Antonio Conte has told Tottenham fans "I'm not stupid" and "I can teach football to many people" in a strong defence of his decision to overlook Djed Spence.

Spence has made only one very brief substitute appearance for Spurs following his move from Middlesbrough in July.

Some Tottenham fans called for the right-back to be given his chance after Emerson Royal was sent off for a reckless challenge on Gabriel Martinelli during a 3-1 north London derby defeat to fierce rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

But Conte made it crystal clear he is not impressed with questions being asked about his approach ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Spurs head coach said: "If we were able to exploit the situation, especially last passes, we would have been able to score many goals against Arsenal.

"Instead, we made really bad mistakes for the last passes because we had the opportunity to go one-to-one, but every team has to think and understand the way to play different games.

"Last season we won 3-0 [against Arsenal], and when you win, the opponent has to explain, but for me it's important to have a plan, to put my players in the best possible situation to exploit their characteristics.

"Otherwise it can happen that you can concede six, seven or eight goals – in England, that happens a lot of times.

"In my career, it never, never happened because I don't like to play open, concede a lot of space and concede six, seven or eight goals. I won in England, I won in my past and I think I can teach football to many people."

He said of Spence: "The fans have to be fans. They can think anything, but I see every day the training sessions. If I don't decide to pick a player, it's because maybe he's not ready.

"We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I try to pick the best team. I'm not stupid, I don't want to lose.

"I try to pick the best team. If they trust me it's okay, if they don't trust me then I'm the coach and I need to take the best decision for Tottenham."

Antonio Conte complained Tottenham let Arsenal off the hook in the north London derby as their dismal run at Emirates Stadium was extended.

The Spurs boss said his team lacked precision in the final third and spurned a host of opportunities to trouble Arsenal before half-time in a game that got away from them after the break.

Goals from Thomas Partey, Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka gave Premier League leaders Arsenal a satisfying 3-1 victory, with Harry Kane's first-half penalty all that Spurs could muster.

That spot-kick brought the visitors briefly level, but Jesus scored early in the second half to restore Arsenal's lead, and a red card for Tottenham's Emerson Royal was followed by Xhaka putting the seal on victory.

Tottenham have now failed to win any of their last 12 Premier League visits to Arsenal (D4 L8), their longest ongoing such run in the competition.

Conte told BT Sport: "I think the first half was in the balance. I think in the first half we had many chances to score. We made a big mistake in the last pass because we had really, really great space and good chances to score.

"In the second half, we conceded early a second goal, and we could do much better in this situation.

"Then with the red card, the game [went]. We tried to play from the back, but it was a really difficult game for us and for the characteristics of our players. I don't want to comment on the referee's decision."

The red card was the fifth Tottenham have received at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League, their most at an away ground in the competition. They also had three previously at Highbury, Arsenal's former home.

Conte's team rarely turned attacking forays into clear chances and had just seven shots, compared to 22 by the home side.

"We had the opportunity to exploit much better in the first half," Conte said. "Instead, we kept the game in the balance, and I repeat that I think we made big mistakes in the last pass and also with easy passes."

The result meant Tottenham missed a chance to overtake their rivals at the top of the table, with Conte saying the lack of preparation time, after the international break, had made his planning difficult.

The same would have been the case for opposite number Mikel Arteta, though.

"Now we have to move on," Conte said. "We lost against Arsenal, but we know which is our role in this league, and we have to try to do our best and try to stay close with the other teams and stay at the top."

"Every defeat has a scar," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham. Some of those scars, one would imagine, are bigger than others.

Saturday's reunion with Spurs would have evoked particularly painful memories for Arsenal players and fans.

The last time the sides had met, in May, Arsenal missed the chance to secure Champions League qualification as they lost 3-0 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. When the Gunners then lost again in their next match at Newcastle United, Tottenham stole in to finish fourth.

Of course, the entire collapse played out before the Amazon cameras for Arsenal's All or Nothing documentary series.

Antonio Conte, the Tottenham coach, is yet to finish the series – although he plans to – but did confirm this week he had watched "that episode".

However, Arteta's team, Conte added, are "better" than in 2021-22 – "not only the quality but also the mentality of Arsenal".

