Antonio Conte reveals tactical secrets using Subbuteo

Spurs manager Antonio Conte has had a promising start to the Premier League season after a busy summer of transfers.

The Italian has led Spurs to seven points from his first three games of the season including a bad-tempered draw against London rivals Chelsea that led to a red card for the fiery manager. Now he has revealed the secrets to his tactical success using none other than a Subbuteo pitch and players.

Using the modern Hasbro pitch, players and ball (check out those awful goals), Conte appeared in a video on the official Tottenham Hotspur website to discuss his 3-at-the-back system using the world’s most popular table top football game.

Conte says: “I use Subbuteo to study and sometimes to explain some tactical situations to my players. I am at home with this.”

He went on to explain how he sets up the Spurs team for Premier League fixtures including the best use of superstars including Harry Kane and Hueng Min-Son. He says: “A good team has to be good to recognise different phases of the game. If you find your opponents are very deep you have to stay with the players and also prepare to counter attack with four players.

“When you are defending in your own half of the pitch you have to be good, to be narrow defensively and then exploit the space for the counter attack.

“The best for a team is to stay 30-35 metres from front to back. It is important to not leave space. We have players that are very good at attacking space. We are trying to implement different solutions than last season because I have worked with the players for seven months. The most important thing is to occupy the space here (in the opponents half).”

Conte also explained how the defenders in his system need to have good stamina to be involved in defence and attack. He says they can move into the attack and assist if they spot an opportunity. He also stressed the importance of wing backs, which he described as ‘very important’ because it will not work if they are too defensive. He says he likes players who used to be wingers because they are good one-on-one in attacking situations, citing the transformations of Victor Moses and Ivan Perisic under his management.

Conte ordered two top-of-the-range Subbuteo tables from Italian Subbuteo maker Astrobase recently and is clearly using them as a teaching tool for his team.

Astrobase has confirmed two of its tables were delivered to Conte complete with top-of-the-range Astrobase pitches and teams that include Spurs, Chelsea and Liverpool so that Conte can demonstrate his tactical ideas.

Astrobase says: ” We are proud to have received from Tottenham Hotspur FC the order for two customized tables for their Training Centre. Boss Antonio Conte commissioned them to have them in his meeting room, just as he always had Subbuteo when he was at Juventus and Inter Milan.”

You can watch the full video here.

Stephen Hurrell
Stephen Hurrell
Stephen is the founder and editor of The Hobby Online and The Hobby by Subbuteo.Online print magazine. He is a giant nerd and specialises in Subbuteo, retro football kits and consumer stories. A journalist and editor of 15 years, he has written about football for some of the UK's biggest publications.

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