Ledley King has spoken about the type of manager he would be if he were in charge of a club – and there are some similarities with Antonio Conte.
The Italian has only been in charge of the North London side for a few weeks and has already led his side to two wins, one draw and one defeat in their first four games.
After Nuno Espirito Santo’s short four-month stint in charge of the Lilywhites, Conte has been a welcome change and it is hoped he can lead his Tottenham side to success as they currently sit seventh in the Premier League.
King made over 300 appearances for Spurs, becoming a club legend and winning the 2008 Carling Cup with a team that has not won silverware since.
Conte has come to the capital and the serial winner, who is known for his regimented structure and rigorous training, has already started to exert influence on his new team, having praised the facilities he currently works at.
“I have never seen a training center like this,” he said. “You look around and it doesn’t end. Many don’t understand how many points it can give to work in such a structure.”
The Italian immediately changed formation in his new team and implemented his preferred 3-4-3 formation, using full-backs on the flanks.
The 52-year-old has used those full-backs before, with Sergio Reguilon and Emerson Royal currently occupying those positions in Spurs’ XI and has played his teams at full-back as well.
In an interview with the former Tottenham captain, on behalf of Signathon, King spoke about the type of manager he would be, as he hopes to complete his coaching badges in the future.
“I was obviously a defender but I always liked the flair element of the game,” he said.
“The funny thing is it’s easy to sit here when you don’t do anything saying my team will be great, we’ll score goals, we won’t concede many, but the truth is that I’ve always been quite a balanced person so I’d like to balance the game.
“I don’t think I would be too defensive or too attacking. I just like a nice balance but still freedom and I like players expressing themselves, especially attacking players but even defenders to some extent. “
Balance is something Conte also talked about with his Tottenham side, ahead of the game against Leeds, when asked about his team’s key element.
“For sure a team that wants to try to do something important during the season has to find the right balance,” he said. “Too attacking is not good, too defensive is not good and the right balance is to make your team stable and ready to perform well.
“Having good results for a long time, not for just one game and having ups and downs, ups and downs. Ups and downs are not good if you have a target in your club,” added the player 52 years old.
That element will be something Conte hopes can help Spurs, with just 11 goals in 12 Premier League appearances and gaps in defense leading to a number already conceded this campaign.
King also spoke of a former Tottenham manager who allowed him to express himself on the pitch and play with freedom.
“Glenn Hoddle was someone who allowed me to play that way so I wouldn’t really like to restrict players who have ability, we want to see that,” the 41-year-old explained.
“I love watching the best players play and express themselves, so I would encourage my players to do that.
“It starts at the back, it’s such an important part and it’s part of how a team goes forward and scores goals, if you don’t have the players who are comfortable building from back and playing, you may find it quite difficult, so I would definitely encourage my players to be as comfortable with the ball as possible.”
Conte’s Tottenham side have major improvements to make and being comfortable on the ball will be one of them too, with sloppy passing and a lack of creativity being just two of many issues so far this season.
The Lilywhites next game is against Burnley, on a trip to Turf Moor on Sunday and they will be hoping for maximum points from a much needed win.
Signathon held a live virtual event for fans with Spurs legend and former captain, Ledley King. Ledley has also signed limited edition merchandise, which can be purchased now online at www.signathon.live