Spurs 21/22: Conte? Conte!!

Zososoxfan

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Lucas is a bit underrated by Spurs fans generally IMO. His skill on the ball and defensive workrate shouldn't be overlooked. In Conte's system, the front 3 but especially the wings are the outlet ball and they frequently receive hard passes under pressure. The ability to receive a pass, withstand pressure, and have the endurance to constantly be working for position in both attack and defense are why Lucas has started so much. All that said and I don't think the best XI includes Lucas. Right now he's the more defensive winger opposite Son while Conte installs the 343 and that's fine. But his biggest deficiency is in combination play and that's kinda the key to Conte's philosophy. Maybe Conte's more rehearsed combinations will mitigate that a bit, but my guess is we see Lucas sold in the summer.
Well I stand by all of this. What a golazo!!!

https://juststream.live/PeripheralKnitInaction

I'm more bullish on Dav than most--I think the tools are just too good. Even though I think he's a 4ATB CB and actually not particularly well suited to 3ATB, I think he'll be fine for the remainder of the season if he sticks around, especially as a backup RCB to Cuti. I'm not really sure about Tang. His stints at both CB and FB in 4ATB formations would seem to bolster his case as an outside CB in 3ATB, but I think it actually accentuates his offensive deficiencies and doesn't best utilize his considerable defensive prowess. Nevertheless, I love the player and I bet Conte values his combativeness. He also seems very coachable. So I don't worry about him sticking around, but I also think he's a prime candidate for sale.
I stand by that too!

Anyone have other thoughts? Hard to glean much from Norwich, but points are points, and Conte does seem intent on getting the first XI into working order and not worrying about rotation. That said, IMO it's getting late early for Tanguy and Dele. Certainly sad to me, but not necessarily a comment on their quality--rather just the lack of fit with Conte's approach.
 

Kliq

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Taking six points in four days from recently promoted sides should not be seen as anything special, but I'm delighted to see it happen, as well as Spurs looking like clearly the dominant side is a good thing. This is a team that spent so much time last season and this season pissing away games they should have won, or playing super defensively and letting lesser teams boss around on the pitch. I'm happy to just see them taking care of business against ANYONE. And there are still hiccups, like the Mura game, but things are progressing.

A huge problem for this team was that literally only Kane and Son scored goals for them last season; so far it's nice to see goals come from other people these last few games.

Only one goal conceded in four EPL matches under Conte is a nice start.
 

scott bankheadcase

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Taking six points in four days from recently promoted sides should not be seen as anything special, but I'm delighted to see it happen, as well as Spurs looking like clearly the dominant side is a good thing. This is a team that spent so much time last season and this season pissing away games they should have won, or playing super defensively and letting lesser teams boss around on the pitch. I'm happy to just see them taking care of business against ANYONE. And there are still hiccups, like the Mura game, but things are progressing.

A huge problem for this team was that literally only Kane and Son scored goals for them last season; so far it's nice to see goals come from other people these last few games.

Only one goal conceded in four EPL matches under Conte is a nice start.
What it shows me is that Conte has a good system and it's starting to come through. With a manager like him, Spurs should be in the mix for the no. 4 spot.

What Mura shows is that this team has a stating 11 and then almost nothing after that.
 

DJnVa

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It was a lateral flow test, which can return false positives. It's what let to a few false positives recently within the team. Another test today, with results tomorrow.

EPL match *could* be moved, but game versus Rennes is likely going to be played.
 

DJnVa

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Spurs will be asking for a postponement of the Brighton EPL match.


