Earlier today, as the excitement continued to build over Antonio Conte’s appointment as head coach at Tottenham Hotspur, there were concerns that his first match in charge of the club might not come until the weekend. Thanks to new Brexit regulations, Conte needs a work permit from the UK home office in order to begin work at Spurs, and it was thought that the necessary paperwork might not come in time for Conte to lead the club against Vitesse this Thursday.
According to Dan Kilpatrick at the Evening Standard, there’s no need to worry — Conte is expected to be in the dugout in time for the Europa Conference League match at White Hart Lane, before making his Premier League debut with Spurs this Sunday at Everton.
Because he doesn’t have the papers yet, he was not technically allowed to train today, though Spurs posted photos of Conte “observing” training at Hotspur Way.
This afternoon at Hotspur Way, our new Head Coach met the squad and observed training. pic.twitter.com/fu5BEY71Su— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 2, 2021
I have no proof of this, but I’d like to believe that this photo represents a Ratatouille-like situation where Conte was, like, sitting on Ryan Mason’s shoulders and controlling his training drills by manipulating his hair.
These work permit restrictions also means that Conte won’t be able to hold his first press conference tomorrow ahead of the match. But if you can’t stand not having an Italian in front of the cameras, don’t fret — those duties will be taken over by Managing Director of Football Fabio Paratici and club captain Hugo Lloris.
There’s really no telling what Spurs are going to look like against Vitesse. It’s not like Conte has had or will have a whole lot of time to implement a new attacking structure at the club. What I can almost certainly promise you is that the atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is going to be significantly more electric than it would’ve been just a few days ago. If Thursday’s match hasn’t sold out yet, I’d be genuinely surprised.