Jermaine Beckford has criticised Antonio Conte for the starting eleven he named against Bournemouth, insisting that Tottenham simply did not have the creativity to break their opponents down.
With Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison remaining sidelined with injuries, and with Lucas Moura having only made his first start of the season against Sporting Lisbon last week, Antonio Conte decided to revert to a 3-5-2 at the Vitality Stadium.
Harry Kane partnered Son Heung-min upfront ahead of a midfield three of Yves Bissouma, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Oliver Skipp. Spurs struggled to create too many chances of note in the first half despite having a lot of possession and looked extremely vulnerable at the back.
It took going 2-0 down and a spate of substitutions from Antonio Conte to spark Tottenham into life as they piled pressure on the Cherries backline for the final 40 minutes of the game and emerged with a deserved 3-2 win.
However, Beckford questioned why Conte felt the need to start so many defensively-minded players against Gary O’Neil’s side.
The former Leeds striker told Optus Sport: “What was frustrating for me was that they started the game with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son up front – two creative players and players that are a natural goal threat – but then the other eight players, the midfielders and the defenders, were all defensive-minded players.
“There was nobody with any real creativity about them, nobody who would have a defence-splitting pass or run through the lines or anything like that.
“How are you expected to win a game if you set up extremely defensive? You look at the players that Spurs have at their disposal – you should not be playing that defensively against Bournemouth. These are games that you should expect to win.”
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We know that Conte does not rely primarily on his midfielders to provide the creativity. However, having said that, there is a case to be made to potentially name one offensive-minded midfielder when we play with a 3-5-2.
We do not have a player of that profile in the squad at the moment, and I suspect that such a player will be at the top of Conte’s wishlist in January.
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