accused of being too defensive with his tactics when he has a talented squad full of attacking players at his disposal.
The Lilywhites’ pragmatic nature almost cost them in the Champions League. They were involved in the most competitive group in the competition, with all teams having a chance at qualifying for the Round of 16 heading into the final matchday of group games.
Spurs somehow prevailed in their final group game against Marseille – coming back from being 1-0 down to clinch a 2-1 win and win their group.
Despite only conceding 6 goals in the Champions League group stages, the least in their group, Spurs’ did look defensively vulnerable in a few games.
One player who has not been performing up to the supporters’ standards is right-back, Emerson Royal.
The Brazilian full-back, who arrived from Barcelona last season, has been predominantly chosen to occupy the right wing-back role by Conte – playing ahead of the summer signing Djed Spence.
This hasn’t pleased many fans, who feel like Emerson is not only defensively shaky – but makes little to no impact in the attacking front either. In fact, some Spurs supporters even came up with a brutal new chant for the Brazilian full-back while travelling for the Marseille clash.
The chant perfectly sums up his struggles so far as it goes: ‘He can’t defend. He can’t attack… Emerson Royal is our wing back…’
Despite it being a damning indictment on the right-back, the chant is surprisingly catchy and one you can probably hear ringing in your head for a long time.
Emerson has been pinpointed as the weak link in Spurs’ backline by their fans after a shaky start to the season.
In 16 appearances, he’s helped keep just four clean sheets and has been unable to maintain the standards of the likes of Eric Dier or Cristian Romero.
The Brazilian full-back has been subbed off on a few occasions by Conte for not being able to perform to his liking and did not do himself any favours by getting sent off against Arsenal after a reckless challenge.
Even on the attacking end, the 23-year-old just has one assist from all his appearances and is unable to bring a sense of excitement for the fans which the likes of Ivan Perisic or Ryan Sessegnon have.
His uneventful performances have left a sour taste in the supporters’ mouths and Emerson has a daunting road ahead to make himself popular with the Spurs faithful again.