Will the Italians want Conte back

AC Milan v Tottenham (1-0) | A tough night at the San Siro for Conte | Champions League Highlights

after watching this rubbish.

Another dire game, in a dire season, as Spurs lost their unbeaten record to AC Milan, being lucky to just lose 1-0 away in the first leg of the round of 16 tie.

It brought back memories of a previous February Champions league encounter with Milan, at the San Siro, with Gattuso and Joe Jordan squaring up. Spurs fans worried back then about a midfield of Sandro and Wilson Palacios, here they were worried about Sarr and Skipp.

Didn’t have to worry back then, didn’t have to worry this time.

The difference back then was that Milan team went on to be the Italian league champions that year and were a pretty decent side, while the current team lie fifth and are not exactly setting the world alight. While Spurs are just dull and a shambles at the back.

Also Milan were lucky in 2011, Spurs were lucky in 2023.

Where back then a fast break out by Aaron Lennon and a smart finish by Peter Crouch saw Spurs leave with one goal victory. In contrast not one of the Spurs forward players, and they used five, had a single shot on target. Between them they mustered a whole three shots, all game, the same as Pape Sarr managed on his own and fewer than Dier.

That just summed Spurs up. Plenty of the ball and done nothing with it. All highlighted by the stat that the returning Emerson Royal, for most of the game, had the most touches of any Spurs players.

He was overtaken in the end by Sarr, the only bright spot with Skipp, on the night, bar the final scoreline just being one nil. With the injuries to Bentancur and Bissouma, we should see Sarr play out the rest of the season, you just hope Conte’s tactics don’t hold him back.

No it wasn’t the kids that let Spurs down. It was the usual suspects doing their usual routine. Teams only score omniclusterfuckshambles goals against Spurs, and so it was. The returning Romero, who had a bit of a shocker, had a shocker, being out jumped and fought by a player who ran rings round him for most of the match, then picking up yet another stupid booking for a stupid challenge. His shot hits off Forster, who got up smartly to block the shot that resulted but could only palm the ball up into the air for the player to head home an easy one.

No one knows what Romero was doing. No one knows where Emerson was. no one knows what Dier was pointing at. No one knows why Dier can’t block anything anymore.

Later on Milan had to gilt edge chances to increase the lead, with two easy headers that went just wide of the post. But then Spurs had their own one, not quite as cut and dried as the Milan chances, but Dier’s late header to his own feet should have been a hell of a lot better.

Meanwhile two of Spurs front three, Son and Kulusevski, were running into cul-de-sacs, while Kane was just being fouled. The former pair were too narrow, so there was no real width, I mean Emerson offers nothing if he gets forward, while Perisic was just a bit slow to the party.

I don’t know why Conte persists with this. Son and DK’s best work comes when they get wide, get into space, not when they have to players on them with the ball. But persist he does and he stands there watching it not working, while doing nothing about it.

He stood there for 70 minutes watching it not work before bringing on Richarlison for DK. Not bringing your £60m signing until the 70th minute, while what is going isn’t working in any shape or form, just gives Levy another excuse not to spend money. Conte waited another 10 minutes before introducing the January signing Danjuma for Son. At the end of the game the Dutchman looked like he wished he’d joined Everton.

But with that change came the pièce de résistance. Classic Conte, here comes Ben Davies. Yes, that Ben Davies. What was it about about the previous 26 outings of Davies that made Conte thing, yeah, he’s the game changer?

Game changer. Well there was a 35 to 40 yard pot shot and a cross from about 40 yards out that curled out for a throw. It pretty much summed up Spurs on the night.

But apparently they’re still favourites to go through…

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