The Conte substitution that sums up his current mind frame at Tottenham

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 08. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images) /

Antonio Conte introduced Davinson Sanchez in the 83rd minute of Wednesday’s bitterly disappointing Champions League 0-0 stalemate, encapsulating the gaffer’s current mind frame at Tottenham.  

While not wholly inexplicable, the decision was perplexing and infuriating for countless Tottenham supporters.

Cristian Romero had just seen red after lunging in on Milan captain Theo Hernandez, so there was precedent to making the defensive alteration. However, that precedent was rendered utterly meaningless by the situation at hand.

Needing a goal to force the match into extra time, Conte introduced one of the team’s worst defensive players and sacrificed one of their only offensive threats, defying logic.

The ill-advised decision didn’t go unnoticed, as Harry Kane plodded to the touchline to determine the plan. He was visibly blanked by Conte, who was obviously either unsure himself or, even worse, absolutely clear on the magnitude of such a risk-averse, shackled decision.

Even Ryan Mason shrugged his shoulders, exasperated and unable to reassure Spurs’ captain.

Skeptics and pessimists might even believe Conte’s decision was made to sabotage any dying hope for Tottenham. They would say the manager wants the sack and the exorbitant severance payout that goes with it.

That’s not too farfetched after hearing Conte’s post-match comments about potentially receiving his marching orders.

Worse-case theories aside, it emphatically and undeniably showed Conte’s lack of endeavour and enterprise.

Tottenham was desperate for an offensive spark in the most crucial match of the season with time winding down. And, like a treacherous nightmare, Sanchez was introduced to save the day.

I understand the gaping hole Romero’s departure created, but Sanchez isn’t the answer, even if Spurs needed to defend for their lives.

Next. Richarlison's comments reflect sour mood at Tottenham. dark

The moment was as damning as it was frustrating, and it provides detailed insight into Conte’s current mentality at the club he’s tasked to shepherd into next season’s Champions League.

That’s an ominous thought for Spurs supporters.