Antonio Conte has admitted that losing three good friends over the past few months has got him to reconsider his priorities regarding how he splits his time between his work and his family. 

The impact of Gian Piero Ventrone’s sudden passing back in October was felt by everyone associated with Tottenham but it was particularly hard on Conte, who had a relationship with the former Spurs fitness coach from his playing days.

Gian Piero Ventrone

(Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

The 53-year-old lost another close friend in Sinisa Mihajlovic last month, with Serbian passing away after a long battle with leukaemia.

At the start of this month, Conte’s former teammate and friend Gianluca Vialli succumbed to pancreatic cancer, with the Spurs head coach taking Instagram to admit that the 58-year-old had always been an inspiration for him right from his playing days.

Conte has now spoken about the impact that these losses have had on his psyche and how it has got him to reflect on how he spends his time.

He told Football.London: “For sure this season is a difficult season from a personal aspect, because to lose in such a short time three people that I knew very well because before Gian Piero Ventrone, then Sinisa and now Gianluca. It was not simple. 

“For sure when this situation happens it brings you to have important reflections, because many times we think and we give a lot of importance to our work and we forget the family, we forget that we need to have more time for us.

“This season is a difficult season for me as a personal aspect. For sure this season is making me have an important reflection on my future.

“When you work and the work is at the top of your mind in your head and maybe, sure, maybe times we forget to stay with the family we forget to stay with the friends, we forget to spend time with friends. But this is our passion and for the passion we lost a lot of things.

“When this situation happens I think you start to think that maybe sometimes it is also good to give more time to your family and friends and also to yourself. The work is not everything in the life.”

Conte’s family continue to live in Italy and the Spurs boss thus splits his time between England and his home country to be with them whenever school days allow.

Opening up on the difficulty of living away from his loved ones, he said: “Yes for sure to have my family in Italy is not good, not good, but when you have a son or daughter and kids in school then you have to respect them because if every year or two seasons you have to bring your kids to change totally their environment, I don’t want to affect the life of my family.

“Sometimes it is important to make decisions to sacrifice and stay. I have a family who try to support me and come here at every moment that they can come, but this type of situation becomes more difficult when happen situations like this, no, like Gianluca, Gian Piero and Sinisa.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Fans can often think of players and managers as robots and forget that they also have their own trials and tribulations in their personal lives as the rest of us do, and it will obviously affect the quality of their work.

I certainly sympathise with Conte for the losses he has had recently. Fans have a tendency to see things in black and white while the reality is always in shades of grey.

If Conte does not succeed at Spurs (which he still very well could), it might not necessarily mean that he is a bad coach or that he was failed by the club’s board. It could simply mean that he was not the right fit and the timing was not right due to many factors, including what is going on in his personal life.

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