 

Kliq

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Obviously it would benefit them to postpone the game, but I actually would be interested to see how the team would look with those listed names. You'd cobble together the fullbacks with Doherty/Tananga/Sess, the midfield is basically in tact (no Skipp) and then something with Kane, Bergwijn and one other player (Dele? Ndombele? Scarlett?).
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Obviously it would benefit them to postpone the game, but I actually would be interested to see how the team would look with those listed names. You'd cobble together the fullbacks with Doherty/Tananga/Sess, the midfield is basically in tact (no Skipp) and then something with Kane, Bergwijn and one other player (Dele? Ndombele? Scarlett?).
"Basically intact" is odd for me to describe a two-man midfield where the currently better player of the two is out and might be replaced with Winks. That said I would also be interested to see it, but definitely in the way I've learned over the past two years that when I find a lineup interesting, it means Spurs are going to get utterly pantsed.

Apart from all of that, it also seems insanely irresponsible for UEFA to have Rennes just waltz into this ever-shifting COVID situation.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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This should help Spurs' top four challenge for this year for sure. Despite his protestations, I think Conte is probably happy to exit that competition.

A long run consequence is that Spurs will get only 5 UEFA club coefficient points for this year, after earning only 15 last year and 16 in 19-20. Spurs and Arsenal are in roughly the same situation in that they have been doing poorly in Europe (or entirely absent in Arsenal's case this year) during the first years that will eventually count toward the club coefficient calculation that determines the extra CL places starting in 24-25. Both sides need to have strong European showings in the next two years if they want to have a chance at earning those extra CL slots starting in 24-25 (if they are not qualifying via top four).
 

Zososoxfan

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I consider this a huge positive for the domestic competitions. It's still going to be an utter clusterfuck getting these matches in, but at least we shouldn't be running out the youth squad for matches.

@Morgan's Magic Snowplow , how do the coefficients work? More specifically, I didn't realize clubs had specific coefficients--I thought those related to the leagues. IOW, I understand that if EPL squads do badly in continental competitions it affects how many spots they get going forward, but it seems like you're saying there's specific calculations/points related to the clubs for qualification.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I consider this a huge positive for the domestic competitions. It's still going to be an utter clusterfuck getting these matches in, but at least we shouldn't be running out the youth squad for matches.

@Morgan's Magic Snowplow , how do the coefficients work? More specifically, I didn't realize clubs had specific coefficients--I thought those related to the leagues. IOW, I understand that if EPL squads do badly in continental competitions it affects how many spots they get going forward, but it seems like you're saying there's specific calculations/points related to the clubs for qualification.
There are league coefficients and then also club coefficients. The league coefficients determine how many places in each European competition each league will receive, the club coefficients determine club-specific treatment in the process.

The club coefficients traditionally have only really mattered for determining seeding into pots for the draws in these competitions. But the new CL format announced in the wake of the Super League fiasco introduces a new wrinkle. Starting with the 24-25 competition, two extra CL slots will be awarded to the clubs that didn't qualify for the CL (but did qualify for another European competition) with the highest club coefficients.

In the abstract, this could provide a helpful "backdoor" into the CL for English teams finishing 5th, 6th, or 7th. But you have to have a high enough club coefficient. Clubs like Liverpool, City, Chelsea, and Manchester United that have been averaging 20+ points per year consistently are going to become almost shoo-ins for CL as long as they finish in the European places. They're most likely to finish top four anyway, but this provides a big safety net. Clubs like Arsenal and Spurs that have had worse European form are not in such good position: They need to really start performing in Europe over the next couple years for that net to be created.

The club coefficient is calculated based on points awarded over the prior five seasons, so the first year of this change it will be calculated based on points from 19-20, 20-21, 21-22, 22-23, and 23-24. The following year 19-20 will drop out of the calculation and 24-25 will be added, etc. You can see all the points teams have earned here.

The important thing to remember is that teams that have already qualified for the CL via their league form aren't in the mix. So the fact that Spurs (or Arsenal) are way behind the likes of Bayern, PSG, etc is irrelevant as those clubs will almost certainly qualify for CL through their respective league finishes. The clubs to worry about are sides like Roma or Atalanta that could plausibly not qualify for CL via their Serie A form but have a pretty high club coefficient. And to some degree Spurs and Arsenal may find themselves competing against each other too if they both end up stuck in the 5th-7th places for many years. If Spurs had won the ECL this year they could plausibly have earned somewhere around 25 points so this was an opportunity to really juice that coefficient.
 
