CONTE Tactics MASTERCLASS | GREAT RESULTS | FM 22 Tactics | RDF Tactics | Football Manager 2022
Since Antonio Conte has arrived, he's deployed the 3-4-3 system at Tottenham Hotspur, which saw Spurs get a 0-0 draw away to Everton, but then won their 3 Premier League games after that draw. Against Leeds United, Brentford and Norwich City. In their most recent game (at the time of writing this), they came up against an in-form Liverpool side which saw Conte switch formation, to a counter-attacking 5-3-2 operating in a mid to low block and which proved to be somewhat successful getting a 2-2 draw. Unfortunately, Spurs have been hit hard with absentees, but Eric Dier, Pierre Højbjerg and Son Heung-min have been key to Antonio Conte's side so far.
Spurs in their most recent game using 3-4-3 (Vs Norwich City)
Spurs in their most recent game using 5-3-2 (Vs Liverpool)
Within their 3-4-3 shape, Antonio Conte has so far defended in a mid to high block attempting to force the opponents around the block and defend and win the ball back in the wider areas to then seek counter-attacking opportunities.
Lengthy spells without the ball, the side will look to shape up in a 5-4-1 with the wingers dropping deeper. This allows the central midfielders to leave their line to press and to make sure there's no space in between the lines, the central defender will also push ahead to reduce in the central areas. The plan has been to block the central routes by central players defending close to each other not allowing the opponents to play through them.
Once Spurs have successfully forced the play wide, the team will then look to shift together as a unit, still remaining close to each and making sure the channels are closed. Tottenham will also look to gain numerical superiority when defending in the wider areas, often creating 4v2 or 4v3's in their favour, which often involves the ball sided wing-back, winger, central midfielder and wide central defender. Remaining patient and maintaining that superiority out wide has been key when Spurs turnover the ball in the wider areas.
But Tottenham have also demonstrated a higher press with a higher defensive line to stop sides from playing, which results in more intensity of the ball. In an attempt to stop teams from playing out from the back, Harry Kane will look to block off central passing options whilst the ball-sided winger will look to press the man on the ball. The far-side winger will have the job of blocking the switch and Højbjerg will tightly mark any central midfielders dropping deep to receive. Lastly, the ball-sided wing-back will also look press high, closing down the opposition's full-back. This forces the opponents to play more directly, where Conte will have three central defenders looking to either win the aerial duel or recover the ball for the Spurs.
Tottenham had a PPDA of 8.2 - demonstrating a more pressing side vs their 14.33 PPDA against Liverpool.
In the 5-3-2 vs Liverpool, they defended in the low block with similar principles, of blocking the central area forcing Liverpool to go wide. With Liverpool's full-backs often advancing to join the attack, this meant on occasions when Spurs won the ball, they could immediately go on the attack and have a 2v2 situation with Tottenham's two up top versus Liverpool's two central defenders.
In the 3-4-3, the two wingers/attacking midfielders operate and receive the ball in central areas, often looking to create a numerical superiority with their central midfielders against the opposition midfielders.
Spurs passing link Vs Norwich City. Take note of Son and Moura's positioning.
The forward line also likes to make counter-movements to open up space. If Kane drops, then Son can push ahead and if Son drops, Kane will advance and this creates space by stretching the lines of the opposition.
Conte's Spurs side so far have built from the back using a 3+2 shape with the flat back three and a slightly staggered double-pivot dropping deep. This forces pressing sides to engage, and Spurs can use the dropping double-pivot to lure the opposition and create space for the 2 attacking midfielders further ahead. To beat the high press, Højbjerg will drop deep to offer a good passing angle for the central defender on the ball, whilst Winks serves as the third man to release the wider central defender. Or, they could use Eric Dier who is particularly good on the ball to break pressing lines by firing a vertical pass to an attacking midfielder who will look to drop at an angle to offer a passing option.
Lastly, as analysed on TotalFootballAnalysis, Royal Emerson has been the more proactive wing-back, joining the attack earlier. When Spurs win the ball, Emerson is seen sprinting off to "provide the width, stretch the channels, and push the last line deeper. Then, Tottenham could play through the gaps of the defence and exploit them by runners".
Credits: Mak Pakhei - https://totalfootballanalysis.com/match-analysis/premier-league-2021-22-tottenham-leeds-united-tactical-analysis-tactics
Wyscout - https://wyscout.com/
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(watch the video for most updated version, slight tweaks were made)