June 5th will be known as one of, if not the biggest, disappointments in Tottenham’s recent history. Antonio Conte was available and ready to take on a new challenge. The fans, players, and recently appointed Sporting Director, and close friend Fabio Paratici, wanted Conte. They bottled it. Conte wanted to be backed financially, but Daniel Levy was not budging. Back into the managerial search, Tottenham went, with an unlikely man being appointed next.
Antonio Conte has not changed his mind about Tottenham in the last 24 hours, after Spurs were trying to find a solution to appoint him also yesterday afternoon. Not even Fabio Paratici’s imminent agreement to become new Tottenham director of football convinced Conte. ⚪️❌ #THFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 5, 2021
The Foggy Nuno Timeline
Later in June, Tottenham got their manager, Nuno Espirito Santo. As the former Wolves Manager, he came in with low expectations and he kept on promising to make Tottenham fans proud. I’ll admit, at the time, I was happy with the decision to get him. New transfers like Romero, Gil, and Royal coming in, with fan favorite, Oliver Skipp coming back from loan. Heck, I even said that the whole EPL should be put on notice when Nuno got hired. Boy was I wrong.
There was a lot to be excited about, minus the whole Harry Kane saga. Speaking of that, Gary Neville, when are you going golfing with Lukaku? Seems only right that you try to take down Chelsea the same way the media did with Spurs and Kane.
Spurs started the season 3-0 in the EPL, but then started down a terrible downward spiral. The team lost 3-0 to Chelsea, Manchester United, and Crystal Palace. Even worse, they lost the North London Derby to rival Arsenal, 3-1. The team was middle of the table and Kane was struggling with only one goal versus Newcastle (who at the time, were in 19/20th place). People were wanting a change and Daniel Levy gave it to them. I would never want a man fired, but I am sure that the millions of pounds that go straight into Nuno’s pocket after the terminated contract won’t upset him too much.
Official. Nuno Espirito Santo has been sacked by Tottenham board. It’s over for the Portuguese manager after defeat with Man Utd. ⚪️ #THFC #Spurs— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 1, 2021
“The Club can today announce that Nuno and his coaching staff Cathro, Barbosa and Dias have been relieved of their duties”. #Nuno pic.twitter.com/9j0YAToWvC
The “Greatest Here We Go” Ever Tweeted
Two days after the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United, Paratici made his move. He went all-in for Conte; promising him a sufficient transfer budget where he can have the final say on the majority of moves being made. Paratici wanted Conte from the beginning, and he got him. Tottenham went from Nuno to Conte and everyone in the Premier League woke up. When José Mourinho was fired, Tottenham fans were delighted. The logical fans, however, understood that they needed a viable replacement to bring on big-name players to go along with the likes of Kane and Son. This was exactly the move they needed. Tottenham fans across the world got their wish. Conte was in and a new era of Calcio, as the Italians say it, was on the horizon.
Antonio Conte to Tottenham, confirmed and here we go. The contract until June 2023 will be signed on Tuesday. The verbal agreement is now completed. He’s back in the Premier League. ⚪️🇮🇹 #THFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 1, 2021
Fabio Paratici wanted him since June and changed Conte’s mind. Incredible work. #Conte pic.twitter.com/2TnHBwyq0A
Who is Antonio “The Godfather” Conte?
Antonio The Player
Antonio “The Godfather” Conte. A former player for Juventus is used to winning. Honestly, winning is injected in the Conte DNA. At Juventus as a player, he won many trophies including Seria A, Coppa Italia, and the Champions League. He played as a midfielder on the pitch and was fierce and ruthless to play against. Conte also played for Italy and came in second in the 1994 World Cup and the 2000 Euro Cup. Everywhere he goes that team is competitive and has a winning mentality.
Antonio The Coach
Conte started his managerial career in Seria A, and it took off when he got to coach his old club, Juventus. At Juventus, he won many trophies including three straight Seria A titles and two straight Supercoppa Italiana. After he went to coach Italy nationally, he came up short of any major trophies, but still brought Italy back from the dead after their previous struggle in international competitions after the 2006 World Cup.
Conte then went to England where he won the Premier League with Chelsea and the FA Cup. After a two-year stint, he went back to Italy to coach at Inter Milan where he won the Seria A title his last year taking it from Juventus. This is a massive accomplishment because Juventus usually wins the league in a cakewalk but Conte brought a new vision to Inter Milan and they took the league by storm.
Antonio Conte, in one word, is a winner. There’s nothing he hates more than losing. In my eyes, he is the most passionate coach in the world and he gets a lot out of his players. He has said the past is the past, so we must live in the present. This hiring has excited many Tottenham fans alike. They are looking for their club to have a defined path put in place by the manager to be prosperous again, and finally, bring a trophy back to their cabinet. Antonio Conte has brought a winning culture to many clubs and now upon his list is Tottenham Hotspurs, often the butt of jokes by fellow rivals.