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Zososoxfan

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There are league coefficients and then also club coefficients. The league coefficients determine how many places in each European competition each league will receive, the club coefficients determine club-specific treatment in the process.

The club coefficients traditionally have only really mattered for determining seeding into pots for the draws in these competitions. But the new CL format announced in the wake of the Super League fiasco introduces a new wrinkle. Starting with the 24-25 competition, two extra CL slots will be awarded to the clubs that didn't qualify for the CL (but did qualify for another European competition) with the highest club coefficients.

In the abstract, this could provide a helpful "backdoor" into the CL for English teams finishing 5th, 6th, or 7th. But you have to have a high enough club coefficient. Clubs like Liverpool, City, Chelsea, and Manchester United that have been averaging 20+ points per year consistently are going to become almost shoo-ins for CL as long as they finish in the European places. They're most likely to finish top four anyway, but this provides a big safety net. Clubs like Arsenal and Spurs that have had worse European form are not in such good position: They need to really start performing in Europe over the next couple years for that net to be created.

The club coefficient is calculated based on points awarded over the prior five seasons, so the first year of this change it will be calculated based on points from 19-20, 20-21, 21-22, 22-23, and 23-24. The following year 19-20 will drop out of the calculation and 24-25 will be added, etc. You can see all the points teams have earned here.

The important thing to remember is that teams that have already qualified for the CL via their league form aren't in the mix. So the fact that Spurs (or Arsenal) are way behind the likes of Bayern, PSG, etc is irrelevant as those clubs will almost certainly qualify for CL through their respective league finishes. The clubs to worry about are sides like Roma or Atalanta that could plausibly not qualify for CL via their Serie A form but have a pretty high club coefficient. And to some degree Spurs and Arsenal may find themselves competing against each other too if they both end up stuck in the 5th-7th places for many years. If Spurs had won the ECL this year they could plausibly have earned somewhere around 25 points so this was an opportunity to really juice that coefficient.
Excellent writeup and super helpful, thanks. With Arsenal missing Europe this year (lolol) that seems like a huge counterweight to the Conference League forfeit. But you're absolutely right that beginning next year UEL or UECL have to be taken almost as seriously as UCL, which is likely the intent and will get more clubs to take it seriously. It certainly gives me a different perspective on the events surrounding the forfeit, although I think I still come to the same conclusion for THIS year under the circumstances. The test will really come in 2 seasons when the glorious 18-19 run is phased out and the first 3 seasons have values of 16, 15, and 5 respectively.

Without really understanding how the point system works, it seems imperative to avoid X<10-point campaigns and to sprinkle in 1-2 15-25 pointers. That should keep them competitive with their peers, who as you point out include really only Arsenal and MANU in the EPL for now, but may eventually include a WHU, LCFC, Everton, etc. if they can consistently finish top 6 and perform well in UEL. Other than that, it looks like the competition will be from Spain and Italy's 2nd/3rd tier, and perhaps Portugal's. Although I'm not sure how many UCL spots they're given at the moment.

Nice article on what Conte has Dier doing:

I don't have an Athletic account, but there was one possession in the match on Sunday where Spurs moved the ball side to side very well based on 2 long diagonals from Dier to either flank, and then a third from Dav. Watching Conte ball is fascinating for anyone who enjoys tactics, and having them go up against Liverpool was a real treat.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Sanchez played the best pass I have ever seen him play to spring Dele for his chance, which was immediately overshadowed by the dive/pen shout and Liverpool goal shortly afterwards.
 

DJnVa

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All the Spurs COVID folks are good to go, but Sessegnon suffered an injury and is out 7-10 days.
 

veritas

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I thought the 3-5-2 was really interesting vs Liverpool. Being able to get Dele and Ndombele into the side effectively (and GLC presumably) would be huge given their congested schedule the rest of the season. The Double Pivot podcast says "Conte is great at seeing what players can do instead of what they can't", and Dele and Ndombele were a perfect example of that.

