A report by the Telegraph suggests that Antonio Conte is facing a monumental task of fixing Tottenham. The new manager has begun restructuring and reshaping his squad in an attempt to prevent more underwhelming performances, which cost Spurs dearly last season.
Antonio Conte is beginning to realize that the monumental task of fixing Tottenham is beginning to dawn on him.
LONDON, United Kingdom — Antonio Conte has always been a coach with the uncommon ability to give a speedy repair while still winning trophies, but he has never faced a challenge quite like Tottenham Hotspur.
Conte just became the latest Tottenham manager to find that this is a club that constantly slips when the pressure is on, as Spurs left the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 aggregate semifinal defeat to Chelsea, followed by shouts of “Tottenham Hotspur, it’s happening again” from the visiting supporters.
“At the conclusion of the two games, Chelsea deserved to be in this competition’s final, and we have to be honest,” Tottenham boss Conte remarked. “We generated several opportunities to score in the second half and deserved a better result than 1-0, but if you look at the two games, Chelsea deserved to win.”
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Conte, who was appointed manager in November after Nuno Espirito Santo was fired after less than six months in charge, has already recognized that significant changes are required at Spurs, but his shock therapy approach, which was successful in his first seasons at Juventus, Chelsea, and Inter Milan, will not work at Spurs.
He’ll have to push the reset button this time. Conte’s main dilemma is that he may have to authorize Harry Kane’s exit in order to raise the funds needed to pay a much-needed reconstruction.
It’s a Catch-22 scenario, to say the least. Spurs without Kane is unthinkable; he is the team’s lone world-class player, and his goals have maintained them within striking distance of the top in recent seasons.
Tottenham were simply pushed away by Chelsea, who reached their third major cup final (four if you consider the UEFA Super Cup) since coach Thomas Tuchel took control a year ago, despite Kane’s goal being disallowed for offside as Spurs chased the game in the second half.
However, dealing with Kane is the easy part. Spurs will keep their finest player if he remains; if he leaves, they will have at least £100 million to spend on reinforcements.
Conte’s dilemma is what to do with the rest of the players who are either not good enough or are exposed by the poor quality of the rest of the team. He doesn’t have much to work with other from Kane and the injured Heung-min Son.
Conte fielded a lineup mostly made up of players battling for their futures at the club, but apart from Kane (who has stated his desire to go for over a year), none of them did anything to convince Conte that they deserved a reprieve.
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Tottenham’s troubles, though, go beyond a lack of talent in the team. It’s also a team in need of stability off the field, having gone through three permanent managers since Mauricio Pochettino led them to the Champions League final in 2019.
Since Pochettino’s departure in November 2019, a combination of bad recruiting and mistaken management hires — Jose Mourinho and Nuno — has gradually destroyed all of the promise showed by Pochettino’s Spurs.
As a result, the players have suffered. Mourinho and Nuno have shattered their confidence, and the group is now unbalanced, with players recruited by three different coaches with three distinct tactical needs.
Chelsea, on the other hand, made those same players appear like beginners by playing with the confidence, arrogance, and belief of a squad that has won big before and knows how to do it again.
Conte has the credentials to turn things around and get Spurs back on track, but he has never been a team-builder in his time as a top-level coach, so he is treading new ground at Spurs, and if his flammable personality that led to his departures from Chelsea and Inter resurfaces, he may not even stay to see the job through.
Spurs, on the other hand, aren’t even attempting to compete right now. Spurs seemed to be without hope as soon as Antonio Rudiger put Chelsea ahead on 17 minutes to make it 3-0 on aggregate.
Yes, VAR correctly reversed two penalties after referee Andre Marriner had pointed to the spot, and Kane was displeased to have his “goal” ruled out on 63 minutes, but Tuchel and his team never appeared in danger of squandering their lead.
Chelsea, who will play Liverpool or Arsenal in the final at Wembley on Feb. 27, cruised to victory, while Spurs fell short once again.
Conte has a lot on his plate, but he’s already figured it out. However, repairing it will be the most difficult task of his career.
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