There was a lot to like in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday. But there were a few scary moments, and none scarier than when Spurs fullback Destiny Udogie suddenly went down with what appeared to be an injury with no one around him.
You never want to see something like that happen to a footballer, because when it does it generally means that they’ve noticed something about their body that is serious enough that they don’t feel like they want to play through it. Destiny immediately went to ground and put his shirt over his face in a way that had the Carty Free writer’s room yelling NO NO NO NO NO NO.
But the good news is that, after some treatment by the Spurs physios, Udogie walked off the pitch under his own power, replaced in the lineup by Ben Davies. And in his post-match presser, Spurs head coach Ange Postecoglou said that the injury was not especially serious and that he was subbed off as a precautionary measure.
“I think he just kicked the ground from what I understand. He didn’t want to come off but at that stage the way the rules are at the moment they go off for 30 seconds and I thought it was better putting Benny on and keeping the tempo up in the game for us. Just speaking to him now he’s fine.”
Whew. Udogie has been one of the standout performers in Spurs’ opening three games of the season. You never want to lose players to injury, but especially young players who are on a good run of form. Not that Ben Davies would’ve been a poor choice (he was fine as a sub) but you’d have to think that it might change the way Spurs approach games going forward. Thankfully it seems Udogie is going to be okay.
Elsewhere, Postecoglou expressed confidence in striker Richarlison, who went another match without scoring, though he unluckily missed an excellent chance in the first half. Richy seemed to get inside his own head and went off the rails a bit in the second half, and was eventually replaced by Ivan Perisic, with Son Heung-Min moving to the central forward position.
But Ange didn’t seem too upset or concerned about Richy, when asked about him.
“That’s part of life, mate, part of your football career. You’re going to go through moments. He just needs to work hard, keep contributing to the team and contributing to us being successful and overcoming the challenges we have. There’s no time in this game for people to dwell or think introspectively about where they are.
“Richy will work hard, he’s a good footballer, he’ll get his goals. What’s more important for me is that he keeps contributing to what we do as a team because ultimately we’re not going to get to where we want to on the back of one player scoring goals.”
Spurs’ next match is this coming Tuesday, away at Fulham in the League Cup. Ange confirmed that he’s likely going to rotate his squad for this match, not only to give some members of his team today a rest but also to give opportunities to others who have been waiting patiently for their chance to play.
“Yeah we’ll make some changes. We’ve got some guys who are really keen to play and are working hard in training. And the way we play takes a lot out of us. It’s a short turnaround and also another game the following week. We’ll make some changes, but because we want to win the game. That’s why we’re making changes. Not because I want to give guys a game. Hopefully by making the changes we maintain the intensity and tempo and quality of our game.”
Spurs kick off at Fulham in the Carabao Cup this coming Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. ET, 7:45 p.m. UK. The match is not televised in the USA or UK, but will be streamed in the United States on ESPN+