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‘Not good enough’ – Michael Owen criticises Matt Doherty after derby defeat

Matt Doherty

Michael Owen criticised Matt Doherty for his performance against Arsenal in Sunday’s North London derby.

Despite taking the lead at the Emirates, Spurs fell to a 2-1 defeat to their local rivals thanks to goals from Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard and Alexandre Lacazette.

Analysing the game for Premier League Productions, Michael Owen insisted that Matt Doherty is simply not good enough defensively to be entrusted to start at right-back for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Owen admitted that Doherty, who made his name at right wing-back for Wolverhampton Wanderers, didn’t receive enough protection on Sunday but the Liverpool legend remains unconvinced by Doherty’s defensive skills.

“Right from the start. There was so much space,” Owen said of the area Doherty was responsible for.

“Kieran Tierney getting loads of opportunities down that left-hand side. And Doherty, I think everybody seen him as a wing-back for Wolves and playing fantastically well as that.

“But I really don’t think he’s a right-back. He’s not a good enough defender.

“Granted that he didn’t get much help from the likes of Gareth Bale. And a lot of the time, it was Hojbjerg who was going to double up with him.

“But virtually every promising Arsenal attack came from that left-hand side of Arsenal’s.”

Doherty recently opened up on his struggles since last August’s move from Molineux but the Irishman was hopeful that he had started to turn the corner for Spurs.

Mourinho Matt Doherty

The 29-year-old claimed that the right-back role is not as foreign to him as some make out but Doherty did concede that he needs to improve in that position.

After Sunday’s defeat, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho accused some of his big players of hiding against Arsenal although he stopped short of naming names.

Spurs find themselves in seventh place in the Premier League table, six points outside the top four as the business end of the season approaches.

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