It’s time for Tottenham to start playing Oliver Skipp and Matt Doherty

It was a pretty rough start to the season Tottenham Hotspur. They’ve made a great start to the Premier League season with 17 points despite not making a completely convincing appearance. Tottenham’s only defeat of the season was in Lisbon last Tuesday when Sporting scored two late goals to take all three points in Champions League Necktie. The match was certainly interesting given that Spurs looked toothless and out of ideas in the final third. However, many of the issues that plagued Spurs in that match have been shown multiple times so far in the season.

Even in the matches they have won, Antonio Conte’s side seem more than happy to concede the ball and take advantage of mistakes made by the opponent. And while Tottenham have in recent years shown themselves to be one of the world’s most dangerous counterattacks, their lack of naturally leading players has led to some questioning and we saw in that Champions League group stage match against Sporting what they could be. It happens when things don’t work.

Just before the international break, Tottenham tore a ragged piece Lister The side that looks very confident this season. And while the final score was 6-2 beating Tottenham Hotspur, goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saved a series of important saves. It wasn’t the most convincing win for Tottenham despite the end result, but the big takeaway was that they took all three points and finally knocked Heung Min Son off the mark.

Roughly 50 days into the season, Tottenham have benefited from playing only two or two matches per week with two Champions League group matches on weekdays. Because of this, they didn’t need to rotate their side too much and instead were able to use the same starting lineup for most matches. And while there have been some changes due to blows and injuries, Conte has mostly relied on the same 13-15 players that Conte knows and trusts. We know Spurs will have 4 attacking players up front, Ivan Perisic, Christian Romero and Eric Dier, but the rest of the squad has seen a lot of change and chopping.

For the most part, Conte relied on the midfield duo of Uruguay international Rodrigo Bentancourt and Denmark international Pierre-Emile Hojberg. Both players were in great shape to start the season and really did what Conte asked him to do by serving as the shooting midfielders and recycling the ball. However, neither of them have introduced the latest technology needed to push the envelope and provide consistent ball advances and tear down defenses – see recent games against Sporting or West Ham. In the Spurs system, as midfielders are required to play a more realistic style with an emphasis on ball recycling and the first part of accumulated play, the onus is on Spurs full-backs, primarily Emerson Royal and Ivan Perisic, to get the ball over the pitch and put it in positions. serious.

We saw something different against Leicester. Halfway through the second half, Spurs shifted their formation into a 3-5-2 formation by introducing an additional midfielder (Yves Bisoma) and keeping the striker away (Diane Kulusevsky). At this point Spurs were already 3-2 ahead, and Leicester were tired. The change of formation allowed Son to move to the second front which put him in a role where he did not have to make decisions and play with his back towards goal and could instead run behind more.

A while ago, Spurs supporters asked Conte to try a 3-5-2 formation. For example, Dejan Kulusevski is versatile enough to play a winger or perhaps even as a No. 10 behind Harry Kane and Son at the top. Kane and Son on the second front balance each other very well and with the right service and support behind them, it makes sense to play this kind of shape when favorite Conte isn’t working 3-4-3. However, Conte seemed very focused on 3-4-3 and while some additions like Clément Lenglet and possibly Djed Spence could improve the team on the ball’s progress, an important aspect of this is that Conte needs more players on the squad to be reliable and can Rely on her enough that he feels he can relate to her.

As of this writing, Spurs have played nine matches in the month of October. Things won’t get any easier in November when they play four games in 12 days before they head to the World Cup break. Because of this crowding in matches, Conte will have to modernize his squad a lot more and need to find a way to combine the duo of Oliver Skipp and Matt Doherty.

It’s easy to forget that Skipp hasn’t played at all and Doherty has barely appeared this season, but Skipp and Doherty were two of the players who benefited the most when Conte joined. After nearly two years of struggling to get into the team, Doherty came out of nowhere near the end of last season and was in great shape before suffering a season-ending injury against him. Aston Villa. While Doherty is not the greatest individual defender, he is much better in the offensive third than Emerson. It looks like Doherty is still getting fit before entering the side steadily.

Skipp is a player that Conte cared about almost from the moment he entered. It was an unusual set of circumstances for the 22-year-old given his unfortunate injury, which has kept him out of the squad since January. A mysterious pelvic injury has caused a serious time miss, but this is a player that everyone in and around the club has been caring about for years and he got confirmation from the club when he signed a five-year contract in April. Notably, Skipp started the England Under-21 match today, his first game in eight months, and Conte has publicly stated that both Doherty and Skipp are in his plans ahead of the World Cup.

Conte stated last week that Bosoma is a player who is struggling from a tactical perspective. However, in the win against Leicester, Bisuma played well and it should come as no surprise that he came in a match where he was in a three-midfield midfield – something he featured frequently during his time at Brighton under then-manager Graham Potter. have talked here before Much of Spurs’ tactical approach depends on their tenacity and dynamism. For them to continue to bring these traits into every game, team rotation is very important and this is where Skipp inside midfield and Doherty at right-back can be taken advantage of.

With Skipp in the fold, Spurs have four dependable players – albeit similar in profiles – who can play in matches where they see points or where they need a goal. Doherty’s steady return to the squad could help the side as he threatened the attacker to find space in the penalty area.

Looking at the team, Skipp and Doherty are the most likely to have a bigger role as the season progresses. However, there are a variety of players that are worth looking at. Players like Spence, Pape Matar Sarr and even Bryan Gil will surely feature in local competitions such as the League Cup or FA cup. But if there was a major complaint from Conte in his managerial career, it was his inability to rotate properly. Tottenham have a very good squad and their depth is much better now than it has been in years. With matches coming in quickly and often – especially if Spurs are looking to compete in almost all of them – we will need to see more and more players playing to delegate and spell players already firmly rooted in Conte’s plans.

Follow me Twitter @RyanSRatty.