It also means they aren't playing Son-Kane-Lucas together, which lets them rotate up front too.

I'm curious if this was out of necessity, because of this specific matchup, or if this is Conte's preferred setup. It looked very similar to how he played at Inter, other than the wingbacks being more fullback-y here. Whatever the case, it was very effective and is a good option to have.
 

Zososoxfan

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Really entertaining match today vs. WHU. I didn't get to watch that closely--did WHU have a decent lineup out there (with the acknowledgement that Antonio being out is big)?

Bergy had a huge match scoring the first goal and assisting on the second. Props to the coaches and Hoj for sketching that FK and executing respectively. After the break, it looked like WHU had more success attacking. On the ball over the top of Dier, there was some serious misunderstanding between Dav, Doherty, and a couple of MFs (Hoj/Winks/Skipp?) as 4 of them were marking 2 WHU players. That said, Davies probably shaded a bit too much far over to his left helping the LWB instead of helping Dier mark the striker, but Dier can't have that go over him. Spatial awareness directly behind remains a glaring hole in his game (while simultaneously being slightly amusing in its Spursiness).
 

Tangled Up In Red

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Hugo was MASSIVE today. Has been pretty fantastic all season -- and even going back one. He's out of contract and Gollini is clearly not an answer.
 

Kliq

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Really entertaining match today vs. WHU. I didn't get to watch that closely--did WHU have a decent lineup out there (with the acknowledgement that Antonio being out is big)?

Bergy had a huge match scoring the first goal and assisting on the second. Props to the coaches and Hoj for sketching that FK and executing respectively. After the break, it looked like WHU had more success attacking. On the ball over the top of Dier, there was some serious misunderstanding between Dav, Doherty, and a couple of MFs (Hoj/Winks/Skipp?) as 4 of them were marking 2 WHU players. That said, Davies probably shaded a bit too much far over to his left helping the LWB instead of helping Dier mark the striker, but Dier can't have that go over him. Spatial awareness directly behind remains a glaring hole in his game (while simultaneously being slightly amusing in its Spursiness).
Looked like basically the A team for WHU, outside of no Antonio and no Fabianski in goal. Spurs also ran out no Son so it was porbably pretty even.

Nice to see Bergy have a really good game; his footwork on both goals was fantastic, but in different ways. His run setting up the second goal was sublime and again, this was against pretty much the regular backline for West Ham.

Hugo was MASSIVE today. Has been pretty fantastic all season -- and even going back one. He's out of contract and Gollini is clearly not an answer.
Agreed; if he wants to stay here IDK why you wouldn't make him a fair offer. He's at the top of his game, experienced as hell and playing about as well as any keeper out there.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Looked like basically the A team for WHU, outside of no Antonio and no Fabianski in goal. Spurs also ran out no Son so it was porbably pretty even.

Nice to see Bergy have a really good game; his footwork on both goals was fantastic, but in different ways. His run setting up the second goal was sublime and again, this was against pretty much the regular backline for West Ham.
Ehhh, West Ham really only played three of their first choice eleven. In addition to Antonio and Fabianski, their entire first choice backline is out (Cresswell-Ogbonna-Zouma-Coufal) and they chose to rest Fornals and Benrahma. They had serious depth concerns to begin the season and just have been hammered by injuries in the last month.
 

DJnVa

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Nice to see Bergy have a really good game; his footwork on both goals was fantastic, but in different ways. His run setting up the second goal was sublime and again, this was against pretty much the regular backline for West Ham.
Conte said the downtime due to COVID allowed him to work more closely with some other players, including Bergy, and see what they could offer. That could be a good sign for him.

Needless to say, not a good sign for Rodon, who's likely gone in January.
 

