Conte reveals why he never wants Kane and Dier more than 35 metres apart

Eric Dier
(Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Antonio Conte is a meticulous tactician who demands absolute dedication from his players, and the Spurs boss has now revealed he has very specific instructions for Eric Dier and Harry Kane when it comes to how far apart they are on the pitch.

Conte took over at Tottenham Hotspur in November 2021 and has overseen an incredible transformation throughout the squad, with many players stepping up their game and becoming integral members of the team.

The Italian has introduced a new formation, a strict fitness regime, and a complete shift in mentality at the club. The results are clear to see, with Spurs qualifying for the Champions League last season, and enjoying an unbeaten start to the new Premier League campaign.

One of the many players to benefit from Conte’s arrival is Eric Dier, who has established himself as one of the most in-form defenders in the league. Dier even got himself on the scoresheet in the opening game this season (Transfermarkt).

The improvements at Spurs and indeed with Dier are no mistake though, and it all comes down to very strategic instructions from Conte. Speaking to Premier League Productions, Conte explained how he sets up his team to overcome opposition who defend deep.

He said: “I think it’s best for a team to stay within 30-35 metres between front and back, for example Harry [Kane] to Eric Dier.

“If you are in the half pitch of your opponent or if you stay deep because you are defending a cross then our striker has to stay within 30-35 metres and I think that this is very important.

“Don’t create the space. You have to be a team in every moment, defensively or when you are attacking.”

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This is a fascinating insight into just how detailed Antonio Conte is when it comes to setting up his team, and also shows the importance of the transition from defence to attack for the Italian’s formation. By giving the spine of the team strict parameters like this, Spurs should be an organised and cohesive unit across the pitch; defending as one, and attacking as one.

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