Spurs 21/22: Conte? Conte!!

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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Ironically, if it is Conte (and I won’t believe it until he’s literally kicking dele in the ass), he’ll probably play a back 3, which is what Nuno used to do but was talked out of at Tottenham.
They even had Doherty, who excelled as a wingback in Nuno's back three at Wolves. Why not give it a go?

Where is Doherty now - is he hurt? I have heard nothing about him.
 

Kliq

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Doherty has been pretty much DOA since he came in and only plays in lower-stakes cup games now. You would think Nuno would have used him more often but the fact that he didn't probably says a lot about where he currently is as a player. I don't think he will be long for the team.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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IMO, the big question if he comes will be how he makes it work in the middle of the park. His various teams have had different tweaks but on some level they are all build around three disciplined CBs at the back, runners at wing back, a focal point central striker, and then four players in the middle in either a box or a tilted diamond and those four players have been the engine of each of his sides - at Juventus it was usually Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal, and Marchisio; at Chelsea Matic, Kante, Hazard, and Pedro/Willian; at Inter Brozovic, Barella, Lautaro, and Vidal/Eriksen. Those quartets were each full of truly top quality players. Conte has been really good at getting performances out of ordinary players in the other roles - very pedestrian wingbacks like Victor Moses or Stefan Lichsteiner or an aging Perisic or Ashley Young, solid enough performances from unexceptional CBs like an aging Gary Cahill, strikers like Mirko Vucinic. But he has always had multiple genuinely world class players in the middle.
By the standard where you're saying he's only using one striker, then one of those players is Son (or he's the second striker if you count it that way), so you're covered for world class there.

The real CM type midfielders are the trick here. Ndombele seems like the one you'd hope to hit that level, particularly under someone who knew how to get a tune out of Pogba. Hojberg seems a good bet to be part of it, then who knows? Get Lo Celso or Dele functioning? Steal Brozovic from Inter?
 

Zososoxfan

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Conte would be a coup. No question he is one of the best in the business. I don't think he is the guy to build a new team but if Levy is hellbent on trying to make it work with this group of players then you won't do better than Conte.

IMO, the big question if he comes will be how he makes it work in the middle of the park. His various teams have had different tweaks but on some level they are all build around three disciplined CBs at the back, runners at wing back, a focal point central striker, and then four players in the middle in either a box or a tilted diamond and those four players have been the engine of each of his sides - at Juventus it was usually Pirlo, Pogba, Vidal, and Marchisio; at Chelsea Matic, Kante, Hazard, and Pedro/Willian; at Inter Brozovic, Barella, Lautaro, and Vidal/Eriksen. Those quartets were each full of truly top quality players. Conte has been really good at getting performances out of ordinary players in the other roles - very pedestrian wingbacks like Victor Moses or Stefan Lichsteiner or an aging Perisic or Ashley Young, solid enough performances from unexceptional CBs like an aging Gary Cahill, strikers like Mirko Vucinic. But he has always had multiple genuinely world class players in the middle.
Maybe I'm wearing Lillywhite-tinted glasses, but I think a system built around the best XI should yield a good (top 6) side:

Hugo
Royal-Sanchez/Dier-Romero-Ruguilon
Skipp-Hoj
Tanguy-GLC
Kane-Son

If Conte thinks Dier AND Sanchez are capable enough to be in a Back 3, then you can take one of the MFs off. But if Conte wants to play 3 ATB, I think he's close to having the players he needs.
 

OCST

Sunny von Bulow
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By the standard where you're saying he's only using one striker, then one of those players is Son (or he's the second striker if you count it that way), so you're covered for world class there.

The real CM type midfielders are the trick here. Ndombele seems like the one you'd hope to hit that level, particularly under someone who knew how to get a tune out of Pogba. Hojberg seems a good bet to be part of it, then who knows? Get Lo Celso or Dele functioning? Steal Brozovic from Inter?
these may not be starting midfielders for a truly world-class side, but Spurs should be getting more out of them than they are.

Doherty has been pretty much DOA since he came in and only plays in lower-stakes cup games now. You would think Nuno would have used him more often but the fact that he didn't probably says a lot about where he currently is as a player. I don't think he will be long for the team.
another case where less is less. Doherty was a very good player at Wolves, among the best in the league at his position. Unless there's a health issue his quality wouldn't have dropped off a cliff.
 

coremiller

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these may not be starting midfielders for a truly world-class side, but Spurs should be getting more out of them than they are.



another case where less is less. Doherty was a very good player at Wolves, among the best in the league at his position. Unless there's a health issue his quality wouldn't have dropped off a cliff.
Doherty was effective at Wolves in an unusual role, as an attacking wingback whose attacking contributions were more about making late runs into the box than providing width and crosses. He could do this because Wolves generally played a back 3 + multiple DMs that limited Doherty's defensive responsibilities and allowed him to get forward. Moved out of that particular system, Doherty has not been good at all.
 

