Andre Villas-Boas has backed Antonio Conte to be a good fit for Tottenham but only if he manages to establish a solid working connection with chairman Daniel Levy.
The 52-year-old was appointed as Tottenham’s new head coach on an 18-month deal following the dismissal of Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday.
The hire has earned Spurs plenty of praise from across the football landscape, but ultimately masks the problems and mistakes the club made throughout the summer with Nuno’s appointment.
The question on plenty of people’s minds revolves around the connection between Conte and Levy – especially given that both are big and tough characters to deal with.
Villas-Boas, who was in the dugout in North London himself for 18 months until 2013, experienced the challenges working with the Spurs chief first-hand.
Levy and then-Spurs director of football Franco Baldini engaged in disagreements regarding the club’s transfer policies and past dealings.
However, Villas-Boas believes Conte can be a successful hire for Spurs if he forges a content working relationship with Levy.
He said (via Yahoo Sport) at the Web Summit in Lisbon: “Conte was very successful at Chelsea and Inter Milan, he can do a good job.
“He is one of those people who puts people into the peaks of performance by motivation, by determining objectives, I think he can be a good fit, depending on that link up with the top.
“In football, you always reach stages where that link up to the top has to be there and when you look up most likely it is not there anymore. If that link up is fine-tuned it can maybe be a good fit.”
Villas-Boas added: “I don’t want to turn this into a criticism of Daniel [Levy]. Everybody has their ups and downs, their strengths and weaknesses, but Daniel is not an easy person to deal with. I said that when Jose [Mourinho] went there and I was at Marseille.
“There are a lot of things that have to be said frontally, face to face, each side with truthfulness. But sometimes they look like they don’t happen that way.
“Coaches have to be judged on their performance, I agree. We lost, miserably, two games that led to us agreeing terms for me to leave but he’s not the easiest person to deal with. But what is easy right now in football?
“But for Antonio, it will be a challenge, a great challenge.”
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Levy will be slightly on the back foot given how his Nuno hire went, so he will have to be more cautious with Conte now at the helm.
The Italian is a proven winner and knows how to coach a side well, so Levy will have to give him the backing to succeed, otherwise it will all be pointless.
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