Antonio Conte has revealed that a good engine is the most important characteristic required of the central midfielders in his 3-4-3 system.
Spurs are one of the few teams in the Premier League who play with a two-man midfield, which often leads to them being outnumbered in the middle of the park.
However, the system does allow the Lilywhites to overload in the wide areas and have enough bodies up front to create opportunities when they get in behind.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Rodrigo Bentancur have formed an impressive partnership in the middle of the park, with both the Dane and the Uruguayan being workman-like players rather than serving as the team’s creative hub.
In fact, Hojbjerg in particular tends to divide opinion among the Spurs fan base, with some being critical of his quality on the ball.
Conte has explained that his 3-4-3 system requires two central midfielders with great stamina as the players have to be involved in both offensive and defensive situations.
While explaining the basics of his tactical set-up, the Italian told Spurs TV (Premier League Productions): “These two [central midfielders], they need to have two important characteristics.
“A good engine and good stamina because they are involved in both situations defensively and offensively but at the same time if there is the opportunity to bring one of these two players up because they feel the opportunity to score a goal or make an assist, they can go.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Some of the criticism that Hojbjerg and Bentancur get from Spurs fans for a lack of creativity, comes from a misunderstanding of their roles in the 3-4-3 system.
For the system to work, we need two workman-like midfielders who are decent in all phases of play rather than being outstanding at one particular phase.
It is by design and not by accident that none of the four central midfielders in our squad are known for their creative output.
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