Jokes, one-to-ones and Sessegnon’s return: Inside Antonio Conte’s Tottenham over the international break

Antonio Conte has been working his Tottenham squad hard over the international break, but changes - such as banning ketchup and fizzy drinks - have been universally accepted.

New Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has barely had time to get his feet under the table before this month’s international break - but he’s been making good use of it.

There are a still a number of first team players at Hostpur Way including Eric Dier, Harry Winks and Dele Alli.

There is a general positive feeling in and around the club, with the players showing eagerness and willingness to embrace the new manager’s ideas and instructions.

The extended training sessions have also been accepted wholly, and the Italian manager is said to have been impressed with the rare clean sheet the team picked up at Goodison in his first Premier League game.

Conte will finally be able to call on the returning Ryan Sessegnon, who has been working on grass for the first time since the Italian manager was appointed.

Italian goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has also been working with the new goalkeeping coach and speaking to the new technical team, some of which he knew from his time in Italy.

Harry Winks of Tottenham Hotspur controls the ball during the UEFA Europa (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

No drop in intensity

After a few days off, LondonWorld understands that Antonio Conte brought the heat back to the training ground.

His fitness coaches have been working heavily with the first team and a few of the academy players who have stepped up to add to the numbers.

Preparations for the Leeds game have already begun, and the Italian manager was delighted to spend time speaking to players like Dier, Winks and Alli.

Conte likes to drill his players relentlessly, and requires everyone to be on the same page on the pitch and the use of space with and without the ball.

Harry Winks, who is looking to resurrect his Tottenham career and make a push for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, also spent a lot of his time speaking to Cristian Stellini, who is the assistant manager at Tottenham, and an extension of the ever demanding Conte.

Antonio Conte, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur shows his emotions during the Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on November 07, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Building relationships and trust

At the heart of Conte’s success in the past has been his relationship with his players, and the international break has given the opportunity just to get to know his new squad a bit better.

During games Conte comes across as very aggressive and often hard to please, but he’s also very caring behind the scenes.

Despite still being strict, he’s been keen to share a joke to break the ice and get chatting with the Spurs players.

He has spent the last few days just speaking to most of the players one-on-one, and finding out why they think they are not playing regularly.

His dexterity in English and Italian has also allowed him to catch up with the non-playing staff in his attempt to make the training ground an all hands on deck place for everyone who works there.

Ryan Sessegnon of Tottenham Hotspur FC (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Ryan Sessegnon boost

By the time most of the first team players return from the international break, Ryan Sessegnon would have had three training sessions to catch the eye of Conte.

The youngster hasn’t featured in the league this season, largely due to a hamstring injury picked up in mid-September while on England U-21 duty.

He spent last season out on-loan at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, having been overlooked by Jose Mourinho - and made three bench appearances under Nuno Espirito Santo before the injury stopped him in his tracks.

According to LondonWorld sources, he is eager to kick-start his Tottenham career and will be hoping to catch the eye and give Conte a selection headache ahead of Leeds United’s visit on Sunday.

Most of the players are expected back at Hotspur way on Wednesday, but their absence has done little to slow momentum and has rather afforded the new boss to bond with his team.