How Conte Quickly Changed the Direction at Tottenham
Antonio Conte is known for rebuilding clubs that may have steered off course. As we all know, ever since that 2019 Champions League Final, Tottenham has been an embarrassment. Spurs had the best player in the EPL last year with Kane, who created the most goals and assists. However, the team still only finished in lousy 7th place and there was work to do.
Enter Antonio Conte. He expects a lot out of his players but he treats all of them with respect and trust. You can lose his respect and trust depending on your attitude and then you are in the dog house. He talks about this and he sets his expectations with his players. This gives them an idea of what type of work and commitment level he will need from them.
“I prefer to kill him”— Sky Sports Retro (@SkySportsRetro) October 24, 2021
Antonio Conte on players with bad attitudes. pic.twitter.com/6YVHaGnU66
He knows how to win. He is a bonafide champion. No one can dispute his success at other clubs. Conte has done it all, both on a club and international level with Italy, changing the culture instantly within the locker room. Coming into Tottenham, Conte acknowledged that this will be his hardest project yet. As a Spurs fan, that may not be exactly what you want to hear. However, it had to be said in order to get the direction to the board that changes must be made. Conte knows how to win, Tottenham does not. Simply put, they should put all their resources into him and give him a chance to make Tottenham perennial winners.
Antonio Conte has told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Tottenham is the most challenging project of his career but he never takes up easy challenges. https://t.co/1be0OtPbv3— Get Italian Football News (@_GIFN) November 20, 2021
Since the appointment of Conte, there are three major aspects of the club that has changed for the better.
- Formation modification, difficult training sessions, and strict diets
- The revitalization of old and familiar players alike
- The relationship with the board and backing of Conte in the transfer market
I believe strongly that Conte is the man for the job. He has been put through it all and unlike Mourinho before him, Conte is still in his prime for coaching. His methods are a little extreme and crazy but the results are indisputable. Now, time to look into those three aspects individually and how Conte being in charge has altered the culture at Tottenham for the better.
The Conte Masterpiece
Antonio Conte has instantly made an impact on this Tottenham team. Both himself and his staff have come in and brought their vision to the players, offering them the resources to become consistent winners again. The players as a majority seemed to be excited about the appointment. Every player under Conte has been ensured that they will be given a chance to prove themselves worthy. He is not going to let your past define your future, offering a new opportunity to excel in his system. Conte’s attitude and aura are contagious and all the players are ready to give it their all for him. The hiring of Conte has resulted in three significant transformations in the squad.
Their change information, training regiment, and dietary restrictions are leading them to become more a part of Conte’s method. The impact has led to immediate short-term success and promising long-term success.
The Change in Formation
First, he has implemented his new three central defender system that has two outside wingback systems on both sides for support. He has used this system at previous clubs and it is a staple in Conte’s tactics. This allows the defense to have support on the sides and the middle, ensuring the goalie has as much protection as possible. The central defenders are key to the success of any Conte team. Additionally, the two wingbacks are just as vital, as they aid the offense, providing outlets for the midfielders and beautiful crosses into the forwards.
As a result, this has changed the way Tottenham has played offense, alleviating the pressure for both Kane and Son, who no longer feel that the offense only flows through them. More and more in this system, you can see that the players are holding more possession, creating more chances, and as a team, they have more chemistry on the field. In short, Conte has implemented his system and it has changed the overall output from players. This change has worked wonders as seen by a comparison of Nuno’s vs Conte’s Spurs.
Run, Train, Rest, Repeat
Conte has played an integral role in the way that they have approached training as well. There have been double sessions since the beginning of the process, and the players are clearly showing the effects of it on the pitch. As seen in the graphic above, Tottenham went from last to first for distance traveled under Conte, a feat that many would find remarkable. They are becoming the fittest team in the EPL, giving themselves an upper hand on opponents in the second half of games specifically.
In addition to the running, the training sessions in the videos just look significantly more challenging on the players. The videos of their practices look more beneficial and with a definitive plan put in place. They have emphasized the importance of possession and have done a lot of keep-away drills. The drills are of the utmost importance because they are focused on changing the field efficiently and effectively. It reminded me of when Jamie Carragher after the Carabao Cup Final says that Tottenham just plays keep away, with no strategy in place. Now players are having more thought and creativity with the ball, and the coaching is leading to better results.
NO CONDIMENTS FOR YOU!
This honestly may in fact be a little over the top. Antonio Conte when he went to the cafeteria instantly banned the use of ketchup and mayo. He even told some players that they were overweight and that if they wanted to play, changes have to be made right away.
