Andy Cole couldn’t understand the decision to leave Matt Doherty out of Tottenham Hotspur’s line-up on Sunday afternoon.
Serge Aurier started at right-back for Spurs in their 3-3 draw with West Ham, with Matt Doherty left on the bench in a decision that raised plenty of eyebrows among supporters.
Jose Mourinho had to watch his side concede three goals in an eight-minute capitulation against West Ham but before the visitors’ fight-back, the Spurs boss opted to bring on Gareth Bale, Harry Winks and Lucas Moura.
While few could have anticipated the Hammers’ comeback, the absence of Doherty struck Premier League legend Andy Cole as odd.
The former Manchester United and Newcastle United striker questioned the logic of starting Aurier, who looked destined to leave Spurs over the summer, over Doherty.
“I think it’s very strange,” Cole told talkSport, as transcribed by HITC. “When you chase someone in the summer. You bring them in, especially Doherty.
“Aurier was on the verge of going to AC Milan. That didn’t work out then he [Doherty] is not playing. You have to question it. I know he [Aurier] scored against Manchester United, but me personally, I still think Doherty is the better fullback.
“Now, whether it’s wingback or fullback. I think defensively and attack-wise, he’s still a better fullback – I don’t think Aurier is the one for me.”
Doherty joined Spurs in August for a fee in the region of £15 million, a price considered to be a bargain by many considering the Irishman’s reputation from his time with Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Doherty has made no secret of the fact that he is still getting accustomed to a more defensive full-back role under Mourinho than the wing-back position he occupied for Wolves.
Perhaps Mourinho decided to rest Doherty due to his excursions for the Republic of Ireland during the international break but he likely regrets that decision after Sunday’s result.