Tottenham fans should be excited about Antonio Conte


Being a Tottenham fan means a couple of things.

This means that you are often set on expecting the worst from your team, even if things are looking up.

This means that you think that you are not allowed nice, shiny, excellent things.

This means that you can handle a lot of flak from your friends and colleagues.

But we are allowed nice things, and you have to be really optimistic when a good thing – something that seemed almost impossible and unthinkable at the beginning of the year – emerges from nowhere with a remarkable, almost unjustified interest in taking the club forward.

This good one is Antonio Conte.

The news of his arrival as Spurs’ successor to Nuno Espirito Santo has now been confirmed, and the Italian has signed a contract until 2023 with the possibility of extension.

The strange thing about Conte joining Tottenham is that he does not seem to fit many of the specifications usually associated with being the club’s manager, especially those repeated by Daniel Levy when he addressed Spurs fans at the end of last season. He is not seen as a project man – especially as he only lasted two seasons each with both Chelsea and Inter – while his tactical approach is not synonymous with a free-flowing style of play.

He has even been painted with the same “winner” brush. Tottenham fans were so tired of hearing about former manager Mourinho. But that would be unfair. Not because he’s not a winner – he obviously is, with five top titles in his name with Juventus, Chelsea and Inter – but he has a clear game identity, one that is certainly much more progressive than pushing the ball forward. , hope that the best players perform outrageously in front of goal and invite pressure on your own box ‘.

Conte made Moses one of Chelsea’s most important players in a season / Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

What is extremely encouraging is how Conte has forced some brilliant performances from players who you would think were the trash. Victor Moses found incredible form on the right back during Chelsea’s Premier League title win in 2016/17, while forgotten former Manchester United defenders Ashley Young and Matteo Darmian played some important roles in Inter’s recent triumph.

Tottenham’s squad is hardly a big seller, but many fans have been brainwashed into thinking they are full of total no-hopers. In reality, it is good, but they have needed a clean sheet for the best part of two years.

They were caught in the fire of a burnt out Pochettino’s last months at the club, while Mourinho did not do enough to unite the squad. Nuno just demanded no authority, such was the club’s circus of a boss hunt in the summer.

Conte won Serie A with Inter 2020/21 / Jonathan Moscrop / Getty Images

It is a good squad, although it still requires some surgery and goodbye, but Conte should be able to squeeze better performances from the defenders now at his disposal. The view that he shapes Cristian Romero is his own image is enormously exciting.

It’s a pretty amazing move, to be honest. He may need money to do business in January if possible and the following summer, but the fact that he has Harry Kane available after a turbulent summer is a huge plus. You just have to look at his work with Romelu Lukaku at Inter to see how much a similar relationship can benefit the Spurs. Kane was clearly uninterested in working with Nuno, but with one of the best managers in the world now in charge, his motivation will increase tenfold.

The power dynamics will be interesting to see, but there would be no point in appointing Conte if the handbrake was still on. Either they give him all the tools to build Tottenham in his image or it will be another disastrous 18 months.

Spurs fans are allowed to be excited by Conte. Healthy and rested after a title win, he is a more progressive coach than most people praise him for, and there are enough players in the squad for him to get out.

Does it make you feel more optimistic? Maybe not if you are of Tottenham persuasion. It never seems to work out. But the signs are good and the manager is excellent, and it should not get lost in the news cycle, even if the match does not really seem to fit.

For more from Jude Summerfield, follow him on Twitter!

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