DJnVa

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Disappointing draw, but Conte is first Spurs manager to go undefeated in his first 7 games.
 

Kliq

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FA Cup match was a chance for the people not in Conte's rotation to show something, but instead they got booed off the pitch and the big boys had to come in and bail them out from being completely embarrassed by the Shrimp.
 

scott bankheadcase

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The difference when Lucas/Kane/Skipp came on (not a shot at winks who I thought was decent) was so stark. I can’t believe the delta between the 1st and 2nd team is so big, but it is.
 

DJnVa

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Yeah, that's gotta be the last time Ndombele plays for Spurs no?
 

Zososoxfan

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I'm an Argentina stan, but I really do think GLC should thrive under Conte. He's got the toughness and tenacity that Conte demands, he has excellent passing skills and technique, and from my Freudian armchair it seems like he actually might even benefit from automating some of his game. Tanguy OTOH just seems like he's had it with Spurs. Not to say he couldn't pick up the system, but just that he'd rather move on than try. I don't have a problem with that and I don't dislike him for seemingly taking that position, I'm just bummed it almost certainly won't work out because he's a pleasure to watch.

The interesting thing is that I doubt Spurs are able to move Tanguy in January. If so, he'll be an expensive bench piece while Skippy, Winksy, Hoj, GLC, and maybe others (Dele?) remain ahead of him. Spurs will almost certainly have to sell him lower than Levy wants in the summer or risk Conte's wrath. But since Conte's not guaranteed to stay beyond his initial 18-month (?) contract, Spurs have to go along with Antonio's plan or risk it blowing up more broadly.
 

Kliq

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The difference when Lucas/Kane/Skipp came on (not a shot at winks who I thought was decent) was so stark. I can’t believe the delta between the 1st and 2nd team is so big, but it is.
Lucas taking the ball from the Morcambe defender who was dily-dallying with it and then sprinting away for the goal felt like a fifth grader walking onto the playground and stealing a ball from a group of kindergartners.
 

DJnVa

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First domino to fall?

Ajax has sold Neres, and wants Bergwijn as the replacement. Which may lead to Spurs getting Traore.

 

Zososoxfan

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HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO LEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLS

STEVIE MOTHERFUCKIN' BERGWIJN!!! AND HOW ABOUT MATT DOHERTY OF ALL PEOPLE TO BRING DOWN THE LONG BALL IN THE BOX FOR STEVIE'S FIRST?!???

Edit: In case people are too lazy to look up the time stamp in the future, this is in response to Bergy's LAST MINUTE BRACE TO RESCUE ALL 3 POINTS
 

coremiller

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One of the big criticisms of Mourinho (even from inside the squad) was that he didn't put enough emphasis on fitness. Under Mourinho Spurs visibly tired often and I think they had a horrible record for points lost from winning/drawing positions.

That started changing under Nuno and Conte is known for emphasizing fitness. It's making a difference, as Spurs are not fading at the end of matches anymore but instead are wearing down opponents.
 

Tangled Up In Red

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xG in the match was 4.49 vs 1.98
27 shots, 10 on target. Crazy that it took a miracle comeback for the W. But a W nonetheless.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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One of the big criticisms of Mourinho (even from inside the squad) was that he didn't put enough emphasis on fitness. Under Mourinho Spurs visibly tired often and I think they had a horrible record for points lost from winning/drawing positions.

That started changing under Nuno and Conte is known for emphasizing fitness. It's making a difference, as Spurs are not fading at the end of matches anymore but instead are wearing down opponents.
Nuno was a weird halfway point because he emphasized fitness as part of his training by all reports but his game plans were so static and didn’t really use that fitness to any particular advantage.

That does make it less bizarre that Spurs ran the least in the league under Nuno and were able to so quickly move to running the most under Conte.

Players were practically dropping in some of those early Conte games (remember Reguillon being “dead but happy”), but I can only imagine it would have been even rougher to go straight from Jose to Conte.