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The NBC Sports Soccer Pub: Antonio Conte, Gio Reyna, and Best Bets

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte

John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images

Antonio Conte‘s rant following Tottenham’s most recent match this past weekend has rightfully garnered major headlines and sparked many a conversation across the globe the past few days.

No surprise it was Topic 1 on today’s episode of the NBC Sports Soccer Pub. TNT’s Kyle Martino sat down with Brad Thomas (@MrBradThomas) and Drew Dinsick (@whale_capper) to talk about the Spurs’ manager as well as all things Team USA as the men’s team prepares for a couple matches over the next week.

“He’s gone on a few rants in his career,” said Martino of the fiery manager. “I think it was incredibly honest. I don’t think it was a dig at the players as much as a dig at Daniel Levy…The central point of his argument…one trophy since Daniel Levy came in like a few decades. Its kind of wild when you think about how many managers they’ve gone through and how little silverware they’ve won. I don’t know how you can say Antonio Conte is wrong.”

Drew Dinsick gave his thoughts:

“This feels extremely truthful…like he’s baring his soul to a degree. It will have consequences for him…reading between the lines he kinda told us…this is not a Top 4 team. This may not be a Top 6 team.”

(Read More: The Premier League Title Race)

So where do bettors find value in the Conte flamethrower?

“At the end of the day the only thing you can handicap is the likelihood of him being sacked,” said Martino. I think that likelihood is high.”

Will a Change Help Tottenham?

The group went on to discuss the concept of Spurs getting a positive bump from a new manager. Martino believes that bump will happen, but not for the reason you might think.

“He (Conte) was ultimately brought in for defensive responsibility and for being a very sound defensive team that could counterattack. That is what you lose when he leaves. Well, they stink defensively. So its not like they are going to get worse.”

What to Expect from Team USA at Grenada

The conversation shifted to Team USA. Martino, who will be on the call of the U.S. vs. Grenada match Friday night on TNT, laid out his expectations.

“It should be a thrashing. The hard part is it doesn’t tell you a ton if the U.S> goes and performs…What I’m looking for is cohesion right away. I’m looking for all the off-field distractions to disappear right away…I want to see the veteran group bring out some of the special qualities of the inexperienced players.”

This is a team without a confirmed head coach, though, and that is an issue for Martino.

“It’s a team that needs a coach now…We just went through this project with Greg Berhalter and a bunch of young kids. Greg Berhalter – what he did in the World Cup was a success…This guy knows this team and if you read between the lines in Christian Pulisic‘s comments and Tim Ream‘s comments this team still believes in Greg Berhalter….The only negative in my mind…is this drama between he and Gio Reyna and honestly I don’t think that’s a big enough reason (to not have Berhalter retained as coach)…The best thing you can do to get rid of the drama is to get them back together…I just don’t understand why we’re dithering and not executing on putting a coach in charge right away.”

Not surprisingly, the player he is most interested in seeing step onto the pitch is the aforementioned Gio Reyna.

“Its undeniable how talented a player he is…His behavior at the World Cup was unprofessional and it was selfish…Lets just get past that. We know its true. He apologized for it. He’s a young kid. Lets let him make a mistake…Lets see if this guy has the character to learn from that.”

The stories of Conte and Reyna certainly bear watching over the next few days.

(Read More: Ranking the Premier League’s Top Players)

Take a moment and read up on The Over Under Initiative, a non-profit organization Kyle Martino is leading that is dedicated to improving the health and wellness of kids by increasing access to sport in urban neighborhoods.

Next time you are in New York City, stop by The Football Café, Kyle Martino’s football speakeasy.

Best Soccer Bets for the Week

Dinsick likes the defending champs:

“We are taking Man City to win the Premier League at +130…almost all of their truly competitive games happen at home. They host Arsenal…all of their away matches are teams that are at the bottom half of the table…Arsenal regression is due.”

Thomas is on perennial power France:

“France opened as a -110 ML. Its moved to -130 but I still like France. I think France from a talent standpoint is just much better. We’re talking about a team who’s established vs. a team that needs to figure out who they are.”

Enjoy the games and enjoy the sweat.