‘I am going slowly’ – Conte explains reasons behind dietary changes at Spurs

Antonio Conte
Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

Antonio Conte has admitted that he considers nutrition to be a very important variable in ensuring the players recover quickly and are at their peak physical condition.

It has been well documented that Conte has made some major changes to the Tottenham squad’s diet since taking over at the North London.

The Italian allegedly considers several players to be overweight and is thus said to have banned items like ketchup, brown sauce, butter and sandwiches from the canteen at Hotspur Way.

The Tottenham head coach has insisted that he is not trying to make any drastic changes and is looking to first focus on improving the physical condition of the squad.

When asked about the dietary changes he has brought in, Conte told Football.London: “I consider good nutrition and attitude very, very important because the player it is not only important the training or the game.

“I think you have to prepare yourself in the best possible way, I consider sleep very important, to eat well very important. I consider having good nutrition very important because these two aspects bring the player to recover quickly.

“If you have this type of situation in the right way you can recover quickly, you are ready to work, also sometimes to work very hard, and also to avoid injuries. To be professional, it means to have all of these situations in your mind.

“Obviously I like also to speak about good nutrition. I spoke with the nutritionist. I am going slowly slowly because now the most important thing is to work very well on the pitch, to give the priority to the physical and tactical and mental aspect.

“For sure we are going step by step. We want to improve every aspect of my players.”

The 52-year-old admitted that his beliefs on nutrition are something he has carried with him to all clubs and explained that it might take some time for the squad to reap the results of the changes.

He added: “Usually when I start to work with players maybe at the start, someone can’t understand something like this but then when they start to understand they don’t go away from this road.

“I hope my English was good enough to understand my idea about this. In Chelsea, I did exactly the same. We spoke about the good food, to eat well. This is a must, in every club I had a nutritionist.

“This aspect is important because you have to stay the right weight. You have to have good fat and good muscle, but this is a part of our work and the player’s work.

“To be professional means you have to take care of your body. If you do this you risk less injury, and you are ready to face the training because sometimes the training is hard.”

The former Inter boss also talked about the need for the players to adhere to the dietary guidelines outside of the training ground.

He added: “I can see the results from the nutritionist and I can see if this is okay or not okay and maybe you are not doing well outside the training centre.

“This is a part of it, to improve the players in many aspects and to make the players understand. The pitch and the game is only the final part of your work.

“You have to prepare your body and your mind. Also your heart and your passion to do this. I did this not only at Chelsea and Juventus and Inter Milan but also when I was in Serie B with Siena.

“I was the same because I think I had an important experience as a player and I am trying to bring this into my coaching and my relationships with the players.”

Spurs Web Opinion

I think the dietary changes brought in by Conte has received a lot more media attention than it deserves. What is more important than the specifics of what the players are allowed to and not allowed to eat, is the fact that Conte thinks that several players are overweight.

So, evidently, the main reason behind the dietary changes and training schedule is to make the players leaner by potentially cutting down on muscle mass (like he did with Lukaku at Inter) so that they can handle the physical demands of his system.

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