Antonio Conte Tottenham meeting
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'Almost seems part of a ploy': Alasdair Gold thinks Conte has done something 'really interesting' at Spurs

Alasdair Gold has suggested that Antonio Conte’s lukewarm reaction to Cristian Romero’s display for Tottenham Hotspur last week seems “almost… part of a ploy”.

The Spurs correspondent was speaking on his YouTube channel, his latest video coming out on Wednesday.

The Tottenham summer signing delivered arguably his finest performance for the Lilywhites in last week’s 3-1 win over Leicester.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

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Romero made a series of crucial challenges and even swept up behind his defensive teammates when needed.

One crunching challenge he made in the Leicester half set Tottenham away for Son Heung-min’s goal.

Following such a superb performance, you’d expect a manager to sing his player’s praises.

“A Nuno answer”

However, Conte steered clear of doing so regarding Romero’s heroics, instead choosing to focus on the team’s display.

It was left to Son to laud his teammate after the game, and Gold picked up on this.

“What I found really interesting was that Conte wasn’t too keen on praising him, he really wasn’t,” he said (13:30).

“I asked him a very direct question about Romero and he kind of said ‘yeah, he had a good game’.

“And then he went off talking about the team and all the players, which was quite a Nuno answer, actually, from Conte.

“In the house (Spurs media team) one, he didn’t even answer the question. He swerved away and spoke about the team again.

“It kind of almost seems part of a ploy. It’s almost like ‘alright, you are terrific, we know you’re terrific, but you could be so much more’.”

It may have been unusual for Conte not to laud Romero’s masterclass last week, but whatever he’s doing with the defender is certainly working.

What Gold said makes sense – perhaps Romero is the kind of player who responds better to being challenged?

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