‘You tell what you want, but I’m a serial winner’ – Antonio Conte, May 19th, 2018 [The Independent].
Antonio Conte’s transformation of Tottenham Hotspur is nothing short of spectacular. The Italian has taken Spurs from 9th to Champions League qualification in six months.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s short tenure at Tottenham Hotspur was certainly eventful. Upon his ultimate departure, the club was 9th in the Premier League table. They had 15 points and a goal difference of -7 and the club seemed in disarray. [Transfermarkt].
Harry Kane was obviously unhappy, and a stagnating squad surrounded him. Nuno led Spurs to some terrible results, including 3-0 losses to Manchester United and Chelsea, and a 3-1 loss to rivals Arsenal. [Transfermarkt].
Nuno was dismissed from the club shortly thereafter, on the 1st November 2021 [BBC Sport]. The departure of the Portuguese manager was met with mixed reactions, lying somewhere in between the belief that Nuno needed more time on his project, and the other being that Levy’s ruthlessness was a good thing.
The Arrival of Conte.
Antonio Conte joined Tottenham Hotspur on the 2nd November 2021 [BBC Sport], only one day after the news of Nuno’s sacking broke. Looking back now, with Spurs on the eve of Champions League qualification and a squad that is looking fired up, we know it was the right decision.
The journey to this point has not been easy. Rumours of Conte already leaving the club circulating as early as he joined, exacerbated by a particularly memorable 1-0 loss to Burnley at Turf Moor [Transfermarkt]. The Italian reacted emotionally and began questioning his future at Tottenham Hotspur Football Club (Guardian).
Antonio Conte has a history of not hiding his intentions from club owners, which eventually led to his departure from Inter Milan in the summer of 2021 after leading the club to a Seria A title.
The manager decided to leave with mutual consent after the club’s inability to financially support him throughout the transfer window [SkySports]. We hope that Daniel Levy has noted this, and will be able to provide Conte with the financial backing he requires to strengthen the squad ahead to the next season.
We already understand that conversations surrounding this topic have already taken place, with sources close to Levy and Conte stating that Conte talks to Levy in a way no previous manager has spoken to him before [Football.London].
This demonstrates a shift in mentality, with the ambition and desire to win starting to become prevalent from top positions in the club. Conte’s desire to win is infectious, and it’s hard not to get on board with his philosophy and mentality.
Spurs’ recent results and Top 4.
The on-pitch performances reflect this mentality too, with Tottenham’s recent results showing drastic improvement. The team now plays with determination and grit, and their only desire is to win. Tottenham left Anfield with a 1-1 draw [Transfermarkt] against arguably the best team in the world and Spurs were disappointed that they did not win.
This is demonstrative of the mental strength that Conte and his coaching team have been able to instil into the ‘stagnating squad’ that Nuno left in November. Players like Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son, Eric Dier, and Cristian Romero would run through walls for Conte. This mentality is what Conte needs to be successful.
The fans made Tottenham Hotspur stadium a fortress against Arsenal, which Spurs ultimately won 3-0 [Transfermarkt]. The crowd played a massive role in the successful result of the match and the significance of the outcome should not be underestimated. The win against our North London rivals ended up being the difference between qualifying for the Champions League and not.
Conte’s philosophy is encouraging the fans to believe that one day we will be successful again as they chant his name in support of the Italian’s direction of the club.
‘In my opinion, it means when you play I’m ready to kill you, to live’, – Antonio Conte, February 13th, 2022 [HaytersTV].
Maybe the way Conte talks to Daniel Levy is a good thing; he tells the owner how it is and what he needs to be successful. If Antonio is backed, he will deliver silverware to a club that is starved of success for years.
Antonio Conte’s transformation of Tottenham Hotspur marks a new era as a club, and as fans, we should be very excited about what the future will bring with Conte at the helm next season…
Dare. Dream. Do.
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