July 1, 2022

how Antonio Conte got Tottenham back on track

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First successful steps. Without a club since leaving Inter Milan last summer after winning the Italian league title, Antonio Conte was waiting for the right challenge to bounce back. He found him on November 2, agreeing to sit on the bench of a drifting Tottenham side. Almost two months after his induction, the record of the 52-year-old Italian technician is rather good, with in particular an almost flawless course in the championship.

Antonio Conte is in fact still undefeated after 6 Premier League games (4 wins, 2 draws) led with the North London club. A good series which allowed Tottenham to raise the bar in the ranking of the elite of English football: the Spurs are in 5th position with 29 points and only 16 games played over the 19 PL days already contested. Three successes in their late matches that would allow them to integrate the top 4 and eject their eternal rival Arsenal, while coming back to three short lengths of Chelsea and Liverpool. If the players are the same as those available to Nuno Espirito Santo, the situation on the meadow is different.

The transition to 3-4-3 beneficial to Tottenham

The Transalpine has clearly breathed new life into this group and behaviors, even mentalities, have evolved in the transition between the two coaches. The move to 3-4-3 for this team also did a lot of good, bringing more balance, both defensively and offensively. Antonio Conte can no longer rely on Christian Romero, victim of an ischial injury on November 17 with Argentina and who will not be back until January or February 2022. But behind, the association between Eric Dier and Ben Davies is working well, Japhet Tanganga or Davinson Sanchez ensuring the interim at their side (3 goals conceded in 6 games, 4 clean sheets since the arrival of Conte).

In the middle, the indebted Pierre-Emile Højbjerg reigns as boss in the middle and seems to be found, with the young Oliver Skipp having found a second wind next to him. On the sides, Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon have perfectly assimilated the instructions to be applied in this role of piston. But above all, in attack, the Lucas-Son-Kane trio are performing and seem to have found their cruising speed. The proof: the three offensive elements are involved in 9 of the 12 goals scored by Tottenham in the Premier League since the beginning of November.

A Kane found

One of the men symbolizing this offensive success is none other than Harry Kane. England’s top scorer and assist in the 20-21 season has only been a shadow of himself at club since his abortive move to Manchester City last summer. With the Italian technician, he regained his self-confidence, going through games less like a ghost strutting around the meadow and even finding the net (2 goals in the last 2 games).

“Harry showed me great availability and showed me that he is fully involved in the Tottenham project. I see him every day and I see that he is happy. He behaves as a leader on the pitch, in the locker room and during training sessions in a fantastic way. I am happy with what I see every day ”, explained in recent days the coach of the Spurs about the captain of the Three Lions.

Failure in C4 is a stain but …

The only downside to Antonio Conte: the elimination of his team in the Europa League Conference. A fact that remains to be taken with a grain of salt. Decimated by the Covid-19, the London club could not accommodate Stade Rennais FC on December 9, before losing this meeting on the green carpet and therefore seeing Vitesse Arnhem finish second in group G and therefore slip away in play-offs of the direct elimination phase in C4. Nothing says Spurs would have qualified but they still had a good chance of making it on the pitch. Antonio Conte does not lose hope on this issue, just to confirm on the European scene his very remarkable debut for his second adventure in His Majesty’s Kingdom.