DJnVa

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Also, the bad start to the season makes it look even worse that they didn't sell Kane in the summer. What's the point of keeping him if you're going to finish mid-table? They should have taken the money and hired a manager committed to a 2-3 year project built around the younger talent.
One of the reports today said that by NOT selling Kane, Conte is convinced Levy wants a winner.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Maybe I'm wearing Lillywhite-tinted glasses, but I think a system built around the best XI should yield a good (top 6) side:

Hugo
Royal-Sanchez/Dier-Romero-Ruguilon
Skipp-Hoj
Tanguy-GLC
Kane-Son

If Conte thinks Dier AND Sanchez are capable enough to be in a Back 3, then you can take one of the MFs off. But if Conte wants to play 3 ATB, I think he's close to having the players he needs.
I think Conte will want three or four players, either in January or next summer:

-Experienced, ball playing CB to play in the middle of a back three.
-Deep lying playmaker CM
-High energy all action box-to-box midfielder
-Backup striker

He could give existing players at Spurs a chance to show they can play one of these roles but to me they are the most obvious areas where the squad might fall short of what he has preferred in the past.

I don't think there will be an issue at wingback. Good options on the left and I wouldn't be surprised to see him give Lucas or Bergwijn a chance on the right, along with Emerson/Doherty. Either Kane/Son will be the focal point striker and the other will drop deeper. And all of Romero, Dier, and Sanchez strike me as guys who would be best on the outside of a back three.
 

scott bankheadcase

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I think Conte will want three or four players, either in January or next summer:

-Experienced, ball playing CB to play in the middle of a back three.
-Deep lying playmaker CM
-High energy all action box-to-box midfielder
-Backup striker

He could give existing players at Spurs a chance to show they can play one of these roles but to me they are the most obvious areas where the squad might fall short of what he has preferred in the past.

I don't think there will be an issue at wingback. Good options on the left and I wouldn't be surprised to see him give Lucas or Bergwijn a chance on the right, along with Emerson/Doherty. Either Kane/Son will be the focal point striker and the other will drop deeper. And all of Romero, Dier, and Sanchez strike me as guys who would be best on the outside of a back three.
I actually think Romero has the skill set to play the middle of his back 3. But he’ll definitely want to upgrade both sides though.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I actually think Romero has the skill set to play the middle of his back 3. But he’ll definitely want to upgrade both sides though.
I rate Romero highly but from what I know he played largely on the side at Atalanta and from the little I have seen he seems very front footed and proactive when defending. There's nothing wrong with that in the abstract. But the guys Conte has historically preferred in the middle have been veteran types who stay home and read the game when out of possession and then are very composed with the ball in possession - he had Barzagli at Juve and also used Bonucci there at times, his first act when going to Chelsea was buying David Luiz and putting him in the center of his defense, and at Inter he had Stefan De Vrij. He has never used a player as young or as aggressive as Romero in that role. I would think that Dier is the closest fit but I'm not sure he is really steady and reliable enough.
 

Gunfighter 09

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View: https://twitter.com/FabrizioRomano/status/1455307882782679051


Antonio Conte to Tottenham, confirmed and here we go. The contract until June 2023 will be signed on Tuesday. The verbal agreement is now completed. He’s back in the Premier League. THFC Fabio Paratici wanted him since June and changed Conte’s mind. Incredible work. #Conte
So, I guess this is actually happening. I somehow doubt that Paratici's salesmanship is what sold Conte. I do look forward to a fun transfer window in January.

My brothers (who root for other London based EPL teams) are having a bunch of fun recycling my Mourinho hiring reaction texts for a laugh. Jerks.
 
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coremiller

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I'm sure there's a good behind-the-scenes story about why Conte turned them down in the summer only to take the job now; we'll see if it comes out. But this is definitely an improvement, even if it's short term. Conte will almost certainly make them better while he's here.
 

thehitcat

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we call that a BIG SAMMY
Oh my god this is perfect!! So what a January window this is going to be with Newcastle potentially needing to buy to keep themselves in the topflight and Spurs potentially making moves for Conte. Two potential heavyweights slugging it out for whoever is available.
 

Zososoxfan

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FUCK and YES. Conte is an elite manager that WILL whip this squad into the best shape possible and he will get the most out of their potential. Now, that potential may just be top 6, but any underachievement will be on the players. January window will be a storm with the duo Italiano but it'll be fun for supporters. I'm so very curious to see what team he trots out there for Conference as well as what XI he rolls out in a month once he's had a chance to see the players train and is more familiar with them. Methinks we'll get a lot of insight quickly.

