Antonio Conte has returned to the Premier League and has signed an 18-month contract with Tottenham Hotspur. This will be his second spell in English football after previously managing Chelsea in 2017.
During this time, he won the Premier League before being sacked a year later. Since then, Conte managed to win Serie A with Inter Milan and as a result, his demand is higher than ever.
So, what does this mean for Spurs? Firstly, it means that on paper, they’ve got their best manager in years.
Undoubtedly, Conte is classed as a top manager who has won many trophies aplenty and has a proven track record.
This signing couldn’t be further apart from the appointment of Nuno Santo in the summer. However, whether Conte turns out to be a success remains to be seen. In fact, Tottenham’s most successful manager in recent times was Mauricio Pochettino who was an under-the-radar signing at the time.
Can Conte Get Trophies For Spurs?
Having said this, one thing which Pochettino and his predecessors didn’t get was a trophy. For a club of Tottenham’s stature, their recent trophy run is poor. Put another way, it was 2007 when they last won a trophy which was under Juande Ramos. Sadly, they didn’t earn many trophies before this either.
As a result, you could argue that Conte needs to win a trophy at some point to be considered a success. For all his positives and groundbreaking football, Pochettino never actually won anything. With this said, Spurs fans would take any cup at this point simply as a matter of pride.
There’s then the issue of the league which is also a big deal. Obviously, Pochettino broke into the top 4 and helped establish Tottenham as a Champions League side. However, since his exit, these standards have dropped. It seems that the money paid for Conte suggests Tottenham wants to hit the ground running as well.
For instance, if he sees out his initial 18-month contract he will be paid £15 million which is a staggering amount. Conte has fine tastes and is not a budget manager. However, his track record shows that he’s more than capable of justifying his lavish luxuries as he certainly delivers when it comes to management.
Is He Under A Lot Of Pressure?
In brief, you could argue that the Tottenham job has become a bit of a managerial poison chalice. Whilst there’s definitely money available, it never quite matches up to the finances of the bigger players in the Premier League, despite having similar ambitions.
As well, with a newly built stadium that boasts over 60,000 capacity, those ambitions are relatively realistic.
As you may have gathered by now, this makes for a fascinating scenario. On the one hand, Tottenham has a history against them, and other than Pochettino, most of their recent managers have not been deemed successful.
On the other hand, this is Antonio Conte we’re talking about, and other than Jose Mourinho, very few of their past coaches have met this level of quality.
Without stating the obvious, there are two possible scenarios that will come from this. The first is that Conte manages to break through the barrier and take Tottenham to new heights.
This is certainly possible given his CV and put simply, the man knows how to manage. By new heights, you can assume trophies, top-four finishes, and set new standards at the club.
New Faces Joining Soon?
The other outcome is possibly what footballing cynics are expecting. This would mean instant pressure, lack of eye-catching signings, and mimicking the stint of Jose Mourinho, where another big-name boss simply can’t cut it for Tottenham.
From Conte’s perspective, he actually has very little to lose and will still have a top job waiting for him in Italy or Spain if he fails. As seen with Mourinho, the Roma job is arguably no worse than Tottenham, despite getting sacked within a little over a season.
Nonetheless, Spurs’ first signing might cost them barely to nothing. Conte has already informed that he wants to have Marcelo Brozovic in London, the Croatian midfielder with who he worked in Inter before.
Since Brozovic is at the end of his contract with Inter Milan and he has refused to renew it, he might sign a pre-contract to join the Premier League team in the Summer. Or instead, Spurs might pay a symbolic fee to see the 28-year old get back together with the manager who made him win a Scudetto last season.
Things are serious for Spurs. When sacking Mourinho it cost them £10 million, and apparently, paying Nuno will cost even. Therefore, managerial ins and outs are clearly costing Spurs financially. In terms of reputation, it’s also hurting the club as their lack of trophies may also put off potential suitors.
Overall, Antonio’s appointment shows ambition from the Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy. But, some would even argue this ambition is forced due to his declining popularity with the fans.
Regardless of your thoughts and opinions, it will be interesting to see how this one pans out. Undoubtedly, this is a new era for the North London club and the stakes could not be higher.
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