Tottenham Hotspur have not had a good streak of seasons in the English Premier League. They are doing better than the last few decades, consistently in and around the top six. Unfortunately for their fans, however, Spurs were unable to get their hands on the title.
After retaining Harry Kane over the summer, Spurs were once again hoping for a challenge for the title in 2021-2022. The season has started appallingly under the guidance of outgoing manager Nuno Espirito Santo, who was sacked on November 1. Came Antonio Conte, who quickly changed the season for Spurs.
Riding the wave of his recent success, here are two ways Antonio Conte made Tottenham Hotspur a future EPL winner.
The future of Spurs under Antonio Conte
1. Training and tactics
Let’s clarify one thing: Antonio Conte did not discover anything new. Formations with three players in the baseline have been a staple of Italian coaches for some time now. However, it is using this training that Conte has experienced his greatest success in the past. In his trophy cabinet, he has five Serie A titles with Juventus and Inter, and one EPL title with Chelsea. From early indicators of his work with Tottenham, Conte should make room for another.
As noted above, he immediately introduced a system with three players at the back at Spurs. He came up with a plan to make better use of the attacking talent of his wingers, and he did it in a great way. Sergio Reguillion on the left and Emerson Royal on the right are amazing pieces for the future. However, when thinking about this training, there is one thing that everyone seems to forget.
When Spurs played two attacking full-backs and two center-backs under the last manager, it left a ton of space at the back. This space had to be covered by the midfield players, so the defensive midfielder usually played between the central defenders. This strategy left a wide gap in midfield, where Spurs were often passed. With three center-backs, Regullion and Emerson can engage forward and the trio at the back can fill in any gaps.
With all due respect to Espirito Santo, he was simply outclassed tactically, while Tottenham look like a much improved team with Conte at the helm. The results speak for themselves, with Conte having suffered just one loss in eleven games. If Conte can continue to implement this system, Spurs will be ready for a real championship challenge in the coming years.
2. Player management and motivation
A big part of running a sports team is motivating the players. Not much is known about the locker room status under Espirito Santo, but under Conte it looks impressive. After securing his first victory as a Spurs coach, a 2-1 victory over Leeds United, Conte celebrated as he just won the whole league. It might sound funny, in a way, but it shows passion.
The problem for Spurs has never been the quality of the players. They have Kane, Heung Min-Son, Lucas Moura and many more who would be starters in teams fighting for the championships. However, the motivation of these players was clearly lacking. Conte is a very passionate coach, and always since his beginnings in team management. Although he has had a few issues with players in the past, the immediate effect on this Spurs squad is visible.
This Spurs squad looked deflated at times this season, and that’s something no coach or fan wants to see. This has changed since the introduction of Conte. Quality and talent don’t mean much without effort and passion, and the start of this season for Spurs was a clear example of that dynamic. However, now that quality and talent come together with effort, the results are coming for Tottenham.
This season could be lost due to various circumstances. However, if Spurs are serious about building this squad with Conte pulling the reins, they’re ready for a few fun seasons. It won’t always be perfect, of course. There will be times when some fans will want Conte started. But if they can show patience and resilience, Tottenham could win a title in a few years.