Now banning condiments may not do that much as a whole, but in the big picture, it makes an incredible impact. It’s not the fact that eating ketchup and mayo is bad, but the principle behind it. Conte essentially says, “if you want to be a winner I know what it takes.” The players that take after their coach will most likely see themselves lose weight and just become more mentally fit as well. Conte is contagious. The values that he has are well known and he trusts that his players will take the initiative and follow his guidelines.
Banning mayo and ketchup is not going to make Tottenham into a trophy winner. But it’s the principle, that the spirit of Conte will change the players for the better and bring a winning climate to the club. If you can’t stop eating mayo and ketchup, that shows him all he needs to know. That your dedication is not for the club but for your own self-interests.
Lucas Moura: “I love ketchup but even before Conte I didn’t take it every day.” 🍅 pic.twitter.com/FZMOk6dtjR— The Spurs Web ⚪️ (@thespursweb) December 31, 2021
Ronaldo and Conte, Two Peas in a Pod
I mean look at Ronaldo going to Manchester United. Apparently, all the players are scared to eat desserts now because Ronaldo gives them a look. That swag and winning mentality that Ronaldo has is exactly what Conte is going to bring to Spurs. With Conte, it’s all about the team, and all the individuals on the team must work together, all doing their part to reach a common goal: Trophies. Be grateful Spurs fans, Antonio Conte is ready to show us the way.
Man United’s players have stopped eating dessert in the canteen since Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival, according to Eric Bailly 🍰👀 pic.twitter.com/3Iy7hROMoP— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) December 29, 2021
Old and Familiar Faces Alike Seeing a Fútbol Ressurgence on the Pitch
Since the first day, when Conte took charge and stepped into that dressing room, the attitude of the players changed. Conte sold them on his vision, offering guidance to become winners once again. The staff showed them their tactics and how each of them would play a critical role in the squad. Kudos to the player’s character during this change as well. They were immediately ready to work hard and see their results from training, mirror wins come game time. Conte’s tactics have proven to help clubs in the past breed winners. The players at Hotspur Way were ready to accept anything as they are all vying to bring trophies back to North London again.
He’s Back….. Harry Kane is Ready to Put England on Notice
Harry Kane looks revived under Conte. Kane has always talked about the ambitions he has in order to win trophies and how he wants Tottenham to match that. He has always loved Tottenham and this summer with the fans was a tad bit awkward. No, he didn’t leave but he had to earn the respect back from some fans. Under Nuno, Kane had one premier league goal. Since Conte has taken over, Kane has had three goals. He is starting to heat up including a crucial goal versus a top rival, Liverpool.
Before the last game at Watford, Kane had a goal in three straight EPL games. He should have had four goals total as one was called off for offsides. The best part is Kane is only around 75% of the way back to his old self from last year. He is connecting on passes and producing shots on target again and for now, that will do. Come to the end of the season I think people will start talking about Kane as a top-five premier league player again and eclipse 15 EPL goals.
Rejects in The Past, Now Pure Class in The Present
The thing with Mourinho was that he was always good at getting the talent out of his star players. The role players on the other hand did not thrive as much. Step in Antonio Conte and instantly he is reviving the career of some players. There are two that come to mind when looking at who has stepped up their play. Harry Winks and Ben Davies.
Ben Davies a lot of people were predicting. He is a perfect fit for the three defender system as a natural fit as left center-back. This is the exact same position he plays for Wales in international play, making it a very easy transition. He has impressed the defense looks much better and since Conte’s arrival they have only let up four goals in eight EPL games. Ben Davies is certainly living up to his nickname and has impressed as an everyday starter.
😍😂 Oh Daddy Davies pic.twitter.com/lEABJzxUpO— Wales Football Fans (@WalesFootieFans) December 23, 2020
Harry Winks looks revolutionized and is getting a lot of recognition from Conte. Winks reminded fans why he was an everyday starter during their Champions League final run during the 2018-2019 season. He is playing with a ton of energy and is passing so well, dropping dimes to the forwards. I hope he continues to play because honestly, I think he could step into Højbjerg’s role and have a central midfield of Skipp and Winks. That would be my dream pairing in the center of the park, pending any new transfers coming in.
Additionally, Conte has made everyday starters under Nuno like Dier, Sanchez, and Moura look significantly better. The team is finally taking shape and they are getting back to their winning ways from years past. Conte is the best manager this club has ever seen. He has turned this middle-of-the-table squad into the top four contenders.
The Italian Connection and Upcoming Transfer Window Frenzy
Conte is now reunited with close friend and former Juventus colleague, Fabio Paratici. They have a superb relationship and they compliment each other perfectly. Their results and trophies at Juventus speak for themselves, and Tottenham fans should be ecstatic about the future with these two.
