Five key Tottenham problems Stellini and Mason need to solve before the Premier League match

Christian Stellini and Ryan Mason have taken over Tottenham Hotspur for the remainder of the Premier League season following the departure of Antonio Conte, and the duo will have to deal with various issues.

Conte left the club on Sunday evening after mutually agreeing his departure with club chairman Daniel Levy. The decision was made to appoint Conte’s assistant Christian Stellini as interim head coach for the remainder of the campaign, with Ryan Mason as his assistant head coach.

Players began returning to Tottenham on Tuesday to work with the new guardian duo, as some non-international players did last week. Various managers, including Julian Nagelsmann, Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique, were due to come next season, but for now, all eyes are on how Stellini and Mason handle their own auditions for the role.

READ MORE: A messy end to Antonio Conte’s reign at Tottenham and the names in the frame that will replace him

Here are five things the duo need to figure out if they want to lead Tottenham to another top-four finish in these last 10 matches.

Find a way around trauma

The Spurs still have a lot of injury problems. Emerson Royal flew to Brazil on Tuesday to undergo surgery on the meniscus of his left knee after an injury sustained at the end of his first cap for the national team. The right winger is expected to miss at least six weeks.

On the other side, Ben Davies was sidelined for four to six weeks with a hamstring injury sustained during the draw at Southampton. Richarlison also aggravated his calf injury that day, but is expected to return sooner rather than later next month.

Rodrigo Bentancur was out for a long time with an ACL injury and Yves Bissouma underwent ankle surgery after which Conte said it was doubtful he would return before the end of the season.

There is some good news for Stellini and Mason as captain Hugo Lloris returned from a knee injury and played 45 minutes in a friendly practice against Ipswich on Thursday, and Ryan Sessegnon is also on his way back from his latest hamstring problem.

The coaching duo need to come up with a course and scheme that will work with the club’s long list of injuries, as well as any other injuries that come after the international break or in the weeks leading up to it. One or two players from the academy that Mason knows well might just give someone an unexpected chance after the Conte era of older players.

Fix protection

Tottenham are third in Premier League goals this season (52), but the problem is mostly to keep the ball out of their own goal at the other end of the field. The Spurs have conceded 40 goals and only six teams in the entire league have conceded more this season.

Stellini and Mason need to bolster Tottenham’s defense, which should bring captain Lloris back between the sticks shortly after his return to the training ground in a friendly against Ipswich.

Whether they can switch to a back four with the current injuries remains to be seen, but the move could add more bodies in front of the defense. Maybe they’re just changing lineups, or just focusing on keeping the ball in the opposition’s half, and Spurs sit too deep too often. Whatever happens, you need to change something in the holey back line.

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Raise your morale

The mood around Hotspur Way has been even in recent weeks, and Conte’s departure has at least given the players some clarification of what’s going on in the coming months.

Right or wrong, before leaving, the Italian criticized the players, calling them “selfish”, and in doing so set fire to any remaining relationships he had with some of them. Notably, none of his Spurs team posted a public farewell or thank you message on social media in the three days following his departure.

While some may agree that players needed to be told some harsh truths, the squad now needs a boost in morale. They were bored with the monotonous work of Conte in training, and they no longer understood what the Italian asked them to do.

Now it’s up to Stellini and Mason to give them back the fun of football both on the training pitch and on the turf on matchdays.

Revive Son Heung Min

After last season’s sensational campaign, sharing a 23-goal Golden Boot with Mohamed Salah, Son Heung Min admits he’s had a tough time this time around and it’s clear his confidence has been low at times.

The fact that he’s only scored in four Premier League games this season will disappoint him, though he’s still better than most strikers, with 10 goals and four assists in 37 games. However, during the season, Son admitted that his finish was “bad” and that he felt he had “disappointed his teammates and fans”.

Stellini needs to find a way to bring out Son’s best form again, whether it’s by playing him front row with Kane, or just getting him back to basics and stepping up his confidence step by step. The Spurs are at their best when both Son and Kane are at their best and lighting Son up again, and this partnership should go a long way in keeping them in the top four.

Let fans enjoy watching Tottenham again

It seems simple enough, but if they want to get into the top four and prepare for a permanent job, Stellini and Mason must first and foremost get Tottenham fans to enjoy supporting the club again.

This season has been exhausting and it has become routine for most fans to watch their team’s often boring and predictable performances while they all meekly slip out of three cup competitions.

Spurs have plenty of attacking options, even if they lack creative midfielders, but enough for the last 10 matches to force them to play more spectacular football, especially in front of home supporters with three of the next five matches at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. .

With the gap between the weary fans and the North London club growing now, Stellini and Mason have a chance to bring everyone back together.


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