Late Sunday evening, Tottenham Hotspur and Antonio Conte finally agreed to mutually part ways (ESPN).
This was expected after the Italian’s outburst following the 3-3 draw at Southampton just over a week ago coupled with Tottenham’s struggles this season.
However, Conte cannot hold all of the blame in this scenario. There are many reasons as to why the Conte-Tottenham partnership did not work out.
Many will point to Conte’s lack of rotation and stubbornness this season regarding team selection and tactics. Others will look at injuries (such as Lloris, Richarlison, and Bentancur) and the squad playing with little desire when compared to last season.
Conte himself has a sizable ego, as many believe he was preserving his image in his last press conference, which could be another reason.
Another perspective to look through is that all three fronts are to blame – the players, the manager, and the board all shoulder the blame in this situation.
Many (as well as myself) also believe that Antonio Conte is a terrific manager but just is not a good fit with Tottenham.
Whatever reason you choose to believe, Conte’s departure highlights deeper problems rooted inside the club. The culture and vision inside the club do not match the fans’ expectations and where Tottenham Hotspur should be.
Conte is a top-class manager that has won trophies everywhere he has gone – except for Tottenham.
The same can be said for Jose Mourinho, who joined AS Roma after being sacked by Spurs and won the Europa Conference League in his first season.
It would not be a surprise to see Conte lift silverware whenever he decides to manage again, as he has had a rough year off of the pitch.
In my opinion, I believe the board have to be held accountable more than the players and the manager.
No matter who Tottenham appoint next (hopefully a manager who plays attacking football) it appears that same process may repeat itself in one to two years.
The owners have been in charge for over two decades and have seen Tottenham lift only one trophy in their stewardship.
While they have spent more in previous seasons on transfers, they still have not fully backed a manager’s ideas. If Daniel Levy and co.’s ideas were shared by Conte (to push on and win trophies) they would have perhaps have decided to stick with him for the long haul.
That would only work if Tottenham were to have a massive rebuild (like former manager Mauricio Pochetinno stated) and clear out many fringe players as well as bringing in players on the levels of Kane, Romero, Bentancur, etc.
But as we’ve seen before, that more than likely would not happen.
While the players have survived yet another manager, the board are ultimately responsible for not shaking the squad up enough.
If Tottenham Hotspur are to make their fans proud and get over the line, change must start at the top of the club.
Levy and ENIC will either have to change their transfer policy with defensive managers, or be patient with young, attacking-minded managers, which is exactly what they did not do when the Pochetinno era saw its first struggles.
Unfortunately, it appears that the board want top-four finishes and nothing else. If only the board had the same ambition for silverware as they do for Go Karting or NFL games.
I believe that things will not change at Tottenham unless the decision-makers change their ways.
Appointing an attacking-minded manager is a good start, but we will be having these same conversations in another 18 months if the club do not hit a reset on the culture and their ways of operating.
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