Earlier today, as tensions continued to build over Antonio Conte’s appointment as head coach of Tottenham Hotspur, there were concerns that his first match in charge of the club might not come until the weekend. Thanks to new Brexit rules, Conte needs a work permit from the UK Home Office to start working for Spurs, and it was thought that the necessary paperwork might not come in time for Conte to lead the club against Vitesse this Thursday.
According to Dan Kilpatrick at the Evening Standard, there is no need to worry – Conte is expected to be in the excavation in time for the Europa Conference League match at White Hart Lane before making his Premier League debut with Spurs this Sunday at Everton.
Because he does not have the papers yet, he was technically not allowed to train today, although Spurs posted pictures of Conte “observing” training on the Hotspur Way.
I have no proof of this, but I would like to think that this image represents a Ratatouille-like situation where Conte sat on Ryan Mason’s shoulders and controlled his training exercises by manipulating his hair.
These work permit restrictions also mean Conte will not be able to hold his first press conference tomorrow ahead of the match. But if you can not stand not having an Italian in front of the cameras, do not be upset – these tasks will be taken over by football manager Fabio Paratici and club captain Hugo Lloris.
There is really no one to say what the Spurs are going to look like against Vitesse. It is not the case that Conte has had or will have a lot of time to implement a new attacking structure in the club. What I can almost certainly promise you is that the atmosphere at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be significantly more electric than it would have been just a few days ago. If Thursday’s match is not sold out yet, I would be genuinely surprised.