Indeed, Arsenal suffered another damaging 3-0 defeat late last season at Crystal Palace but won 2-0 on their return to Selhurst Park on the opening day of this season. Before the international break, there was a 3-0 win at Brentford that Arsenal players were not quiet in celebrating, having also been humiliated there on their previous visit.

So, the revenge tour rolled on to Tottenham, with Arteta determined to use that May reverse "in the right way", suggesting Arsenal were not just better but better specifically because of that setback.

And for almost 30 minutes at Emirates Stadium, just about everything went to plan.

Arsenal – top of the Premier League table heading into a game against Spurs for the first time since 2007 – played as they had done all season.

The Gunners dominated possession and penned Tottenham in. When Thomas Partey curled in a brilliant opener from 25 yards after 20 minutes, Kane was the only Spurs player ahead of the ball.

It was the fourth time Arsenal had scored this season following a sequence of 10 or more passes – matching Manchester City's league high – and the third in their past two fixtures alone.

An eighth Arsenal goal in the opening half an hour of matches this season represented another Premier League benchmark, but their familiar frailties were also on show before that period was out.

While forcing Spurs back suited Arteta's game plan, it also played into the visitors' hands.

Tottenham lead the league in direct attacks in 2022-23, and the first in a series of rapid counters ended with a rash challenge from Gabriel on Richarlison and a Spurs penalty.

No fixture in Premier League history has seen more spot-kicks, and when Harry Kane coolly converted, it marked his fourth consecutive goal from the spot at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal were suddenly struggling, with only the imperious William Saliba stemming the tide, and in need of the mentality Conte had lauded.

Yet the Spurs coach had also identified the cause of this shift, citing the importance of Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus – "two players who are used to winning" – arriving from City.

Zinchenko was fit to start, while Jesus was refreshed after missing out on the Brazil squad and vowing to "improve" in a bid to earn a World Cup recall.

Arsenal's number nine attempted a game-high four shots – all of them after Spurs had equalised – and there was no surprise when he was the man on hand to prod in a vital second after Hugo Lloris twice failed to gather in front of his goal line.

With Arsenal this time determined not to shoot themselves in the foot, it was Tottenham's turn to lose their composure, seeing Emerson Royal sent off for a poor challenge on Gabriel Martinelli and failing to track the rejuvenated Granit Xhaka as he ran through to add the clinching third.

Coasting thereafter, a partying Emirates crowd welcomed Arsenal's first win against 'big six' opposition this season – key, surely, to hopes to turn a strong start into a genuine title challenge.

Maybe success against City or Liverpool – teams Arteta has beaten only once in 10 combined attempts – will be required to turn the doubters into believers, for the Arsenal manager has now won each of his first three league matches at home to Spurs and had not until now looked like leading a team into contention.

But given the manner in which last season ended, given the self-inflicted adversity before half-time, this 3-1 Arsenal victory could not been as anything other than a significant step forward.

"It's the nicest game of the season by a mile," Arteta said on Friday. Little over 24 hours later, unlike in May, it felt like it.

Second-half goals from Gabriel Jesus and Granit Xhaka fired Premier League leaders Arsenal to a 3-1 win over 10-man Tottenham in an entertaining North London Derby on Saturday.

Arsenal were rewarded for a bright start when Thomas Partey produced a stunning long-range finish after 20 minutes, but Harry Kane swiftly levelled with a penalty.

The impressive Gunners hit the front again when Jesus bundled home following Hugo Lloris' mistake, and Tottenham's hopes of a comeback were dashed when Emerson Royal was sent off. 

Xhaka then drilled into the bottom-right corner as Mikel Arteta's rampant side moved four points clear of Manchester City and consigned their fierce rivals to a first Premier League defeat of the season.

Both goalkeepers were called into action during a lively start, with Lloris tipping Gabriel Martinelli's fierce volley onto his right-hand post before Aaron Ramsdale clawed Richarlison's effort away from the bottom-right corner.

Arsenal enjoyed the better of the early exchanges and took a deserved lead when Partey curled an excellent first-time strike into the top-right corner from outside the area.

But the Gunners contrived to gift Tottenham an equaliser after 31 minutes, with Kane stroking home his 44th London derby goal from the penalty spot after Gabriel Magalhaes clumsily felled Richarlison.

Arsenal required just four minutes of the second half to move back into the lead, as Lloris pushed Bukayo Saka's tame shot straight to Jesus, who gratefully prodded home.

