Glenn Hoddle has said he thinks Antonio Conte will be less than impressed with the sloppy way Tottenham’s Champions League win over Eintracht Frankfurt finished.
While Spurs dominated a large period of their home match on Wednesday, and were 3-1 up until the latter stages, the visitors made the finish tense, as Faride Alidou scored a header to reduce the deficit with three minutes remaining.
It could have been worse for Tottenham, as ten-man Frankfurt had additional chances to tie the match, despite the earlier dismissal of centre-back Tuta for two yellow cards. It was a save from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris that kept Spurs in front.
After the match, Conte went straight into the tunnel, instead of enjoying the result on the pitch with his players and the fans at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Antonio Conte’s Spurs side won 3-2, but the final few minutes against Frankfurt were nervous
Glenn Hoddle said he thinks the Tottenham boss will not be happy with the final stages of win
Hoddle told BT Sport: ‘He won’t be happy. Normally, he’ll be celebrating with the team and the crowd.
‘He knows they switched off. You can’t do that in the professional football, in the Champions League, against ten men.
‘They made the five subs, they lost the rhythm of the game through that. It was a strange game second half. They had total control of the game.
‘They’re on the edge of their seats, last minute. We could have ended up with a goal, Lloris had to make a save.’
Peter Crouch said the late goal for the Germans distracted from strong Spurs performances
Fellow pundit Peter Crouch said the late collapse drifted the focus away from the positives of the Spurs win.
The 41-year-old said: ‘We were talking about [Harry] Kane and [Heung-min] Son’s performance. At 3-1, it was so comfortable, it was a matter of how many.
‘They took their foot off the gas a little bit. The substitutions didn’t help, it was a bit nervy towards the end.
‘It’s a shame, it was such a good performance for 60, 70 minutes.’
Owen Hargreaves said while a strong finish was preferable, it did not take gloss off the result
But Owen Hargreaves, the third of BT’s pundit panel for the match, said the late result did not remove the gloss from Spurs’ win, which moved them top of their Champions League group.
Hargreaves said: ‘You’d like the finish to be a little better. When you have Kane and Son in the team, they give you every chance.
‘They’re top of the group, which is a tricky group. They’re all quite tricky teams. We saw that tonight with Frankfurt. Even with ten men, they had a go. With those players at the top, if they take their chances, they’ll finish top.’
Further on down the conversation, the former Bayern Munich man said: ‘They had ten men. You think the games out of sight. But they’re a crazy team, they’ll have a go. Even though they’re a man down, they kept pumping players forward. They had seven men in the box. You just get a bit nervous.’
Hoddle said the new rule of five substitutes negatively changes the dynamic of winning sides
Hoddle felt that Spurs fell into a common trap for teams now – how to keep the positive momentum, when a new rule can alter almost half of your starting 11.
The former Spurs man said: ‘In the modern day game, you have five substitutions nowadays. The dynamics of the team changes so much, especially if you’re winning.
‘If you’re losing, it’s not a problem, you’ve got nothing to lose, put people in the box. Spurs lost the rhythm of the game. Maybe they’re thinking for Saturday, for Everton at home – get this one done! The Champions League is the Champions League.’
The 64-year-old pundit was previously both a player and a manager at Tottenham Hotspur, and he brought his experience to discussing the aftermath of Wednesday’s narrow victory.
While Antonio Conte seemed calm about the situation during his post-match chat with BT, Hoddle felt that inside the manager was probably dealing with it differently.
Conte seemed calm in post-match, but Hoddle felt he’d be upset with his players afterwards
Hoddle said: ”They lost focus. I’m sure he was more upset in the dressing room than he was there in that interview. He wasn’t happy.
‘The team can learn a lot from that performance, they were very good in the middle part, they shifted the ball well.
‘They have the players up front to cause any team in the world problems, it’s how to get them consistently firing on all cylinders.
‘He’ll be delighted that they’re top. They can park that now for a week. It’s all about qualifying. Worry about the knock-out scenarios later on.’
Spurs can qualify for the knock-out stages of the Champions League if they win their next match at home to Sporting Lisbon in two weeks time.
Now, the north London side turn their attention back to the Premier League, where they will face Everton on Saturday, before games against Manchester United and Newcastle United before the Champions League returns.