Conte everything Santo was not for Tottenham
Part of the issue with Tottenham Hotspur and Nuno Santo was one of connection. Santo is a very reserved man who seemed to rarely get vocal. Alternatively, Antonio Conte is anything but quiet and reserved on the sidelines.
Nuno was more of a manager where he gave his instructions and then things went from there. Conte seems very much a coach, where he is involved in every moment of the match and is constantly working to get his players in the right positions to enact his vision.
With his brain, mouth, and arms in constant motion as he positions his players across the field, Conte is constantly coaching.
The same seemed to be true of Conte’s staff. After each goal Spurs scored there was Cristian Stellini in Conte’s ear providing some insight into what he had just seen. You could see similarly animated conversations on the bench between the rest of the staff, including Ryan Mason.
The ongoing dialog and analysis were with reason, particularly after Cristian Romero was red-carded and Spurs went down to 10 men.
Whereas Santo was criticized for failing to act with substitutes on multiple occasions, Conte did not hesitate when it came to making a big change to regain control of the match. Conte’s triple substitution to re-establish the back three and gets some fresh legs on for pressure worked very well.
Seeing how committed Conte is to a three-man defence was also refreshing as Santo seemed to bend more to what was before than re-shape the team in an image he may have had. This means, we again have a coach with philosophy and principles, which he will stick with when times get tough.
It was not a perfect start for Conte and clearly, there is still a lot of work. However, given everything that transpired over the 90 minutes, Spurs clearly have a top-class coach again.