BBC pundit questions Antonio Conte's decisions at Tottenham
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BBC pundit questions Antonio Conte's decisions at Tottenham

Garth Crooks has claimed on BBC Sport that some of Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte’s decisions – including the one where he chose to start Pape Matar Sarr in the North London derby – has beggared belief.

Spurs returned to winning ways thanks to a Harry Kane goal against Fulham last night. It was only their second win in their last five games, which is not great at all.

Conte deserves a part of the blame.

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BBC pundit questions Antonio Conte’s decisions at Tottenham

There are a lot of things that need questioning at Tottenham – right from the top. However, it’s always the manager who is responsible for his side’s performances on the pitch.

Spurs are just three points behind the top four at the moment. That doesn’t look bad, but their performances this season, for the most part, have been really underwhelming.

Crooks has had a go at some of Antonio Conte‘s decisions recently. Keeping Hugo Lloris in the side despite numerous mistakes is one of them, while pushing someone as young and inexperienced as Sarr to start in the North London derby is another.

The BBC pundit says those two decisions, in particular, have beggared belief.

He wrote: “Antonio Conte said after the defeat against Manchester City that he thinks his Tottenham team are not ready to be at the top. He’s been in the job for the best part of 18 months and he’s only getting that now?

“I don’t know how much Spurs are paying the Italian but it will be a princely sum to pick the team, manage fans’ expectations and explain to the media why his team are leaking goals.

“While I have been a great admirer of Conte, the Italian seems to be a shadow of the man that lifted the Premier League title with Chelsea in 2017. Tottenham players appear not to be responding to his methods as they did when he first arrived.

“Furthermore, his judgement has been called into question. Hugo Lloris should have been replaced months ago while the selection of 20-year-old Pape Matar Sarr for his first north London derby against Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka beggared belief.

“I fear Conte may have given up and I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he eventually walks.”

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TBR View:

Conte is a world-class manager, there’s no doubt about that.

However, some of his decisions on the pitch and comments off it seem to have divided Spurs fans. Many are still desperate for him to stay, but some won’t mind too much if he’s gone in the summer because of everything that has happened recently.

Conte’s decision to stick with Lloris is one that has given rise to criticism, while it probably wasn’t the best decision to let Pape Matar Sarr get overrun in the middle of the park against Arsenal’s fantastic midfield.

Sarr wasn’t too bad in the derby though, he held his own – it was Conte’s tactics that cost Spurs that game. But, if there’s anyone who can turn this around, it’s probably the Italian.

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
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