Conte goes on the defensive about his style of play and squad selections

Antonio Conte has defended his style of play and squad selections following Spurs’ 3-1 North London derby defeat to Arsenal.

Spurs had gone into the game as one of only two remaining unbeaten sides in the Premier League, but were second best for large parts of the contest at the Emirates.


The North Londoners will look get back to winning ways when they travel to take on Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League this evening, and speaking at his pre-match press conference, Antonio Conte was keen to defend his record following the weekend defeat.

“You can concede six, seven or eight goals, in England that happens a lot of times,” he said. “In my career [it] never, never happened and I don’t like to play open and concede a lot of space and concede six, seven or eight goals. I won in England and then I won in my past and I think I can teach football to many people.”

The Italian often adopts a more pragmatic brand of football than other more modern managers, his side willing to sit deep and hit on the counter with pacey forwards, though Conte said he simply sets his side up in a way that gives them the best chance of winning.

“Every team has to think and understand the way to play different games,” Conte said. “Last season [against Arsenal] we won 3-0. When you lose you have to explain and when you win the opponent has to explain but, for me, it’s important to try to have a plan, to put my players in the best possible situation to exploit their characteristics.”

Spurs are set to be without Emerson Royal for three league games following his straight red card in the derby, and Tottenham fans have questioned why summer signing Djed Spence has only been afforded eight minutes of action.

However, Conte again defended his decision to regularly pick Royal at right wing-back, suggesting that he isn’t seeing enough in training from Spence or Matt Doherty.

“The fans have to be fans; I understand they can think everything but I see every day what happens during the training session,” Conte said. “If they trust me, then they trust me, but the choices are mine. If I didn’t decide to pick one player it’s maybe because he’s not ready.

“We are talking about a young player with good prospects but I try to pick the best team. Also, Doherty last season played every game. Now I’m not seeing him in the right way to start the game.

“I’m not stupid, I don’t want to lose. I try to pick the best team. If they trust me it’s OK, if they don’t trust me then I’m the coach and I need to take the best decisions for Tottenham.”

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