‘He’s very rigid’ – Rio Ferdinand reveals what he has heard about Conte

Rio Ferdinand
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand has praised the impact Antonio Conte has had at Tottenham and revealed what Cesc Fabregas once told him about the Italian’s rigidity.

Tottenham have won four and drawn two of the six Premier League games under Conte, scoring twelve goals and conceding just three.

The North Londoners have also kept three clean sheets in those matches, which is particularly impressive considering how poor they were defensively under Nuno Espirito Santo.

Tottenham’s 3-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday took them to fifth in the table, with the Lilywhites now six points behind Arsenal in fourth with three games in hand over their North London rivals.

Several Spurs players have attributed the team’s improved form under Conte to the role clarity that the Italian has given every single player.

That is a point Ferdinand expanded on, revealing what Fabregas told him in the past about the difference between working under Pep Guardiola and Conte.

After Tottenham’s 3-0 win over the Eagles, the former Manchester United defender told BT Sport HD 1 (broadcast 26/12- 17:20): “A lot of the players I’ve spoken to, it’s once you buy into it and you believe it and he’s the man who says ‘listen follow me and we have a chance of winning’, that’s how confident he is.

“But he’s very much into the detail and Cesc Fabregas said something really important about him.

“He said ‘I played under Pep, he told you how the game would flow but also give you the freedom within that whereas this man tells you how it’ll go and you do as I say.’

“Simple as that. So he’s very rigid but he’s flying at the moment.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Under Nuno, it felt as if there was no clear style of play, with the team’s set-up changing almost every week. The midfield did not know when to press and when to sit back, which left our backline exposed.

However, from the second Conte walked through the door, the team has had a fixed structure, with all eleven players knowing their exact roles on and off the ball. The team will only improve with time as the players get used to the system.

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