Football

Matt Doherty Comes Under Fire After Woeful Spurs Lose In Portugal

Matt Doherty Comes Under Fire After Woeful Spurs Lose In Portugal

Matt Doherty and his Spurs teammates were handed a harsh lesson in European football last night as they crashed to a humiliating 1-0 first-leg defeat in the Europa Conference League to Portuguese side Pacos de Ferreira.

It was a sobering night at the office for a Nuno Espirito Santo side who came into the game off the back of a stirring 1-0 win over Man City last weekend in the Premier League.

Granted, this was a much-changed Spurs side from that win over City. They could not, however, replicate that win as their defensive naiveite was punished against a plucky Portuguese outfit.

To put the defeat into context, Pacos de Ferreira lost their second-leg tie in the Europa Conference League to Larne FC. They would, however, win the tie 4-1 on aggregate.

And with that in mind, a Spurs side, who crashed to defeat against that same side who lost to Larne only last week, came in for some heavy criticism.

Along with the likes of Harry Winks and Ben Davies, one player who was the target of criticism was Irish international Matt Doherty.

On 90min.com, Doherty's performance was described in very blunt fashion.

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The kind of performance that will have reminded Nuno while he sold him in the first place.

So disappointing going forwards and it felt like he misplaced everything he touched.

Football.London were just as scathing of the Dubliner with their player ratings, giving him a 5.

Lacked quality with his passing and crossing from the right early on.

Didn't make much of an impact. 5

And the London Evening Standard would pull no punches either, giving him the same score in their player ratings

Put in one good cutback which Gil squandered, but did not do enough from wing-back to leapfrog Japhet Tanganga in the first XI.

Matt Doherty Comes Under Fire For Poor Performance

And it wasn't just in the media circles where Doherty came under fire. Spurs fans took aim at him on Twitter.

While his manager Nuno Espirito Santo would not take aim at individual players, he did admit that his side was 'not good'. That's one way of putting it.

"Not good, not good," he said. "First half we lost too many passes – and the goal came from that, we were imbalanced. But not a good performance, honestly not a good performance.

"We need players to get minutes in their legs and increase their levels of fitness. But of course things take some time, it was not so good…

"As a team we were not organised enough and did not play the ball fast enough to break a team that was really compact and did not allow many spaces."

While Doherty doesn't seem to be at risk of losing his place in Stephen Kenny's Ireland squad over one performance, he may want to improve his own form, especially with a number of Irish players impressing in the Championship and League One at present.

SEE ALSO: With International Return On The Horizon, Ireland's Young Blood Is Coming To The Fore

stephen kenny ireland squad

Andrew Dempsey

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