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Thursday, January 27, 2022

What Does Conte’s Early Games Tell us about Spurs?

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Antonio Conte has achieved a lofty status in the world of football. After elevating Juventus back to the title in 2012 and subsequently winning three accolades in a row, he was considered one of the best managers in the world. Also, he showed he could do it at other clubs by winning the league with Chelsea and Inter. 

His wins have provided evidence of his exceptional talent in galvanising a squad. Nevertheless, it was a shock for some football fans that Spurs could land the Italian due to their lack of winning pedigree. However, what will Conte bring to Spurs?

Formation

Conte’s formation shouldn’t bring too many surprises. He has brought titles to the last three clubs he has managed with his three at the back system. A simple formation change may not get Spurs challenging for the title, but it could push them for the top-four. For those betting on football, bookmakers currently have Spurs placed as seventh-favourites with 6/1 odds to finish in the top four, behind the likes of West Ham at 7/2. Spurs have a lot of ground to gain, but there is still time to do it. As the new football tips suggest, Conte has based his attacking layout and subsequent midfield around the players available at his disposal. It appears he will go with a 3-4-3, with the attacking trio of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, and most likely Lucas Moura leading the charge. 

Style of Play

The formation allows Kane to drop into the 10-role, while the wide forwards make intelligent runs. Having three forwards means that he goes with a midfield two and could look for a partnership that offers solidity and passing range. 

What is also noteworthy is the use of Ben Davies as a left-sided centre back. Davies could be expected to make underlapping runs and join build-up play, while the fullbacks still provide the width.

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Although fans can credit Conte’s team for their counter-attacking prowess, it would be foolish to write them off as a mere defensive team. He likes his sides to have balance and not simply move up and down. They should offer attractive football that is built on a bed of stability. Having ball-playing centre backs is essential in playing out from the back, while one of his midfielders can also drop to pick up possession. When attacking, the fullbacks act as wingers but drop to form a back five out of possession, and his tactics can be very physically demanding. 

Improved Morality

Spurs need a lift in their squad. Since their last season under Mauricio Pochettino, there appears to be a cloud hanging over the club. The last two managers couldn’t raise spurs out of this slump, and it seems that if handled correctly, Conte could have a sleeping giant on his hands. 

People often paint Conte in a negative light, implying that he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his players because he is so demanding. Fans point to how when he leaves a club, it usually appears to end bitterly. However, Conte wants to win, and he seems to fall out with the board only when they don’t continue to back him after winning them silverware. Winning is difficult, especially in England. However, Spurs have signed him on the back of assuring him that they will fund his project. Conte is more than capable of galvanising this group of players. With some signings coming into the talent already there, they could go on to finally lift a trophy. 

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