GIDDYUP, or ANDIAMO!!
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Conte and Ndombele---we're either about to get the world-class talent we were hoping for or we're selling him in 2 months.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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"Spurs are 5th in EPL in completed passes into the final third. They are 15th in EPL in completed passes into the box."

That's a problem.

 

scott bankheadcase

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Evidently, because of Brexit and work visas, he can't "run" training today.

But he's going to watch it. I'm sure he'll just sit there and not say a word.
 

veritas

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Didn’t believe it until it was confirmed. Conte is an elite manager, I have no idea why he wants the Spurs job but I am thrilled.

I say this every time there is a new manager, but is this the one who makes Lucas a wingback? Victor Moses thrived there in the past for Conte and Ivan freaking Peresic last season.

I'm assuming he'll play a back three, although I think many assumed Nuno would too, given his history and that didn't happen. I think one change we'll see is breaking up Høj and Skipp unless they're playing out a lead. I think they're both good players but neither does enough to get the ball forward. Especially in front of a back three, you can't have that much dull in a midfield together. Which is why I don't get the Kessie rumors, he seems like another of that type of player.

My best guess is a 3-5-2 with Ndombele and Lo Celso as free 8s, something that hasn't worked at all in a 4-3-3, but could in Conte's system. The rest of the lineup fills itself out from that point, other than which of the many mediocre CBs play with Romero.
 

coremiller

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The problem with a back 3 at Spurs right now is that you need at least one of those three to be involved in distribution/buildup/ball progression. Otherwise you're not solving the Skipp/Hojbjerg condundrum where they can never pass the ball forward. This was the David Luiz role at Chelsea. When Spurs played a back 3 successfully a few years ago, they had Toby and Jan in the back 3 who were both excellent passers. They don't have any CBs that good on the ball right now..
 

Zososoxfan

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I'd say Romero is good, and Dier is decent, but the general point is well taken. Perhaps there's a way to integrate the 433 concept where the DMF (think Busquets) drops into a back 3 in possession, while the FBs join the MF.
 

DJnVa

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The problem with a back 3 at Spurs right now is that you need at least one of those three to be involved in distribution/buildup/ball progression. Otherwise you're not solving the Skipp/Hojbjerg condundrum where they can never pass the ball forward. This was the David Luiz role at Chelsea. When Spurs played a back 3 successfully a few years ago, they had Toby and Jan in the back 3 who were both excellent passers. They don't have any CBs that good on the ball right now..
The video I posted upthread seems to think Hojbjerg could actually do this if he's asked to--he did it in the Euros after Eriksen went down.
 

coremiller

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It's certainly possible that Hojbjerg and Skipp and Dier would show more passing range if they played in a team that actually implemented a functional possession structure.
 
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The problem with a back 3 at Spurs right now is that you need at least one of those three to be involved in distribution/buildup/ball progression. Otherwise you're not solving the Skipp/Hojbjerg condundrum where they can never pass the ball forward. This was the David Luiz role at Chelsea. When Spurs played a back 3 successfully a few years ago, they had Toby and Jan in the back 3 who were both excellent passers. They don't have any CBs that good on the ball right now..
so we're saying David Luiz returns to London?

also Harry Kane abandons Spurs Exit
 

DJnVa

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Looks like Conte will be in the dugout today for the match against Vitesse.

Gil is not available.
 

Zososoxfan

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Probably not worth reading into the XI for this match, but I'm so curious to see who settles into Conte's preferred XI before January. I mean sure, we know Lloris, Romero, Kane, and Son will be there, but after that...? My best guess for the XI in the December EPL matches:

Hugo
Sanchez-Romero-Dier
Reguilon-Tanguy-PEH-GLC-Emerson
Kane-Son

I think Dele could easily crack that MF, and Skipp may be preferred to PEH for defensive ability. Lucas should finally be converted to a WB and he could really help there. Sessegnon is another player that could flourish. Ben Davies and Tanganga may actually be really good fits in a back 3 as well, but in Davies' case I think his athleticism is just too limited to be considered. I wonder if Rodon is a better fit than Dier/Sanchez. Doherty may have a renaissance as well, but he's looked well and truly cooked since arriving.

I don't see great fits for Winks, Gil, or Bergwijn in a 3-5-2, but in a 3-4-3 I think Gil and Bergwijn are excellent wing options. By and large, I think the younger athletic players all stand to benefit from Conte whereas older less mobile players may be challenged by Conte's demands.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I think it'll be 3-5-2 not 3-4-3. When Conte played the latter at Chelsea, it was similar to how Tuchel does it now in that the "wingers" were really like left and right sided 10s - creative highly technical players who positioned themselves between the lines and formed a midfield box with the two CMs. I'm not sure the current wingers are great fits for that kind of role, except maybe Gil, who is very raw. Using a strike partnership in which Kane and Son alternate dropping deep seems to play better to Spurs' roster strengths.

