Antonio Conte's lungs put in a shift as Spurs beat Brentford
- Credit: John Walton/PA
An animated Antonio Conte directed Spurs to a 2-0 home win over Brentford on Thursday night (December 2).
The manager's project is in the early stages but he is beginning to impose his philosophy on the team.
An own goal from Sergi Canós and a goal from Heung-Min Son made for a comfortable win and Spurs will face tougher opposition but Conte will see this as progress.
The opening goal came as no surprise, with Son having the run of the left wing and Sergi Canós heading into his own net.
Brentford keeper Álvaro Fernandez had a good first half - sharp saves from Lucas and Son in particular preventing Spurs from running away with the game.
But Tottenham started strongly in the second half, with Kane put through for a one-on-one, drawing another good save.
An hour in and Kane fed Reguilón who this time got his cross right for Son to tap in.
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1. Conte has a set of lungs on him
Gone are the days of observing his inherited players doing their thing. The boss has seen enough. He's now conducting the orchestra, except by shouting. There is arm waving though. Maybe the analogy's weak.
During stoppages players came across to receive instructions, but even in full voice players sometimes struggled to make out instructions. Skipp, in particular, holding his arms out in confusion. Perhaps the language and the crowd make it difficult. Are players allowed wear ear pieces?
2. Ben Davies is still there
The 28-year-old has never been the most popular first-team regular, but manager after manager ends up picking him.
He's always been reliable and better going forward than many think. He can do a shift at centre back and Conte seems to like him on the left of the three. But as was seen from the second half of the win against Leeds, Conte doesn't see the three as centre backs. He wants to pull them as wide as possible without becoming exposed down the centre.
3. Sergio Reguilón's final ball
Reguilón and Royal are going to be important creative forces out wide in Conte's system. The Spaniard makes intelligent runs but time on the training ground is needed to get the final ball right, as it was for Son's goal here.
4. Lucas Moura - the third man
No new manager can resist a statement glamour signing and, unless Spurs sell Kane, if Conte buys something shiny and new, it seems inevitable it will be Lucas who loses out.
Yet he has been a bright spark in an otherwise dull season - carrying the ball forward, looking to create, and looking to get in the box. He's a class act but at 29 is there time to push up one more gear?
5. Harry Winks' Spurs career is still alive
Written off by many, but he came on for Lucas for the final quarter of the game. Conte launched him into the game with a hug, and he remains a capable player. A delightful little trapping-the-ball exchange with Skipp caught the eye.