Jesus missed a good chance to extend Arsenal's lead when he failed to convert a header three minutes later, but Spurs' task was made far more difficult when Emerson saw red for a reckless challenge on Martinelli.

Emerson's dismissal allowed Arsenal to push forward in search of a third goal, and they made the points safe when Xhaka fired a low finish beyond Lloris from inside the box.

Antonio Conte has pointed to Arsenal's improvement under Mikel Arteta as proof that "time and patience" is needed to succeed in the Premier League.

Arsenal sit top of the table after winning six of their first seven games this season.

Tottenham boss Conte takes his team to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday for the north London derby, sitting just two places and one point behind the Gunners after their own impressive start to the campaign.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Conte – who has previously spoken about needing time to get Spurs up to the level of other top clubs in England – was keen to shine a light on the patience shown by their rivals.

"I think the club backed Arteta in these years, and you are seeing that when you trust in a person, and Arsenal showed also in a tough period now with Arteta to back him in every moment," he said. "And now they are having good results.

"I think they're doing a good job. But in my opinion, it's always very, very important to go together with the manager and with the club.

"If you want to build something important, you have to go together to have a good relationship and I think the manager in every decision that is going to [be made] has to have a good explanation to the club why I want this [player] and not this player.

"It's right for the manager to show the vision that you have and then the club has to agree with them. I think to have a good relationship, a great link between the manager and the club, for sure you [will] have a much better future than the present."

Conte has been repeatedly questioned about his future at Spurs, especially with rumours of a return to Juventus should the Italian giants part with Massimiliano Allegri.

However, the 53-year-old wants to focus on his job in London, reiterating the need for patience.

"I know that we need to have time and a bit of patience to try to build a path to become seriously competitive with [Manchester] City, Liverpool, Chelsea, [Manchester] United and Arsenal," he added.

"For me, it's important to realise this and to understand that we need time and patience. I enjoy working with this club and it is very important to have a good relationship with the owner, with Fabio [Paratici], to stay in the same line, the same vision.

"Then I know very well that maybe in other clubs you have the possibility to have a path that's not so long."

Only Manchester United, Chelsea and West Ham spent more than Tottenham's £152.91million in the recent transfer window in the Premier League, but Conte maintains the club have to do things differently to their rivals when it comes to improving their squad.

"I hear sometimes that people [praise you for] two or three good results, but it's important to be honest, to know what the reality [is] and to be ready to fight, to be ready to work to try to improve the situation," he said.

"You know very well that you need time and patience to improve the squad slowly. And you have to know that other clubs can go into the transfer market and put [in] a lot of money and you have to do things with common sense and I think maybe it's the right way for a club like Tottenham."

Antonio Conte is relaxed regarding his contract situation at Tottenham, despite his current deal expiring at the end of the season.

Although Spurs have a year's option on Conte's deal – which initially runs until 2023, speculation has suggested he could be tempted to return to Juventus at the end of the campaign.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of Tottenham's trip to north London rivals Arsenal, Conte labelled such reports "disrespectful", and the Italian has now said there is no rush to agree fresh terms. 

"There is not [a] contract, there is not [an] option… if the club and the manager want to work together, they will continue to work together. If they don't want to work together, they finish," Conte told reporters.

"The most important thing for me is that I'm really enjoying working with Tottenham, with these players, especially, and the relationship with Daniel [Levy] and Fabio [Paratici] is good. 

"I'm okay and I think the club is happy about this situation. Now, the most important thing for Tottenham's present and Tottenham's future is to get the best possible result [against Arsenal]."

Asked whether the Premier League's upcoming break for the World Cup could represent the ideal time to engage in talks over a renewal, Conte added: "There doesn't exist a right time.

"It could be tomorrow. It could be the last day of the Premier League season. The most important thing for me and the club is to understand we want to continue together, to go in the same direction. 

"Otherwise, I don't see a problem. I said in the past I didn't need another contract to be sure to stay in a club. 

"Also, for the club, it’s a good investment to have a coach like me and my staff. At the right time, I will take the best decision. At this moment, I'm really happy.

"I don't want to push the club about the situation because it's not the right time. We have just started the season and we have a long time to live together and to understand, to continue to work together."

Antonio Conte described reports linking him with a return to Juventus as "disrespectful" ahead of Tottenham's North London Derby clash with Arsenal.

