The Conte effect
For this week’s article, I will focus on Spurs and the possible effect of appointing a new manager in Antonio Conte.
It was only last week that I was considering the benefits of Son and Kane with the main reason that their fixtures become really good between GW12 – 15. Spurs play three of the bottom four teams in this stretch.
This was simply fixtures over form argument in retrospective. What I had seen from the Spurs team was totally mixed under Nuno. I sat down to watch the Spurs vs Man Utd match at the weekend and I was completely shocked how the game panned out. It was as if Nuno was anticipating some form of Utd backlash after their dismal display against Liverpool the previous weekend and displayed caution, dropping Ndombeleto the bench. What transpired was one of the worst displays I have seen from a PL team this season compared their to their capabilities.
The speed of Nuno dismissal caught me off guard. I was pretty sure that Levy would back Nuno, if only to save a few quid in severance to Nuno and his team. However with a coach of the calibre of Antonio Conte available, Levy has done the smart thing and moved for the Italian coach.
We know that Conte prefers a back three system with wing backs. In his time at Inter Milan, he had a front two of Lukaku and Martinez and it is broadly expected that he will reprise this set up to some extent with Kane and Son. In what has been an unhappy time for Spurs fans since Mauricio Pochettino was sacked, the one shining light has been the partnership between Kane and Son and I’d be surprised if Conte didn’t try to focus on this as the key to the Spurs attack.Embed from Getty Images
What gives me some confidence in this theory is that the noises coming out of the Kane camp is that he is impressed with the appointment of Conte. He has had a sluggish start to the season in the PL and is clearly suffering from the team’s indifferent form, especially when it comes to creativity. That was clear to me in the Spurs v Man Utd game where he was wandering around deep and wide to get the ball.
None, one or both?
Without seeing Spurs line up under Conte, we simply don’t know how Conte will line up his Spurs team. I think the only guarantee is that Son and Kane will form the basis of the attack, though whether they line up as a straight up front two remains to be seen.
Though not a perfect comparison, I looked back at last season and how Son and Kane performed under Mourinho. The Portuguese manager’s time was cut short but he did manage to get these two key attackers linking up and many FPL managers (like myself) scrambled to get both into their teams early last season.
If you didn’t already appreciate the capabilities of these two players, here it is laid bare. Both players went past 200 FPL points. Son is really interesting as you will see he massively overperformed his xG but from the eye test, he has always been an exceptional finisher.
At £10.2m and £12.1m respectively, fitting Son and Kane into our FPL teams will be tricky to say the least but it isn’t impossible given the value picks like Mbuemo (£5.6m), Smith-Rowe (£5.6m) and Livramento (£4.5m). I would be watching the Everton v Spurs game keenly and assessing from there. I will almost certainly be getting Son as a midfielder who only needs to get one goal for double digit return. Getting Kane would require a downgrade somewhere but it might be worth the gamble, especially as a chain move to get Ronaldo (£12.4m) back for Utd’s great fixtures from GW16.
This is the current team with 2 FTs:
Ideally I’d probably do Dias (£6.1m) to Reece James (£5.8m) but I’d have a benching headache, when I am benching Livramento as it is. I may do a sideways Azpilicueta to James move to avoid the benching headache. Obviously I will wait for news before making any moves.