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Tottenham-Conte: A Relationship That Was Doomed From The Beginning

Written by Patrick Echatah

What impact does the frustration and impatience of the fan base over the lack of trophies have on the players? Or is it the players’ failure to handle the pressure and win silverware that fuels the rage and impatience?

It’s unclear to Antonio Conte. The most recent ex-Tottenham manager has come to believe that both were present and wrong at the organization, creating an atmosphere akin to what would happen if you tried to run through quicksand. To put it another way, it’s become every manager’s impossible task, even one with his level of decoration. Although signed in November 2021, he was unable to help Spurs, who had only won the 2008 Carling Cup during Daniel Levy’s 22-year chairmanship, achieve their goal of winning a trophy.

Conte developed an unhealthy degree of reputation future-proofing, which is the opposite of the clichéd break-up line. You, not I, are to blame. Nobody has won a title at Spurs under Levy with the exception of Juande Ramos, and there were many successful managers before Conte who failed to meet this standard. Again, it comes down to the club’s culture, one in which the managers shoulder the blame and the players are given leeway. After the 3-3 draw at Southampton on the weekend before last, Conte launched into a tirade, saying, “They can change the manager, they can change a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change – believe me.”

In some ways, Conte, like one of his predecessors, José Mourinho, was a victim of his reputation as a “serial winner.” He started to realize it, too. Conte once quipped, “I think this would be the best position if I was a terrific coach but without a win in my career.”

“My past is unique. It might be punishing me.” There were no gray areas with Conte. Silverware was a must. And with other Levy era managers, that hasn’t been the case. In a larger, more romantic sense, Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino succeeded even though they did not win by taking fans on an adventure, playing in a certain way, and making memories. Especially Pochettino, who took them to their first UCL final in history.

Tottenham fans are as impatient as fans of other top clubs in the world. They will join in if they can see a strategy and progress being followed, as well as if they can enjoy the games. Conte ultimately fell short in this area. Trophies are almost a long shot for the English team. The Spurs faithful do not anticipate them. They do, however, properly want three things: harmony, selflessness, and the promise of thrill.

Conte never quite fit in at Spurs; his demands, his way of doing things, and his own impatience (aside from what he saw from the stands) ran counter to Levy’s usual style of management. There were again comparisons to Mourinho. Positive outcomes, it was hoped, would triumph over everything. When they started to drift away this season, Conte appeared stranded, and when he reacted, it was more out of helpless wrath than any conviction his words could elicit.

The Italian coach gave the impression that he was aware of two different types of love, harder and harder. He began by preaching a gospel of pain and sacrifice, emphasizing the need for complete dedication to the mission. He didn’t just lecture about it. His determination was as unrelenting as his focus on detail on the practice field as he attempted to burn it into every pair of temples. None of that. There. Let’s try it once more. Conte is aware of what it takes to succeed. The necessary mentality was built on this foundation. Everyone had to have faith in him and obey him.

With Conte, everything is premeditated in an effort to elicit higher performance from the players. He gives his news conference remarks a great deal of thought. The squad won 10 of their final 14 Premier League games to finish fourth last season, which was a commendable accomplishment. When he repeated the same themes over and over, it became apparent that Conte’s browbeating had less of an impact. There is a boundary. Conte frequently voiced his complaints, with topics ranging from the club’s prior dealings in the transfer market (remember the Bryan Gil episode?) to the need for him to serve as the organization’s lone spokesperson.

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There was a complaint that Arnaut Danjuma in January and Djed Spence in the summer were “club signings.” Conte wants experienced players who can contribute right away, which also explains his disregard for the academy, where morale was at an all-time low. Conte arrived looking worn out. After the tragic passing of three close friends, Sinisa Mihajlovic, Gianluca Vialli, and the Spurs fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone, he began to have second thoughts about how to balance his work and personal life, especially given the distance from his wife and daughter who live in Italy. His emergency gallbladder removal surgery at the beginning of February would then drain him.

The Italian would experience his typical drawbacks—acrimony and the disintegration of relationships—and, in the end, it was the drawbacks that were the main lesson learned. The lack of front-foot punch; the inflexible and predictable football. How fewer players made progress.

At his former club, Chelsea, where he had triumphed before departing under a cloud, the writ for unjust dismissal was filed, there were smiles when Conte moved to Spurs. There was also a sure forecast that things would not turn out well once more. The breakdown felt appropriately complete as Conte lashed out at his players at Southampton, admitting that their mentality continued to be an issue. This was a week or so after Conte had criticized the Spurs fans.

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