Conte has continued to talk about improving the current team he was delivered and has deflected many comments about the transfer market. This has rubbed some fans the wrong way but honestly don’t dive to deep into his comments. Conte has always been financially backed wherever he coaches, and he rejected the Tottenham job once before because of insufficient funds, do you really think he changed his mind without a promise of funds from the board? No, Conte is here to build something and it all starts with the Italian duo and the upcoming transfer market.
Don Paratici and The Godfather
The relationship between Paratici and Conte can’t be overstated enough. If Spurs don’t have Paratici, then they don’t have Conte. Conte believes in Paratici’s plan for Spurs otherwise he wouldn’t have even entertained an offer. Conte and Paratici have mutual respect for each other after winning multiple trophies at Juventus. In an interview in November, Conte was asked about his relationship with Paratici.
Conte described it saying, “The relationship with Fabio is solid, there is great mutual esteem. We have worked together, he knows me. We speak the same language and I am not referring only to Italian.”
FIRE ME UP! I want to run through a brick wall for these two. Last May, there was no plan in place. Kane had a public interview expressing his desire to leave and many coaches declined the Spurs job as it was too toxic. Step in Don Paratici and he cheffed up in the kitchen. Kept Kane, added young talent and improved the starting 11. Then you add The Godfather that is Antonio Conte and you have something special.
I am a very optimistic person when it comes to Tottenham. I won’t lie. But when the likes of Jamie Carragher and John Terry are speaking publicly about the threat Tottenham could be that’s when I knew it was real. I just pinched myself. Spurs still have these two fútbol giants confirmed.
Deal or No Deal, The January Transfer Window Frenzy
The big reason Conte left Inter Milan over the summer was their plans to be sellers during the transfer window, amidst to survive finances lost during the pandemic. Whether it was at Juventus, Chelsea, or his beginning years at Inter Milan, Conte was always financially backed. He brought in the likes of Lukaku, Kanté, Hakimi, and many other star players into his clubs.
Now it is time for Tottenham fans to get excited. Tottenham’s time is up. There is not a chance that Conte would take this job without some knowledge of sufficient funds for the transfer market. Now, Paratici and he will discuss who to bring in immediately in January. I believe they will add one starter and another role player at least to this squad. Conte knows he needs the Champions League to attract more players over the summer and this January window is the perfect time to start. Also, the key takeaway here is that Romero has only played one game for Conte. His return is essential if the Spurs want to climb into that last Champions League place.
In the past, Daniel Levy has been cautious with spending too much money. Levy wants trophies otherwise he wouldn’t have brought in a coach like Conte under his wages. He knows Conte is the man who could bring Tottenham back to the top of the league where he believes they belong. He just needs to give Conte the keys to the castle and have the board back him without hesitation, agreeing to all of his demands for squad improvement.
Some of the rumored players that Tottenham has had on their radar include Kessié, de Ligt, de Vrij, Vlahović, and many more. The talent listed above is exceptional and would instantly improve the overall talent at Tottenham. Conte wants to build an EPL winner and as fast as possible. Tottenham is going to be buyers this window, but the summer one is apparently where they will be leaders in the market. This window, along with the summer, will be vital for any future success.
Conte’s Spurs Expecations for The Remainder of the 2021 English Premier League Season
The top four races for the remainder of the season will be sensational to watch. In my eyes, there are currently four teams with a shot. Arsenal, West Ham, Tottenham, and Manchester United are the contenders. The table currently is as follows.
- 4th Arsenal 35 points
- 5th West Ham 34 points
- 6th Tottenham 33 points
- 7th Manchester United 31 points
This is as close as it gets and honestly, I do believe that Conte’s brilliance is the only reason Spurs are even in contention. Tottenham also is fortunate that they have two games in hand (meaning they have played two fewer games) versus Arsenal and West Ham, and one game in hand versus Manchester United. This is a big advantage and I believe Spurs will take advantage of this.
With the addition of a couple of transfers, preferably a new outside wingback, central defender, or striker, they certainly can close the gap on the rest of the competition. If Tottenham can get two of those three positions, I believe they will sneak into that last Champions League spot and bring glorious UCL nights back to North London. The remainder of this season is going to be spectacular and I can promise one thing to Tottenham fans. Conte is the guy and no you’re not dreaming, this is a reality.
For more content regarding Tottenham Hotspur and Soccer in general follow me on Twitter @petevanseventer! I am also a passionate Boston sports fan and love looking at gambling/fantasy across all sports. Hate Boston Sports? Hate my fantasy/gambling takes? Well, tell me why on Twitter as well I love to engage with fans from all over the country!