Tottenham Hotspur hosted Vitesse and played a game that included five goals in 40 minutes and three red cards, with Spurs holding off their opponents 3-2, finishing the match 10 v. 9. Just like Antonio Conte drew it up.
It was certainly a fun match for the neutral! In fact, you probably won’t see as bonkers a match for the rest of the season. Spurs and Vitesse were incredibly open, especially in the first half, and you have to think that this probably isn’t how Conte wants his new team to be playing.
Afterwards, Conte told BT Sport (via Sky) that considering the circumstances he was just happy to get a win.
“It was a crazy game, usually I don’t like this types of games, the crazy game means anything can happen. But at the same time I think we should win, and we won. For sure we were winning at 3-0 and then they scored two goals that we can avoid.
“Then after our red card, we were in trouble, but I think to win suffering is good for this team, for these players, and they needed to improve their confidence. I think they needed to work a lot, and we have to find the time to work. But now it is international break.
“Tonight they wanted to win, and for this season we won. For sure we have to improve, and I think that this is a positive thing. In my opinion there is a lot of space for improvement for this team, in every single player.
“It’s not easy because in two days we prepare for this game against Everton. It’s only one day because I think tomorrow it’s impossible to work with the players that played tonight, because they used a lot of energy.
“We need to have a bit of patience because we need to work on many aspects - tactically and physically, and I ask for the players to understand what I want.
“But I am not afraid about the work. Because in my life I know only through work you can reach important target.”
Conte talking about Tottenham winning while “suffering” is perhaps the most perfect encapsulation of his lunatic personality that I can think of. In fact, I couldn’t have made up a better phrase. Conte reiterated that point slightly differently (but no less incredibly) to a different media outlet after the match.
Conte: "Who knows me very well, knows I dislike this type of crazy game. When there is the possibility to kill the opponent, you must kill [them]. But for sure my players have shown me great commitment and great resilience. This team needs to win also [while] suffering."— Dan Kilpatrick (@Dan_KP) November 4, 2021
With the caveat that it’s only been two days (less if you consider that Conte’s work permit didn’t arrive until this morning), today’s match has suggested that Spurs still have a LOT of work to do to get to where Conte wants, but dear God the journey is going to be pretty friggin’ fantastic to watch.