Medical Insider: This may be real reason for Tottenham's tortuous starts after Harry Kane reveal - 'It's real'
Tottenham can blame the problems arising from the mid-season World Cup for their slow starts to games.
That is the view of medical expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis, speaking exclusively to Football Insider.
Tottenham have not led at half-time in a game since their 3-2 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in the Champions League last month (12 October).
Harry Kane told Sky Sports after Spurs’ 2-1 loss to Liverpool last weekend (6 November) that slow starts have been “the story of our season”.
“The difficulty here, as Antonio Conte always references, is that fixture schedule and managing those players,” Dinnery told Football Insider‘s Connor Whitley.
“It’s not necessarily about fatigue and players holding themselves back slightly with an eye on the long-term.
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“You’re also talking about rotational changes in the squad, new players now coming in. Different players play at different tempos.
“If you’re looking to combat those slow starts what you are essentially saying is you want to increase the tempo and intensity and want more actions per minute than you are currently getting.
“There are things that you can do to try and combat that. Ultimately, I think we’re having this conversation now because it’s something new that Tottenham and Conte teams have not been used to.
“We know that he has the players well drilled and are fit.
“It’s just the circumstances around this particular season with the World Cup, injuries, rotation and availability.
“There are players you are going to play who aren’t necessarily 100 per cent match fit. We’ve seen the likes of Cristian Romero start when he wasn’t 100 per cent fit. Bentancur had that little hamstring injury and Hojbjerg had that calf problem.
“You’re limited and your hands are tied. These players have to play because you don’t necessarily have the strength in depth you’d like.
“You don’t want to push too early on because that risk factor, due to fatigue, is real. There is definitely a conservative element to managing the players.
“Hopefully the second half of the season, when the World Cup is out of the way and players have had a chance to recharge their batteries, you’ll see something that is more reflective of a typical Conte team.”