Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy has called out Antonio Conte for his perceived lack of faith in Tottenham Hotspur starlet Dane Scarlett.
According to TEAMtalk, former Liverpool star and football pundit Danny Murphy has slammed Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte for failing to put his faith in young striker Dane Scarlett.
Murphy’s comments come in the wake of Spurs’ shock loss to Championship side Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the FA Cup. Conte’s men had several chances but failed to make them count, losing the game and extinguishing their last hopes of ending the campaign with a trophy.
Worryingly, Tottenham failed to find the back of the net even once in 120 minutes of football. Despite the riches in talent available to Spurs, it was Middlesbrough’s 19-year-old Josh Coburn who broke the deadlock on the night. In the 107th minute of the game, his goal all but ended Spurs’ involvement in the competition.
Despite being forced to throw the sink at the Boro goal in the final few minutes of the game, Conte failed to bring Scarlett off the bench until the 115th minute of the game. This is despite his complimentary comments on the youngster before kick-off.
Murphy, for one, was mystified as to why Conte did not back up his faith in the youngster by bringing him on earlier, especially when the team needed another striker the most. It is not every day that a manager of Conte’s ability rates a young player, but his actions on the night makes his assessment of the teenage Englishman appear hollow.
The pundit added that the youngster should have been handed the opportunity given what was at stake. While he is still 17, Scarlett has proved his credentials at the youth levels and is a true prospect for Tottenham in the future. Given that Conte waited until the end to throw him on, it is fair to assume that Scarlett still has ways to go before establishing himself as a reliable choice.
“Well, he should have put him on earlier then. If he has got that much belief in him,” Murphy said. “Give him the opportunity because they have been way off it.”
Tottenham have one of the finest strikers in world football in Harry Kane. For reasons known only to them, the club have so far failed to bring in a reliable backup to the English skipper. Scarlett certainly can be that man, but at 17, he is yet a raw talent still to hone his abilities to the fullest.
Murphy is right to question Conte for his apparent hypocrisy in the treatment of Scarlett. However, Tottenham should not have been in the position to rely on a teenager to bail them out, to begin with. The youngster’s time will come, and it is up to Conte and the gang to ensure that he is ready when it gets to that.