Tottenham vs Sporting preview: Is Conte losing Spurs fans’ faith?
After a frustrating defeat against Newcastle on Sunday, Tottenham turn their attention to the Champions League in a crucial clash against Sporting Lisbon.
The last time these two sides met, Sporting ran away with the three points with two late goals in Portugal
Following this, Spurs boss Antonio Conte implored fans to get behind the team in the remaining home games in Europe, acting as a twelfth and thirteenth man for the team.
The question supporters are now left wondering is, will a galvanizing atmosphere be enough to spur the team on to victory?
With a plethora of performances being below the increasingly high expectations of the fanbase, some are beginning to worry how sustainable the current model is.
Conte is a world-class manager but when the players at his disposal are not capable of performing in the way he demands, cracks begin to show.
Against Newcastle, mistakes within the defence cost the North London side, along with a lack of an attacking threat.
Eric Dier and Hugo Lloris made individual mistakes against the Magpies but have saved the team on multiple occasions during the course of this season and previous.
Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte have all made their feelings known about the club and how there is potential to make something special with the foundations laid out.
“If you want to have a lovely house you need better furniture. It depends if you are going to spend money.”
Pochettino made this remark in 2019 and the quote can still be seen as relevant to the club’s situation today.
The injuries the club currently has, including Richarlison, Dejan Kulusevski, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Cristian Romero, are far from beneficial with a crucial run of games approaching.
Whether we are playing 3-5-2 or 3-4-3, the system appears to rely on counter-attacking play and soaking up pressure, with Conte being a master when it comes to this set-up.
On the other hand, the recent displays of the 3-5-2 have relied greatly on loyal servants Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane to be scoring goals in every possible situation, an unrealistic target for any player.
Despite this, the deadliest partnership in Premier League history are often amongst the goals in games where Spurs score, Kane taking his league tally to 10 for the season.
It is rumoured he is going to be backed once again by the club in January, hoping to sign an attacker, midfielder and defender in the process.
The signings made during the season could make or break the season, with last season’s January window helping immensely as Spurs gained qualification into the Champions League.
This upcoming game needs to create a shift in the style of Spurs’ performances.
Fans will continue to demand a style of play that entertains and gets results. If neither of those are seen, Conte may begin to lose favour.
A win against Sporting with a commanding display will encourage many supporters, however, another exasperating loss may put a place in the knockout stages of the Champions League in doubt.
Tottenham cannot afford to let go another outstanding manager depart without success and Conte is more than capable, with the backing of the club, of ending the club’s everlasting trophy drought.