It was expected that new Tottenham Hotspur head coach Antonio Conte would be in the dugout to lead his new team in their first match today against Vitesse. Now it’s official — The Evening Standard is reporting that Conte’s work permit came through from the home office Thursday morning, and Spurs’ new boss no longer has to shout orders at his team from a distance while maintaining the illusion that he’s not actually coaching.
Various reports from people at Tottenham’s training ground yesterday said that Ryan Mason took control of training on Tuesday and Wednesday, but that Conte was around to “observe” his players and offer suggestions. Some reports said that at one point Spurs played a scrimmage in which both teams set up in a 3-5-2 formation, which gives you perhaps some idea of what we might expect in today’s match.
We have absolutely no idea how Conte will set up his team tonight. We can make a guess (I did so in our look at Conte’s recent tactics at Inter Milan) but there are a ton of questions — will he use the 3-5-2 formation he utilized at Inter, or something different? Will he pair Son and Kane up top? Who will he prefer in the back line? And will any of this persist into Sunday’s important Premier League away match at Everton?
At least we know that Conte is now legal as far as the UK government is concerned and can start legally screaming at his players. I’m giddy and haven’t been this excited to watch a Tottenham match in forever.