Spurs are unbeaten in their seven Premier League games this season and trail the Gunners by just one point ahead of Saturday's trip to the Emirates Stadium. 

Should Tottenham avoid defeat at the home of their local rivals, it will be just the second time they have gone unbeaten through their first eight games of a Premier League season, having previously done so in 2016-17.

Conte's work with Tottenham has seen him linked with a return to Juventus, who he led to three consecutive Serie A titles between 2011-12 and 2013-14.

Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure after they recorded just two wins in their opening seven Serie A matches this season, but Conte has rubbished speculation he would be tempted by a return to Turin. 

"This is incredible. In this period I think this is disrespectful for the coach that works in Juventus and for me working in Tottenham," Conte said on Thursday.

"We have just started the season. Many times I have spoken about this topic and I've always said I'm happy and enjoying my time with Tottenham. 

"We have the whole season to find the best solution for the club and for me, and for sure I'm enjoying my time at Tottenham. I have a great relationship with the owner [Daniel Levy] and [sporting director Fabio] Paratici. 

"I don't see any problems at the moment in the future. We both signed the contract. I don't want to listen to someone speaking about this."

Tottenham overcame Arsenal in a tense battle for Champions League qualification last season, going on to claim fourth place after beating the Gunners 3-0 in May.

Conte, however, believes Mikel Arteta's side have improved since then, adding: "For sure Arsenal had a fantastic start, they lost only one game against [Manchester] United. They are showing to be a really good team.

"In the summer they made good signings and improved the team that, don't forget, before the last three games of last season, were four points up on us. 

"We are talking about a really good team that, last season, we did a really good job to overcome in the last three games.

"At the same time, I know the quality of this team, that they are working with Arteta for many years. For me, he's a really good coach. He can have in front of him a great career."

Both Hugo Lloris and Dejan Kulusevski are reportedly doubtful for the trip to Arsenal with minor injuries, and Conte believes the punishing nature of the schedule between now and the World Cup will reveal which sides are genuine title contenders. 

"I have seen that many clubs are having big problems with players that played these two games [in the international break], and for sure Tottenham is one of these clubs," he added.

"You have to understand this was the last game [for the players] to show they deserve to play the World Cup, also for the coaches it was the last period to call the players.

"For sure, to play so many games before the international break, and then again now to play 13 games in 43 days, it's crazy, it's crazy. 

"For sure, we have to face it with injuries. In this period, you understand which are the really competitive squads. 

"This is the moment in which you understand who are the title contenders and the teams that are competitive for Champions League."

Saturday's match will be the first North London Derby since December 2007 to begin with one of the sides sitting top of the Premier League. 

Should Spurs win, it would be the first time in top-flight history that either of the teams has beaten the other to replace them at the top of the table.

Dejan Kulusevski believes Antonio Conte's coaching style has been critical in his personal improvement at Tottenham after stagnating with Massimiliano Allegri's Juventus.

Kulusevski rose to prominence during the 2019-20 season when on loan at Parma from Atalanta, with his form in the first half of that campaign persuading Juve to spend €35million on him.

Although he played 55 Serie A games for the Bianconeri after linking up with them ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, Kulusevski struggled to find the same prominence and consistency he enjoyed at Parma.

Spurs struck a deal in January to take the Sweden international on loan for 18 months, and the agreement will become permanent for £29.2m (€32.6m) if certain sporting criteria are met.

Kulusevski quickly made an impression – from the date of his signing until the end of the season, no player registered more assists than his eight in the Premier League, while Kevin De Bruyne (17), Son Heung-min (20) and Harry Kane (21) were the only three individuals to tally more goal involvements than the Swede's 13 over the same period.

Similarly, his three assists this season is third to only De Bruyne (six) and Bukayo Saka (four) – he is finding his feet, and he does not think he could have found such comfort had he stayed at Juventus.

"In football sometimes things simply go wrong. I have not changed anything about myself in recent months: mentally I went always to go on the pitch and gave my best.

"At Juve, however, it didn't work beyond what I tried to do. I didn't feel great for so many different reasons and when you realise that things are not right, then it's difficult to reverse course by staying in the same environment.

"So, the choice to leave Italy was the best I could have made in that situation.

