In the week leading up to Tottenham’s match against Brighton, Spurs were without their manager Antonio Conte after the Italian tested positive for COVID-19 following the game against Aston Villa.
Time and again this season, it has been proved that Spurs and Conte are at their best when the Italian has had a full week to prepare for the next game.
Since Conte’s arrival, Spurs have played 9 games in which the Italian has had 5 or more days to prepare for the next game. This isn’t counting the first game after an international break, because Conte only has a few players to prepare with. Out of those 9 games, Spurs have won 6, drawn 1, and lost 2 with a win percentage of 66.67% (TransferMarkt).
Spurs have played 18 games with Conte in which they have had less than 5 days to prepare. Out of those 18, Spurs have won 8, drawn 2, and lost 8, with a win percentage of just 44.44% (TransferMarkt).
This proves how much Tottenham benefit when Antonio Conte has more than just a couple of days to instil his instructions into this Spurs team.
Since Conte had COVID the week leading up to the Brighton game, it is fair to assume the Italian was not able to do as good of a job preparing the Spurs team as he would have liked, especially considering he had to observe social distancing during training.
Could this have resulted in some of the back-passing, unadventurous, dismal play we witnessed from Tottenham on Saturday? Or was it simply a bad day at the office?
Should Tottenham close out the season by qualifying for the Champions League, or any European competition for that matter, this lack of ability to compete in games without a full week of training would be concerning.
If Spurs are to be successful in Europe or England next season, Conte will have to figure out how to eliminate this characteristic from the Tottenham squad.
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