How Antonio Conte revitalized Spurs into an elite team

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Antonio Conte Spurs

After retaining Harry Kane, anticipation was mounting at Tottenham for the start of the 21/22 season. Summer signings Emerson Royal and Cristian Romero have sparked hope in the hearts of many Spurs fans. Both bolstered an otherwise aging defense.

This excitement reached its climax on the first day. A Heung-min Son goal saw Spurs shock defending champions Manchester City. Tottenham held on for a 1-0 win.

Their next two games were equally suspicious. Still, the team’s defensive fortitude was enough to hold off Wolves and Watford, putting Spurs top of the table. Unfortunately, Nuno’s anticipation quickly dissipated.

Heavy defeats to Crystal Palace, Chelsea and North London rivals Arsenal ensued. Suddenly the team fell to 11e from the sixth day. Then Spurs’ troubles continued to brew in the Premier League. Tensions reached a boiling point after a heavy 3-0 loss to Manchester United at home. It was the last straw for Nuno Espírito Santo.

The following week, Antonio Conte arrived to lead Spurs back into the Champions League race.

Antonio Conte reviews Spurs

After a Scudetto victory in charge of Inter Milan, expectations were high for the former Chelsea manager. Rather than succumb to the pressure, Conte has made his goal clear: to bring Premier League glory to Tottenham. This feat seemed impossible for his first season. However, he assured that with strong recruitment and a fighting mentality, it is possible. Conte made an immediate impact with his tactical footprint. Tottenham’s lackluster attack quickly turned into a considerable force.

Due to high rotation, the team struggled in the UEFA Conference League, but their success in the Premier League was undeniable. Heading into the January transfer window, Spurs remained unbeaten in the Premier League under Conte’s management. With recruitment scheduled for January, the future looked bright for the London team. A January 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea brought Spurs’ invincible form to a halt. Additionally, the loss signaled the need for reinforcement.

Daniel Levy moved quickly to carry out Conte’s orders. Juventus duo Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski arrived on deadline day. Although neither of the signings brought huge celebrations, they provided low-risk depth to bolster the club’s push for Champions League qualification.

February was a month to forget for Antonio Conte. His side managed a solid 3-1 victory against Brighton. On the other hand, back-to-back defeats at the hands of Southampton and Wolves struck the wrong nerve. After 25 match days, Tottenham were in 6e place, 3 points off the last Champions League qualifying spot. Most expected their next game at Manchester City to rub more salt in the wound of Conte’s men. Such was the nature of bad form.

Turnaround Victory

Instead, Tottenham have shown the world that you should always expect the unexpected when it comes to Spurs. Performances inspired by new recruit Dejan Kulusevski and Harry Kane carried Spurs to a 3-2 victory. For the second time this season, City have left a game against Spurs stunned. The young Swede, Kulusevski, continued his strong debut in north London. He was notably instrumental in five goals in his next six matches. All signs pointed to Conte’s men forming an unstoppable attack. For example, the team scored 25 goals in their next seven Premier League games. Consequently, Spurs have won six of those seven.

This run of form propelled Antonio Conte and Spurs into the alluring 4e place. In November, when Conte arrived, it seemed like a ridiculous dream. Tottenham ended the season with just one defeat in their last ten games. Their solid form, coupled with disappointing performances from Manchester United and Arsenal, saw Tottenham secure 4e place. Heung-min Son finished the season as the Premier League’s top scorer. Moreover, Dejan Kulusevski broke the record books with an impressive 13 goal contribution. This is the biggest January signing in Premier League history.

Build for 2022/23

At the turn of the summer, rumors suggested the departure of Antonio Conte. To allay those fears, Spurs appeased the manager’s demands during the summer transfer window. First of all, Ivan Perišić on a free transfer was a massive coup. Previously, the Croatian played a key role for Conte’s Scudetto-winning side. The hat-trick winger is coming off one of his best seasons, contributing to 19 goals for Inter this term.

Moreover, Tottenham have bought Yves Bissouma, a midfielder who has long been ready for a boost. With a new level of capital spending thanks to ENIC Sports investing over $180m in the club, Antonio Conte and Spurs can target big name players. For example, the club are close to securing the services of Brazilian international Richarlison. In doing so, the frontline looks deadlier than ever.

Known as ‘The Godfather’ in Italy, Conte will be hoping to strike gold in his second season at the helm and break Tottenham’s 14-year trophy drought.

Photo credit: Getty Images



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