‘Building his team around’ – Garth Crooks names Spurs star in Team of the Week

Antonio Conte
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Garth Crooks has named Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in his Team of the Week and has urged Antonio Conte to build his team around the Dane.

With Skipp being suspended for the game against Leeds United, Hojbjerg arguably had extra responsibility on his shoulders as he was partnered with Harry Winks, who perhaps lacks the natural defensive instinct of the 21-year-old.

The Denmark international struggled to get into the game in the first half as Leeds dominated proceedings.

However, he was one of the architects of Tottenham’s revival after the interval as he won possession in dangerous areas and kickstarted several attacks.

The 26-year-old netted the home side’s equaliser just before the hour mark, with Sergio Reguilon scoring the winner 11 minutes later.

Crooks admitted that he was not impressed by Tottenham’s performance against Leeds, suggesting that Conte has plenty of work to do.

However, the former Spurs forward showered praise on Hojbjerg, claiming that the former Southampton man has the attributes that Conte will love.

Crooks wrote in his Team of the Week column for BBC Sport: “We were not that long into the game when it was becoming glaringly obvious to me that Spurs were out of their depth against a Leeds side who were far more disciplined and tactically aware.

“I don’t for one minute doubt Antonio Conte’s credentials and if you had read the Crooks of Matter recently, you would know why. The issue is Conte has an enormous amount of work to do at Spurs.

“However, he could do much worse than start building his team around the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. The Denmark international is a serious, no-nonsense individual who appears to have all the characteristics Conte admires.

“The Italian manager’s passion for the game and will to win is compelling. It will take some time before Spurs can match that and that’s why he needs time.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Conte was always going to love working with Hojbjerg given the intensity that Dane brings and his mindset. While the 26-year-old does have some technical limitations, he is the sort of reliable player that Conte has tended to build his teams around rather than talented mavericks like Ndombele or Dele.

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