Jamie O’Hara has claimed that Antonio Conte does not trust the likes of Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil, which is why he started with a 3-5-2 against Bournemouth.
Conte has been short of attacking options over recent weeks, with Richarlison and Dejan Kulusevski both sidelined due to injuries.
In addition, Moura only returned from an injury lay-off a couple of weeks ago and made his first start of the season against Sporting Lisbon last week.
That had left the Tottenham head coach with little choice but to use a 3-5-2, with Harry Kane partnering Son Heung-min upfront, which is what he did against Bournemouth.
However, Conte was quicker than usual to make changes on Saturday and the substitutions had the desired impact as Spurs produced a memorable comeback to win 3-2.
The Spurs boss also named Lucas Moura in the starting XI against Marseille last night, and also introduced Bryan Gil for a late cameo.
O’Hara insisted that there is a ‘media agenda’ against Tottenham and that they are expected to play football like Manchester City despite not having the players to do so.
The former Spurs midfielder told talkSPORT: “There is a media agenda around Tottenham. For me, I think everyone is worried about what this club can actually do. Can we push on? Can we get in and amongst it and be successful? You have Conte who is a brilliant manager.
“The issue you have got is that everyone expects us to play like Manchester City and Barcelona. And we are just not that. We haven’t got them players. We are a defensive outfit. “
However, O’Hara admitted that Conte was too defensive with his starting lineup against Bournemouth and put that down to the lack of trust the Italian has in some of the squad players.
The pundit added: “We started the game with eight defensive players. That I don’t agree with. Conte has got to change that.
“I don’t think he’s confident in the bench, in terms of starting them, like Lucas Moura and Bryan Gil. I don’t think he wants to start these players because he doesn’t think they are good enough, so he goes with that defensive look.
“We only had Harry Kane and Son who are really our attacking players. In the first half, we were a disgrace. We are a joke, then we change it in the second half, on the front foot, the shackles are off and we are brilliant.”
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I do not think it was a case of Conte not trusting Lucas. The Brazilian is still not at 100 per cent and played nearly the entire match against Sporting Lisbon. So, Conte likely just wanted to give the 30-year-old some rest so that he was fully recovered ahead of the game against Marseille.
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