"In England I am great, everything is better than in Turin, both on and off the pitch. As I said, now I really always want to play football."

Kulusevski has no doubt what the key difference is: Conte.

While he did not want to disparage Allegri, Kulusevski feels he has reacted positively to Conte's demands, which have in turn got the best out of him.

Asked if there was a big difference between Allegri and Conte, the winger said: "Honestly, yes.

"I don't want to say that one is better than the other, because I have great respect for both Allegri and Conte and both have won a lot in their careers, but the job and the ideas of ​​football are completely different.

"At Tottenham, you struggle a lot more in the gym and you can see the results. I can say that from Juve to Spurs, the world changed for me.

"I have never met in my life, even outside of football, a motivated person like Antonio Conte. When he speaks to you, he enters your heart by force.

"At Tottenham my body changed – mainly thanks to the exercises in the gym – in no time. We work a lot every day and better than I did in Italy.

"I love how we train in London and for sure the credit goes to our coach: I'm very happy to play for him."

Marcus Rashford and Erik ten Hag have been nominated for the Premier League's Player and Manager of the Month awards respectively for September. 

Manchester United's upturn in form continued thanks to two wins from two this month ahead of the international break.

Rashford was directly involved in a league-high four goals in September, assisting Jadon Sancho in the 1-0 win over Leicester City before scoring twice and setting up another in the 3-1 win over Arsenal. 

The 24-year-old faces competition from Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, who assisted three goals and created 10 chances – both league-high tallies – in his side's two fixtures.

Belgium international De Bruyne has now been involved in 150 goals across 217 Premier League appearances, scoring 58 and assisting 92.

Phillip Billing, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Jacob Ramsey, of Bournemouth, Tottenham and Aston Villa respectively, are also in the running for the award, as is Alex Iwobi after impressing in a deeper central-midfield role for Everton.

In the Manager of the Month category, Ten Hag is up against Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte and Bournemouth interim manager Gary O'Neil.

O'Neill steadied the ship by helping Bournemouth go unbeaten in their three games this month, collecting five points in the process on the back of last month's 9-0 loss to Liverpool that led to the departure of Scott Parker.

Like Ten Hag's United, Tottenham took a maximum six points in September to match their best ever start to a Premier League season.

The winners of the awards will be announced next week. 

Arguably the most in-demand teenager in world football, Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham reportedly has Real Madrid as his preferred destination.

Bellingham, who only turned 19 in June, has already racked up 68 Bundesliga appearances and 18 Champions League games since arriving from Birmingham City ahead of the 2020-21 season. He has scored in both of his Champions League games this campaign, including one against Manchester City.

While he has already been awarded 15 senior international caps for England, and is preparing for his first World Cup, Spain's El Chiringuito TV has made the shocking claim that Bellingham will shun the Premier League altogether and head to Madrid.

 

TOP STORY – SPANISH MEDIA BELIEVES BELLINGHAM HAS CHOSEN REAL MADRID

It has been strongly suggested this will be Bellingham's last season with Dortmund, with Liverpool being consistently linked through this past transfer window, and even querying to see if he would be available in January.

His status as one of England's top teenagers has guaranteed the interest of all of the Premier League's top sides, although a report from The Athletic UK claims Dortmund will hold firm at an asking price of €150million, leaving few with the capabilities to get a deal done.

One team guaranteed to have the required spending power are Spanish giants Madrid, and while his popularity in England is already locked in due to his international status, it might be a case of believing his best chance of becoming a truly transcendent star in the game is to do it at one of the traditional powerhouse clubs.

With that being said, Liverpool have been proactive in their chase of Bellingham, and both they and Manchester City boast the necessary level of worldwide fame, recent success and deep pockets to convince any budding superstar that they are the right choice.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sport is reporting Barcelona's Sergio Busquets will head to MLS and join Inter Miami at the end of the season.

– According to Calciomercato, Milan will make a move for Salzburg striker Noah Okafor in January as their forward depth has been impacted through injuries.

– Sports Today claims Juventus have been in contact with Tottenham's Antonio Conte as they weigh up potentially parting ways with Massimiliano Allegri, with Conte said to be open to the idea after this season.

Arsenal are being linked with 24-year-old Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli, who has reportedly not impressed Allegri since arriving from Sassuolo, according to Calciomercato.

