Antonio Conte’s appointment hands defender last chance to succeed at Tottenham

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Ben Davies has started both fixtures under Antonio Conte so far and although he has performed better than expected, he still isn’t first to be praised by Tottenham fans.

Spurs have now won five, drawn one and lost five of their 11 Premier League games and already had a change in manager.

Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked just days after the Lilywhites’ 3-0 defeat to Man United and Conte’s appointment was announced just over 24 hours later.

The Italian has had two fixtures in charge of Tottenham, getting a victory over Vitesse in the Europa Conference League before a Premier League draw to Everton on Sunday.

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football.london has reported that the new Spurs manager has already been having an impact on the players with the training sessions and attention to detail.

Davies also hinted this in his post match interview with Tottenham after the game at Goodison Park, when asked about him playing in a back three, which has allowed him to also get forward at times.

“It’s a position I’ve played for the national team quite a lot and I enjoy playing there,” he said.

In the game against Rafael Benitez’s side, Davies was seen to make forward runs a few times during the match and this could be because the defender is comfortable in the 3-4-3 system.

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“If you move the ball quickly it can open up freedom for me to drive into and the manager’s encouraging that,” he explained.



Under Nuno Espirito Santo, Ben Davies was competing with Sergio Reguilon for a place at left-back.
Under Nuno Espirito Santo, Ben Davies was competing with Sergio Reguilon for a place at left-back

The 28-year-old’s recent time at Spurs has been a bit stop start, especially with the arrival of Sergio Reguilon last season.

However, with Conte’s move to the capital, he has so far found a place in the starting XI of his first two matches in charge.

So far this campaign, Davies has made ten appearances for the Lilywhites, with two of those coming this week under his new boss.

In Espirito Santo’s 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 set-ups, the Welshman didn’t get many chances ahead of the Spaniard and only made two league appearances under the Portuguese head coach.

When the line-up for Conte’s first fixture in charge was revealed, a number of fans were shocked to see Davies in the starting XI.

His performance wasn’t perfect but he, overall, had a decent game and did what he needed to alongside Eric Dier and Cristian Romero, until his sending off..

The same line-up was used in the Italian’s first Premier League game in charge on Sunday, meaning the XI must’ve impressed at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and/or also worked hard in training.

This meant Davies again got his chance to prove himself in the left centre-back role where he made some runs forward and even got a shot on goal, which went wide.

According to Whoscored.com, the defender had an 83.3% pass accuracy and 91 touches on the ball in the game and has had 75% tackle success in the Premier League so far this season.

Before the trip to Goodison Park, the Welshman hadn’t made a league appearance since the 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace and has had to remain on the bench in the other eight fixtures, as he wasn’t included in the matchday squad against Aston Villa.

This highlights that Davies could be one of a number of current Spurs players who could thrive under Conte, who is known for his tough training and regimented structure.

The likes of Dier, Harry Winks and Davies are often the ones to come under scrutiny from Spurs fans and even when they do something right, the negatives are usually the stand out points.

The January transfer window is just around the corner and as well as some new arrivals, supporters will expect there is also likely to be some departures to the players that don’t make Conte’s cut.

This means that if the Welsh international finds himself back on the Tottenham bench, he could be in danger of joining the players who make their exit from north London.

The 28-year-old will want continue this supposed hard work to keep his place in the back line as it could be his last chance to keep his place in N17.

If Davies doesn’t keep his work rate and defensive duties up to the Italian’s standards, he could be replaced by one of Joe Rodon, Davinson Sanchez and even Japhet Tanganga.

There is still lots of room for the defender to improve his game but Conte may be able to help him do that and if not, he could be a likely exit from Spurs.

Source by Football London

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