Antonio Conte’s stubbornness costs Spurs despite Bournemouth’s comeback
Spurs avoided their own blushes with a box office comeback from 2-0 in the final 30 minutes to win all three points at the Vitality Stadium, beating Bournemouth 3-2 in a Premier League cracker.
Initially looking pessimistic after Kieffer Moore put the Cherries up two goals with his second of the evening, but now Antonio Conte’s side head into the midweek Champions League showdown with Marseille with sand between their teeth after of an impressive comeback.
Still, the Italian’s doggedness seems to be holding Spurs back, though his attacking changes helped turn the game back in his team’s favour.
Express Sport looks at five things we learned…
Emerson is not good enough…
It really is a mystery why Antonio Conte keeps persisting with Emerson Royal at Tottenham.
It doesn’t take a football genius to conclude that it’s not good enough, something that was evident again at Vitality Stadium.
Emerson fired a shot into orbit and the offensive side of his game is supposed to offset his defensive weaknesses. That is simply not the case.
Opposition managers target Emerson as the weak link in the Spurs side and with Matt Doherty and Djed Spence watching from the sidelines, you really start to wonder what they need to do to get past the Brazilian.
Conte’s stubbornness creating problems
Conte’s stubbornness and refusal to stray from his two favorite systems is starting to become a problem for Spurs, who are too predictable at times.
Not only that, but his loyalty to certain players is holding Tottenham back. It makes them easy to solve from an opposition perspective.
The three-man midfield was simply not needed at Bournemouth on Saturday and a trio of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Oliver Skipp and Yves Bissouma provided zero creativity.
That worked in Bournemouth’s hands as they quickly gained a foothold in the game and it was no surprise to see Spurs regain control after a further injection of attacking momentum from the bench.
Ultimately, they proved the difference when they fought back to win 3-2 in the dying embers.
back-three not working
Conte’s back three are designed to beef things up defensively, but that doesn’t happen anymore.
Spurs are seemingly stagnant and can’t stop conceding goals. His faulty backline no longer provides a platform for wins.
Instead, Tottenham’s underachieving front row has to work twice as hard to try to win their team’s matches.
With Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison currently out injured, that’s not the easiest task.
Bournemouth have been excellent under Gary O’Neill, but let’s be honest, Spurs shouldn’t concede to the Cherries.
Bryan Gil deserves a chance
Conte compared Bryan Gil to Bernardo Silva on Friday, but still leaves him on the bench.
With Spurs currently lacking in inspiration in attack, it’s hard to see why he isn’t given a chance.
After all, they signed him for £21.6m plus Erik Lamela, who isn’t cheap at all. If you’re not worth a shot now, you have to ask yourself if you ever will be.
Gil has looked brilliant off the bench, but he is rarely risked by Conte, who doesn’t seem to fully trust him at the moment.
Marseille is cup final
Conte was certainly right when he said that Marseille was the more important game of the two, Bournemouth included.
The pressure is now mounting on the Italian and his failure to make it out of the Champions League group would create a toxic atmosphere at the club.
Supporters are already getting tired of Tottenham’s boring style of football and if he doesn’t even deliver results, fans will question Conte’s purpose.
Spurs simply have to deliver in the south of France or they could be facing a major crisis, despite starting the season so strongly.
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