According to Antonio Conte, his line-up will start to rotate more after the international break, with the likes of Yves Bissouma, Matt Doherty, and Oliver Skipp set for more game time from next month onwards.
After a busy summer of transfers and seven new signings for Tottenham Hotspur, Conte now has a squad that gives him the flexibility to rotate his starting XI and rest key players. This will be crucial to Spurs’ hopes of competing on all fronts this year.
One new face who hasn’t quite managed to break into the first 11 so far is Yves Bissouma. The central midfielder has been ‘struggling with the tactical aspect’ of Conte’s plans according to the Italian (Football.London).
Oliver Skipp meanwhile has suffered from injuries, missing the majority of the second half of last season with a pelvis problem. He also suffered a setback in pre-season, after a teammate landed on his foot during training (Football.London).
Matt Doherty has also seen his progress under Conte hindered by injury. After a blistering run of form at the back end of last season, Doherty missed the final few games of the campaign due to a medial collateral ligament tear.
So far this season, Conte has been careful not to change his starting line-up too much. That could all change after the upcoming international break though, with Conte planning to introduce more players into the fold according to Football.London.
He said: “For sure when you have the possibility to work, to have more time, especially with new players, you can bring all the players into our idea of football.
“In this first part of the season I wanted to play with the old players because they knew very well which is our idea of football, but now I think we are doing the good step with Richy, with Clement, and with Ivan Perisic.
“With Bissouma we are trying to accelerate this process, but for sure when you arrive in a team well organised with an idea of football, you need a bit of time to go into this idea of football, but I think that in the next 12 games I have at least three players that I can count on much more in the way that I did in these seven games.”
When one journalist compared Bissouma’s time to adjust to Cesc Fabregas and Christian Eriksen taking a while to get going under the Italian, Conte responded:
“Yeah but I think they are two different situations, because in my past in England when we played with this system, we played with two midfielders – like Kante and Matic.
“Strong midfielders with good quality, good stamina, good physically. When I played with three midfielders, for sure I need a pivot who is more good with the ball, more quality, less strong physically.
“Two players [like this], for example at Inter Milan I had Brozovic and Barella, players with different characteristics. When you go to play with three strikers you need to have two midfielders to have quality and be strong physically.
“I think that for this reason we have these type of players. I am really happy because I am seeing a lot of improvement in my midfielders.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It makes sense that Antonio Conte would not want to rush certain players back from injury or throw new signings in at the deep end before they are ready to play in his system.
After a great start to the season from Spurs’ established players, and time spent working with those on the peripheries, it should make for a smooth transition when those players are then brought into the starting line-up.
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