– L'Equipe is reporting that Ousmane Dembele – who was signed for a base fee of €105m in 2017 – has a €50m release clause in his new contract that will be active at the end of the season, with Dembele set to receive half of that €50m if a deal gets done to compensate him for accepting no signing bonus.

Tottenham centre-back Eric Dier heaped praise on coach Antonio Conte for helping to resurrect his international career ahead of the World Cup.

Dier, 28, has 45 senior caps for England since debuting in 2015, but it has been almost two years since he last represented his country in a UEFA Nations League win against Iceland in November 2020.

However, after tallying 35 Premier League appearances this past campaign, Dier has become a crucial part of Conte's three centre-back lineup, playing every minute of Tottenham's seven unbeaten matches this season (5W, 2D).

Speaking to the media about how he feels he has evolved since his last national call-up, Dier gave plenty of credit to Conte for changing the way he approaches his game.

"I don’t want to sound like a teacher’s pet but [Conte] has done a lot for me," he said. "In every way he has done a lot for me. 

"He has had a great effect on me in every aspect. Tactically, physically, mentally. My approach.

"Not just the manager but all his staff. He is very demanding, but I really enjoy that. Ever since he arrived, I have never learnt so much in this year. I don’t think I have learnt as much before as I have now with him.

"He is the godfather of that system so I feel like with him you’re constantly learning and evolving within that system, constantly adding new things – once we learn one thing we’re onto the next. 

"I think he probably gave me my belief back a little bit as well."

Dier took things a step further and said he does not just feel he has recaptured his previous form, but he has now reached a new level.

"I think it was my most difficult season when I did miss out on the Euros, [but] I don’t think it was as bad a season as it is made out to be," he said. "Nowhere near.

"But now I think I’ve reached my best level in my career, not just this season but last season as well. I think I’m getting better and I think I can get better."

With five matches required to bring up his half-century in an England shirt, Dier said he would be lying if it was not on his mind.

"I’ve seen they’ve got a board up now in the reception of the hotel of all the people who have made 50 and 100," he said. "It’s a dream to be able to reach that.

"It would mean a lot. It’s something that when I wasn’t in the squad it was playing on my mind that I was so close to it. That did annoy me. I would love to be able to get to that kind of milestone.

"I’m very happy… I’m very proud of making it back, I just don’t like dramatising it too much. I play football, you know?"

Eric Dier has thanked Antonio Conte and his Tottenham team-mates for helping him earn a recall to the England squad, which he hopes is "just a starting point".

Spurs defender Dier has been called up by Gareth Southgate for the upcoming Nations League matches with Italy and Germany.

The most recent of his 45 caps came in November 2020, but an upturn in form at club level has Dier in contention for a World Cup spot.

Dier's improved performances have coincided with the appointment of Conte last November, and the 28-year-old is confident he can continue his upward trajectory. 

"I am just looking forward to going and I think as my manager [Conte] said during the week, for me it is my ambition for this just to be a starting point for me," he said. 

"I think I can still do a lot more. Honestly, [a recall] wasn't what I was thinking about. 

"I was just thinking about being as good a player as I can be for Tottenham and everything else that happens is a consequence of that.

"I think that's the only thing I had to focus on and the only thing that was in my control. Everything else that happens, happens.

"I'm just thankful for the way my team-mates, coaching staff and everyone at Tottenham has supported me, pushed me and tried to help me get back to the national team."

Dier started all four of England's matches at Euro 2016 and was used six times at the 2018 World Cup, but he was not part of Southgate's squad for Euro 2020.

He is back involved with the Three Lions after performing at a consistent level across Tottenham's nine games this season, during which he has scored twice.

The most recent of those goals came in Saturday's 6-2 win against Leicester City, with Son Heung-min grabbing the headlines after scoring a 13-minute hat-trick.

And Dier joked Son, who was dropped for the first time this season after failing to score in his first eight outings, should start on the substitutes' bench regularly.

"We told him the manager should drop him more often if he scores a hat-trick every half an hour," Dier said.

"Everyone is delighted for him. Obviously for someone who lives for scoring goals it has been a difficult start to the season.

"I think that's no secret. But he's come back in an emphatic way today – the floodgates have opened."

Antonio Conte has warned his Tottenham forwards they will have to get used to being rotated if the club is to force its way into the elite of world football. 