The biggest challenge for Conte is going to be finding time to actually train the team. The upcoming international break aside, Spurs play twice a week every week from now until January. And if they advance in the League Cup, it'll be twice a week until late January. Its really hard to seriously train a team when you play twice a week as a typical week is basically Sunday gameday, Monday recovery and very light kick around, Tuesday real training, Wednesday game-specific prep and possibly travel, Thursday gameday, Friday recovery and very light kick around, Saturday game-specific prep and possibly travel, Sunday gameday, rinse and repeat.
 

Zososoxfan

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I think it'll be 3-5-2 not 3-4-3. When Conte played the latter at Chelsea, it was similar to how Tuchel does it now in that the "wingers" were really like left and right sided 10s - creative highly technical players who positioned themselves between the lines and formed a midfield box with the two CMs. I'm not sure the current wingers are great fits for that kind of role, except maybe Gil, who is very raw. Using a strike partnership in which Kane and Son alternate dropping deep seems to play better to Spurs' roster strengths.

The biggest challenge for Conte is going to be finding time to actually train the team. The upcoming international break aside, Spurs play twice a week every week from now until January. And if they advance in the League Cup, it'll be twice a week until late January. Its really hard to seriously train a team when you play twice a week as a typical week is basically Sunday gameday, Monday recovery and very light kick around, Tuesday real training, Wednesday game-specific prep and possibly travel, Thursday gameday, Friday recovery and very light kick around, Saturday game-specific prep and possibly travel, Sunday gameday, rinse and repeat.
Conte will likely be singularly focused on finishing top 4. Spurs are hungry for trophies, but there should be no doubt that UCL football next year is the biggest prize. The Conference League should and likely will be an afterthought until the late knockouts (but may be used early on to get the XI time in the new system), and while I think a bit more emphasis may be given to the domestic cup(s)(??) I think Toni will be prioritizing the weekends.
 

scott bankheadcase

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The Conference League match today went from about 4000 tickets sold to a complete sellout since Tuesday.

I'll be very interested in the atmosphere of the stadium at 3 today.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Conte will likely be singularly focused on finishing top 4. Spurs are hungry for trophies, but there should be no doubt that UCL football next year is the biggest prize. The Conference League should and likely will be an afterthought until the late knockouts (but may be used early on to get the XI time in the new system), and while I think a bit more emphasis may be given to the domestic cup(s)(??) I think Toni will be prioritizing the weekends.
I think that's right but I'm not sure it really helps with the training time issue. A lot of the fixture congestion comes from the Premier League schedule in December. Even with Conference League matches, you can't really ignore them because the coaches still have to manage and prepare the team and the club will still want to qualify for the next round just due to the financial implications, which means playing at least some of the first XI. I would be very surprised if Conte played a weak team today for example.

Taking over a team midseason and getting them to play a different brand of football is just hard. Tuchel did amazing things last year with Chelsea, so I guess it can be done. But you can also look at somebody like Klopp. He didn't really have Liverpool playing some version of Kloppball until the late spring or the following season.
 

scott bankheadcase

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Sitting here waiting for team news and realize this is the week that England is ahead by 6 hours instead of 5 and the game isn't until 4. Dammit I have a meeting a 4!
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Lineup: Lloris, Royal, Dier, Romero, Davies, Reguilon, Skip, Hojbjerg, Lucas, Son, Kane

So, a 3-5-2?
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Lineup: Lloris, Royal, Dier, Romero, Davies, Reguilon, Skip, Hojbjerg, Lucas, Son, Kane

So, a 3-5-2?
Looks more like his Chelsea 3-4-3 to me (defensive double pivot making a box with two attacking mids). His 3-5-2 has in the past tended to use more attacking CMs, who are all on the bench today.
 

scott bankheadcase

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Looks more like his Chelsea 3-4-3 to me (defensive double pivot making a box with two attacking mids). His 3-5-2 has in the past tended to use more attacking CMs, who are all on the bench today.
I think you're probably right, but I won't be surprised if Lucas is playing centrally and it is more of a 3-5-2. Excited to find out.
 

swiftaw

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Sitting here waiting for team news and realize this is the week that England is ahead by 6 hours instead of 5 and the game isn't until 4. Dammit I have a meeting a 4!
I think you mean they are ahead by 4 hours instead of 5, so games start an hour later over here.