Antonio Conte needs to give Tottenham fans something to cheer about this weekend when they return to Premier League action against Nottingham Forest. Following a nightmare seven days that saw them knocked out of both the FA Cup and Champions League, Spurs have to end the week on a positive.
Nothing will make up for their meek cup exits, though. as they were quite simply unacceptable. However, that is now in the past and Tottenham must look forward if they are to try and finish the season on a high.
Amid the dark clouds circling Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at present, Conte's side are fourth and have a three-point lead over Liverpool having played one game more in the race for a Champions League spot. Another top-four finish is well within Spurs' grasp but that will only be a possibility if there is an upturn in form and the team get out of this current rut.
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Nottingham Forest could well be the ideal opponents at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they have not won in their last four Premier League games. The East Midlands club are also bottom of the Premier League table for away form having one won, drawn three and lost eight of their 12 fixtures on the road, scoring three goals and conceding 29 in the process.
Key to Tottenham getting back on track after their AC Milan disappointment will be Conte freshening his side up as they failed to lay a glove on the Rossoneri on Wednesday evening. Spurs' front three did not do anything to impact the game and the head coach could have made an attacking alteration long before Richarlison entered the fray on 70 minutes.
Once again, Tottenham fans were left questioning the decision to sign Arnaut Danjuma in January as he cut a forlorn figure on the substitutes' bench when the team desperately needed a goal. This, after all, was a player who had scored six goals for Villarreal in Europe's premier competition 12 months ago, with two of those strikes coming in knockout round games against Juventus and Bayern Munich as the Yellow Submarines reached the semi-finals against the odds.
Many have likened Danjuma's current situation at Tottenham to that of Djed Spence earlier in the season as opportunities have just not come his way despite the struggles of others ahead of him in the pecking order. Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski had no say on the AC Milan encounter and the introduction of Danjuma early in the second half could have given their opponents something to really think about as he would have been doing everything possible in the final third to prove his point to Conte and drag Spurs kicking and screaming to the next round.
As things stand, the player may even now be questioning why he didn't join Everton on loan in January as initially planned going on his 47 minutes across his four Tottenham appearances. The Toffees are currently struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table but the minutes the Netherlands international currently craves would have been there.
Given the need to change things about this weekend when Forest visit the capital, Conte could do a whole lot worse than to give Danjuma his first start in a Tottenham shirt. Son and Kulusevski have just not produced in an attacking sense of late and look a shadow of the players that wowed 12 months ago, thus giving the boss the perfect opportunity to mix things up.
Richarlison will be hoping he is at the front of the queue to come into the side after starting on the bench against Milan, although Conte may now think otherwise after the player's explosive post-match interview in which he hit out at his lack of playing time. Then there is Lucas Moura who could quite easily come into the side if there is to be a change to the front three despite the fact that he is set to depart Spurs come the end of his contract in the summer.
The Brazilian was given the nod over Danjuma in the recent FA Cup defeat at Sheffield United, before then coming on ahead of the January signing and Richarlison in last Saturday's loss vs Wolves as they chased a goal. Conte cannot keep persisting with the same front three in the hope that Son and Kulusevski will all of a sudden snap out of their struggles and instantly rediscover their best form to transform the team.
That has not been the case for the vast majority of the season and we're now approaching the middle of March. In order for Tottenham to try and put things right after the most disastrous of weeks, Conte has to change things against Nottingham Forest.
Spurs do have a kind run of games coming up, with four of their next five Premier League opponents very much in a relegation scrap, and it could finally open up the door for Danjuma to come in from the cold. That will all come down to Conte's thinking, though, and making a U-turn regarding his new signing.
Now is the time for the Tottenham head coach to play his Danjuma wildcard. Whether or not he does that is another thing.
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