The Italian opted to replace Son Heung-min with Richarlison from the start in Saturday's Premier League clash with Leicester City after the South Korean had failed to score in his first eight appearances of the season.

That decision paid off handsomely as Son came off the bench to score a sensational hat-trick as Spurs thrashed Brendan Rodgers' rock-bottom side 6-2.

Son became the first Tottenham player to score a Premier League hat-trick as a substitute, while he was just the seventh player to do so overall in the competition.

Conte said he will continue to shuffle his pack as the season progresses, and wants his forwards to be ready to make an impact when they are called upon.

"People do not understand that for the coach to manage this type of situation it is not easy," Conte said. "It's not easy because sometimes you prefer to play with 13 players, but in some moments I have to take important decisions.

"The players know very well that I want to win and every decision is for the best of the team, and also for the best of the player, to protect the players.

"We have just started this path with the club. To have Richarlison up front, with Harry [Kane], Sonny, Deki [Dejan Kulusevski] and also Lucas [Moura], then there is [Bryan] Gil, who is a good prospect and young, it means the situation gives me the possibility to rotate.

"When we start to play after the international break, 12 games in a row, for sure, I will rotate. The only thing I ask my players is that they don't drop the level when we rotate. We always want a strong team because we want to fight for every competition.

"We have just started, but if the players want to play for something important, to lift a trophy, they have to understand this. Otherwise, they continue to play every game, but they don't go to win anything. This is clear. Clear.

"It happened in the past here and I want to try and change it. I want to bring this team to another level. I will try to do my best. But I'm not worried about this. For sure, it's not easy. It's not simple. But I have to get the best decision in every moment.

"If you want to stay in a team with ambition, you have to accept this type of situation. Otherwise, you have to go to a medium team, and then you are sure you will play every game. And then it will be very difficult to lift a trophy in this way."

Tottenham are away to north London rivals Arsenal in the Premier League immediately after the international break, before visiting Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League.

Son Heung-min felt he had "disappointed" his Tottenham team-mates before opening this season's account with a dazzling hat-trick against Leicester City.

The South Korea international came off the bench in the second half of Saturday's Premier League game to deliver a freewheeling performance in what became a 6-2 rout of the Foxes.

Having been replaced in the starting line-up by Dejan Kulusevski, Son's performance as substitute was a timely reminder of his talent.

In eight previous games this season, including two in the Champions League, Son had failed to score and managed only one assist.

Speaking after a treble that included two stunning long-range finishes, last season's Golden Boot joint-winner said the feat left him emotional, after several weeks of feeling he had let the club down.

"It was a top performance," Son told Sky Sports. "The way I play, I can do much better than I have. I have been disappointed. I wanted to do my best for the team. I will always try to do that when I play.

"I'm getting emotional [about the support] to be honest. There has been amazing support, and I've always felt like I've disappointed my team-mates and fans with my performances. They have always been supporting me."

Son's feat made him the seventh player in the competition's history to score a hat-trick after coming on as a substitute, and helped push Tottenham joint-top of the table with Manchester City, albeit trailing on goal difference.

With 17 points from seven games and an unbeaten domestic record to boot, Antonio Conte's side have matched their best start to a Premier League season, set in 2016-17 when they finished behind their current boss during his time at Chelsea.

The Italian head coach certainly was happy to see Son turn the page, with Conte saying: "I am really happy for Sonny today, you know what I think of the player.

"I said to him, 'If you're going to score three goals in 30 minutes, maybe we can repeat this experiment', but I was joking.

"I'm lucky, I have a really good group of players, that are really good people. We have to start thinking in a different way if we are going to make the next step."

Son Heung-min was dropped to the bench for Tottenham's Premier League game against Leicester City on Saturday.

The South Korea forward was the joint-top scorer in the English top flight last season with 23 goals – level with Mohamed Salah – but has failed to build on that momentum this term.

Son has not scored in his six league appearances, registering just one assist, while no player has registered more shots without finding the net (17).

Head coach Antonio Conte, who said no player was "undroppable" following Spurs' Champions League defeat by Sporting CP in midweek, opted to name the forward on the bench for the visit of Leicester.

Dejan Kulusevski started, with Ryan Sessegnon, Davinson Sanchez and Clement Lenglet also included. Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal dropped to the bench, with Ben Davies not included in the squad.

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