Antonio Conte has revealed that he chose not to start any of his new signings in the season opener against Southampton because his tried-and-trusted players are more reliable at the moment.
Spurs have been among the busiest sides in Europe when it comes to signing new players this summer, having already introduced six new faces at Hotspur Way.
Ivan Perisic, Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clement Lenglet and Djed Spence were all transferred in before the start of the new Premier League campaign.
However, with Richarlison banned for the first match of the year, the other five players were only named among the substitutes against the Saints yesterday.
Perisic was given around 25 minutes at left-wing-back when he replaced Ryan Sessegnon, while Bissouma and Lenglet were handed late cameos, leaving Forster and Spence on the bench as unused subs.
Asked why he didn’t start any of the new signings, Conte emphasises a desire for reliability within his XI and insisted the new faces needed time to get used to his style of play.
He said (Football London): “Me, I am not surprised because I think that I use common sense because in this moment we are starting the new season and the old players reach a big achievement last season to get a place in the Champions League.
“In the last 10 games, I think we played really well and we had fantastic results. My message was very clear that I trust a lot in the old players and in this moment they are more reliable than the new players because they need to continue to work with us and continue to implement football knowledge.
“With the old players, I am in a step forward. For this reason, I prefer to count on the start on the older players but I think it was right after this game and the final result.
“At the same time, I really enjoy and I am really happy because we have new signings that are going into our process and for sure they will help us to improve, but at the same time they have to know they have to fight and they have to give me the possibility to make rotations.
“Now we are going to play one game a week but in September we start to play every three days and for sure we need to have rotation but for a club like Tottenham it is very important not to drop the level, don’t drop the quality when you make rotation.
“That was the first target and I was very clear with the club and the club was totally in agreement with me.”
Spurs Web Opinion:
I don’t think many expected more than one new signing to start the game, and few would have been surprised to see now new faces in the line-up. The Tottenham XI from the end of last season was putting in fantastic performances and getting the results. The rotation of new players into that line-up will be slow and steady, I think.