With Antonio Conte expected to become the new Tottenham manager, how could Spurs line up under the Italian coach?
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There’s no doubting that Tottenham have some quality players in their squad but since Mauricio Pochettino left both Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo have struggled to find the right balance.
Conte will have his work cut out to turn Tottenham in to genuine top four contenders this season, but it’s possible. The main thing he will deliver is a strict approach and defensive solidity.
He will also ask players to be flexible tactically and his wide players and three center backs are extremely important. On paper, Conte can tweak a few things which should make Tottenham a much better team right away.
Here’s a look at how Spurs could line up under Antonio Conte, as we all know the Italian coach prefers a 3-5-2 system.
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Potential lineup under Antonio Conte (3-5-2)
—– Lloris —–
—- Romero —- Sanchez —- Dier —-
— Doherty — Hojbjerg — Winks — Ndombele — Reguilon —
—- Son —- Kane —-
Analysis of what Spurs could become under Conte
First up, he will go with three at the back and he will use experience. That is why Romero, Sanchez and Dier get the nod here.
Out wide, it is clear that Conte relies heavily on his wing backs and that is a role Matt Doherty is used to. Yes, his career at Spurs has never got going, but he seems like a Conte kind of player. On the other flank Reguilon is much more of a wing-back than a left back, so this suits him too. Conte may also turn to Steven Bergwijn or Ryan Sessegnon as wing backs as he prefers to play more attack minded players (see: Moses, Victor) in the wing-back roles so they can support the forwards.
In midfield, Hojbjerg and Skipp have been okay, albeit a little negative with their passing, so that is why Harry Winks could be key with his slightly more progressive approach and ability on the ball. Winks and Hojbjerg can provide a solid base — similar to Kante and Matic holding the fort for Conte at Chelsea — and allow Ndombele to roam.
Up top, this is where it gets interesting. In theory it will be Kane as the lone front man (just like Diego Costa and Romelu Lukaku in Conte’s former teams) and then Son buzzing around underneath him just like Eden Hazard did for Chelsea playing off Costa. But this formation can easily change to a 3-4-2-1 when needed as Ndombele and Son can play under Kane.
Conte will no doubt want to add his own players in January, and beyond, but this is a decent Tottenham squad. It needs to be tweaked and Conte needs to reignite the hunger and luckily he’s very good at doing both of those things.