‘I’m really not happy’: Antonio Conte has SLAMS the fixture schedule again with Spurs back in action on Boxing Day… as he reveals his plan to choose players who have stayed at home rather than his World Cup stars for Brentford clash
- Antonio Conte’s Tottenham take on Brentford in Boxing Day kick off
- Conte revealed his frustration at playing so soon after the World Cup
- He said he might have to select players he has worked with in recent weeks
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte is not happy playing so soon after the World Cup and has hinted he will select those who remained in England for the Boxing Day clash at Brentford.
The Premier League resumes barely a week after Spurs duo Hugo Lloris and Cristian Romero faced off in Qatar to win the World Cup.
While Conte has already confirmed the World Cup finalists will not play on Monday, the Italian has the decision to replace Croatian Ivan Perisic as well as England pair Harry Kane and Eric Dier after the trio qualified for the last eight.
Antonio Conte slammed Tottenham’s fixture schedule ahead of Brentford trip
“It’s a strange situation and honestly, playing so fast – just a week after the World Cup – I’m not really happy,” he said.
“On the one hand you are happy because for my club, Tottenham, to have 12 players at the World Cup means that we are on the right track to try to be competitive and to try in the future to win. Something.
“But it’s normal that when you have so many players playing a tournament like this, especially during the season, that now it’s not easy because the physical condition is not at the top.
Conte said he would probably choose players he worked with during the World Cup
“It’s impossible to give them much rest and that’s for sure with the players who haven’t played in the World Cup and we’ve been working for four weeks, now they’re in great physical condition.
“We work a lot on the tactical aspect and the physical aspect. Now they are at a better level than the players who finished the World Cup.
“For this reason, I think I have to make the best decision for the game against Brentford. On the one hand, I have players with whom I have worked very well for four weeks and on the other, I have players who worked at the World Cup and who are not on top right now.
Romero is definitely absent from Monday’s midday kick-off and Lloris will start on the bench, Conte revealed on Friday.
Harry Kane is back in Spurs training after leading England to the World Cup in Qatar
Rodrigo Bentancur will also be out through suspension, but has also treated a minor hamstring issue. The same injury will sideline Richarlison for a month and Lucas Moura’s problem with his tendon continues.
Conte said of Moura: “He’s having a hard time finding a solution.
“For sure it’s a difficult situation, because I have a good player in my team, but he’s never available. It’s like you don’t have him.
“It’s a shame because we’re talking about a good player, a good guy, but he’s struggling a lot to solve this problem. I don’t know what will happen to him in the future.
Spurs boss has confirmed runner-up Hugo Lloris will be on the bench on Monday
BOXING DAY MEETINGS
Brentford v Tottenham (12:30 p.m.)
Crystal Palace v Fulham (3:00 p.m.)
Everton v Wolves (3:00 p.m.)
Leicester v Newcastle (3:00 p.m.)
Southampton v Brighton (3:00 p.m.)
Aston Villa v Liverpool (5:30 p.m.)
Arsenal v West Ham (8:00 p.m.)
The absence of Moura, who has only started twice this season, could force Spurs action in the January transfer window, but Conte admitted with a hint of resignation that the only signings he expected would be young players in line with club policy.
“What do I want the club to do? I think it’s not fair to say that,” he said.
“I can give advice to my club, how to try to improve the team and improve the quality of the team, especially since after five months the situation has changed since the start of the season.
“If there is an opportunity to strengthen the team, we will do something. You know what our policy is, you know very well what our policy is.
“We will try to follow this policy and improve the team. If there is an opportunity to strengthen the squad, we will do so.
“Otherwise we will continue with these players and I’m happy with them.”
Pressed on Tottenham’s ‘politics’, he added: ‘About signing, players signed and young players, players with small salaries and that.
“We need to sign players who can stay in our vision, in the club’s vision.”