The 2022/23 season is quickly approaching and it isn’t long until Antonio Conte will be putting his side through a tough pre-season ahead of a busy campaign. Not only will Spurs have their usual Premier League and domestic cup competition matches, their fourth-place finish last season will see them return to the Champions League this year.
The Lilywhites haven’t been in the top European competition since they reached the final under Mauricio Pochettino in 2019. With the world-class manager making the move to N17 last November, he has made improvements to individuals and the team, helping them secure their spot in the Champions League again.
In order to try and prevent multiple injuries and ensure his squad stay at the highest level possible, Conte will need to rotate his regular XI. football.london understand that the Italian doesn’t want his side to have the mentality that there is a set lineup.
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Tottenham need a squad full of players who compete for the regular spots, but also have those who can step-in when needed. There were glimpses of this seen last season, with likes of Davinson Sanchez stepping in when there were injuries in the back three.
The 52-year-old is already working to improve the quality in the depth of his squad and increase the size of his team, with the three first team arrivals that have already been secured this summer. Fraser Forster has made the move to the capital as Hugo Lloris’ backup.
Both Ivan Perisic and Yves Bissouma will battle for regular game time but also help provide Conte with more options. The five substitution rule is another key reason why Tottenham need enough players to make rotations, as and when needed.
When the Italian was Chelsea boss, he led the Blues to win the Premier League title in his first full season in charge. In his second full campaign at the club, the 52-year-old also had to juggle Champions League games and he outlined the difficulty of playing in all four competitions.
“You are never relaxed in England because you have to play a tough league and also FA Cup and also Carabao Cup. Now we are starting to play the Champions League. To play 60, 65 games it’s normal but it’s not easy,” he admitted, not long after the 2017/18 season began.
“In my past sometimes before a Champions League game you rested. In England it’s not easy to do this. When you make the decision [on selection] there is always the risk. The risk could be to play with the same players as against Leicester and then after the game: ‘Why didn’t you change the team that was tired?’
“You know very well if you win you’ve made the best decision, if you lose you’ve made the worst decision. I must be realistic, I must be calm, to make the best decision for these seven games. It’s normal when you have to play seven games in 21 days to rotate my players. I’m very calm about this because I trust my players,” Conte added.
Fans want to see their team’s strongest XI every week but when Tottenham have so many games to play, this is almost impossible. The 52-year-old’s mention of “trust” when talking about his Chelsea side, is exactly what needs to be replicated at Spurs.
The Lilywhites stepped up in a number of crucial games to help them secure a top four finish and Conte needs to be able to rely on his side to do this when required. “There is the necessity to do rotation, otherwise you arrive to play the rest of the games with your team without energy,” the Italian said.
Under Nuno Espirito Santo, the Portuguese seemed to almost create a divide in his squad, with an almost set first and second XI, who would rotate depending on the competition. However, Conte needs his Tottenham side to be a cohesive squad and ensuring rotation doesn’t also mean a drop in quality.
A number of games highlighted this problem last season, with substitutes not being able to make a consistent difference in games when needed. This is why the summer window is vital in adding quality to his team, from those who start most weeks, to those who may be side-lined but will still be crucial members of the squad.
Source by Football London