Antonio Conte has admitted that the Tottenham Hotspur squad will need to improve their set-piece defending to get better results moving forward. The issue was once again highlighted in their recent 3-2 defeat at the hands of Manchester United in a Premier League match at Old Trafford, writes the THAB.
The decisive third goal scored by Man United came from yet another set-piece, this time a corner, which Cristiano Ronaldo headed past Hugo Lloris to give them the win. Cristian Romero was the one marking the Portuguese international. But a brilliant training drill routine took the Spurs centre-back out of contention as Raphael Varane dragged him away to free up Ronaldo to score.
Speaking in an open interview (h/t Evening Standard), Conte has admitted that they are working on the training ground to solve this problem as soon as possible. However, he did add that they need time and patience to keep improving in different areas. Finally, he has conveyed that they are looking into the set-piece issues to put an end to it once and for all.
“In the last period we have been conceding a lot of goals from set-pieces, but we are working on this. You have to know that this is a process because this team is a team that needs time, needs time to grow and improve, but I think you can see their improvement, a big improvement on the pitch. We will analyse the situation and to try improve the set pieces because I repeat, we are conceding a lot of goals from set-pieces.”
It would take some time for the entire squad to do justice to the identity imposed by the Italian coach. After all, we have players who just joined last summer, and they would take time to gel with their teammates effectively. As such, it would take some time for them to coordinate impactfully with the rest of the squad.
Perhaps, that could be one of the issues which are causing these problems while dealing with set-pieces. Conte’s teams are known for their defensive solidity, and the sooner we fix this issue, the more time we can focus on strengthening other areas.
Set-piece drills during training sessions would enable the players to be on the same page while trying to replicate real-life scenarios. We must iron out these issues to create proper coordination between the players to pick out their respective opponents while dealing with such deliveries.
With the match against Brighton and Hove Albion set to take place next in the league, we are hopeful that the team could find some success in solving this issue to an extent in the build-up to this clash. Let’s hope that we end this problem of ours at the earliest to prevent the opposition attackers from taking advantage of this opportunity.