Antonio Conte will look to Spurs after his maiden Premier League win when he is at home in the dugout for the first time this afternoon.
Spurs welcome Leeds United to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the late kick-off on Sunday to get back into action after the international break.
The Italian narrowly defeated Vitesse in the Europa Conference League but only managed to score one point against Everton at Goodison Park before several members of his squad left for the national team.
He’s now faced with an unusual Yorkshire outfit, but there will be a number of dilemmas floating around his head on the way into the encounter.
The Lilywhites’ creative problems are no secret – despite being tenth before the game, they are among the worst in the league in the last third.
Should Ndombele START against Leeds?
Only Norwich City (10) have averaged fewer shots per game than Spurs (10.1) and similarly the Canaries (9.32) are the only team to have a lower expected goal rate than the North Londoners (11.43) .
In addition, the worrying run of the Spurs continued under Conte without a goal or shot on goal. It’s now been five hours since they last found the net – when Heung-min Son finished third at Newcastle United – and it’s been almost four hours since Harry Kane’s header was hit against West Ham.
Something about this evidence has to change.
It was quietly discussed that the 52-year-old could change his system at the club, from a 3-4-3 kind of using Son and Lucas Moura as inside strikers behind Kane, to a 3-4-1-2, which would put a number 10 in the hole.
If so, it is time for Conte to reach out to Tanguy Ndombele, as the Frenchman is arguably the club’s most technically talented in his day.
Indeed, ex-goalkeeper Joe Hart once raved about his ability to endorse BT Sports expert Rio Ferdinand.
“This boy is a world champion, he can do anything.” He just turned around during the game and said that kid was unplayable, ”the former shot stopper claimed during the Spurs’ FA Cup game against Wycombe Wanderers (via football.london).
The 24-year-old Dynamo, valued at £ 34million by the CIES Football Observatory, should always be the creative heartbeat of Spurs midfield after Christian Eriksen’s departure, but he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.
Maybe it’s Conte who gets the best out of him, but he’ll have to face him against Leeds for the first time to find out.
As early as 2018, the French football journalist Julien Laurens praised Ndombele for his attributes in the last third and told the BBC:
“All he does is forward – there aren’t many side passes. The first thing he thinks of is going forward with a pass that can break a line or hit two or three players with a dribble because he carries the ball so well.
At Lyon, the 1.70 m tall midfielder averaged at least 1.5 key passes per 90 minutes in every first division season before joining Spurs. That would put him in third place in the current squad and in the current season.
With Oliver Skipp also suspended, it would be advisable for Conte to unleash Ndombele against Leeds this afternoon. It could be a game changing decision that comes full time.
AND in other news, Paratici can solve two major Conte problems by signing a £ 26million “flawless” colossus …