Tottenham matchday issue raised as Conte urged to ‘look at’ change

Tottenham train ahead of Champions League trip to Marseille

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Former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has advised Antonio Conte to oversee his team’s pre-match warm-up. He thought the Spurs team were ‘slow’ in their preparations ahead of their game against Bournemouth last weekend, and they conceded within the first 22 minutes.

Spurs managed to come from two goals down against the Cherries to secure all three points at the Vitality Stadium last Saturday, keeping them third in the Premier League table. However, their display was far from impressive until the turnaround.

After a brace from Kieffer Moore, goals from Ryan Sessegnon and Ben Davies levelled the match before Rodrigo Bentancur popped up with a late winner in extra time. Conte’s team were a different animal in the closing stages of the match, though their slow start almost cost them.

Sherwood has implied that the warm-up he watched before the match may have been a factor, telling talkSPORT that the team lacked energy. He explained: “I watched five minutes of their warm-up, I wasn’t happy with what I was looking at.

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“You always look for excuses and I’m not saying it was the reason (for the display) but I was just looking at the warm-up even before the start of the game and I was thinking ‘I’m not sure that’s sharp enough’. Perhaps Antonio can look at that.

“It was just slow, it was just one-paced. They were all running around like Mo Farah, I want to see quick, quick, slow, and a little bit of sharpness. Not tackles, not flying in, I don’t mean that. It was a keep-ball session and it looked slow and like they were tired. You can tell sometimes in a player’s eyes and the way they’re working.

“I was saying to the person sitting next to me ‘I don’t like this warm-up, it’s not good. I don’t like the sharpness’ and then they started really badly. I don’t think Antonio’s one of those who goes out and watches, whereas Jurgen (Klopp) definitely does.”

It remains to be seen whether Tottenham are able to overcome their habit of starting matches slowly or if Conte is able to put different measures in place to overcome the issue.

Spurs take on Marseille in the Champions League on Tuesday night in a match that they must avoid defeat if they are to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition, and if they are lethargic against the Ligue 1 side despite what is at stake then serious questions will be asked of the mentality of the team.

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