The Bad — Vitesse score two in seven minutes
Everything went precisely according to Conte’s plan until the away side grabbed a lifeline in the 32nd minute via Rasmussen’s powerful header. Eric Dier was beaten to the ball, allowing Rasmussen to bang home his header almost uncontested. In fairness to Dier, he was obstructed by a fallen Vitesse player. Still though, we’ve seen this act before.
Set pieces have been a achilles heel for Tottenham under previous regimes, and Conte will surely place a heightened imperative on finding a way to stop the bleeding.
Vitesse targeted the right side, taking advantage of Royal’s advanced position. The Brazilian was found wanting in the last 15 minutes of the first half. While he impressive going forward, Conte will not be pleased with how easily the Dutch side penetrated Spurs’ wings. Matus Bero took advantage of Royal’s advanced position, swept in off the wing to displace Christian Romero and roll past Hugo Lloris.
The craziness continued after the interval, as Romero was sent off for a second bookable offence. Spurs were predictably hemmed in after going down to 10 men. The tide turned when Vitesse’s
Though chockfull of entertainment and enterprising football, Conte will want to focus his attention on finding a way to shore up things defensively. The gaffer, however, will love the way Tottenham took the impetus and created more chances in half an hour than they had in the previous two top flight matches under Nuno.
Contrastingly, he’ll know a lot of work is required to improve a palpably shaky defence. Invariably, it will take time for Tottenham to adapt to Conte’s 3-5-2 system, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
There were bundles of promising signs in the victory, with supporters elated about the offensive, dynamic and direct brand of football Spurs adopted at the first time of asking. Bring on Everton on Sunday.