“For the Spurs, at this period of time, none could be the ideal coach than Conte – who can bring them back on track”


The departure of Nuno Espirito Santo was just a matter of time. The think tank of Tottenham Hotspur showed enough patience with Nuno and many regarded him as a gamble, which, ultimately backfired.

The 3-0 loss at home to Manchester United proved to be the last straw for the Spurs board -Nuno Espirito Santo had been sacked by Tottenham after only four months in charge.

Nuno was appointed permanent successor to Jose Mourinho in June, with Spurs handing him an initial two-year contract.

That agreement has been terminated early in the wake of the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United, which leaves the North London outfit 10 points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea after 10 games.

An announcement on Spurs’ website confirmed Nuno, along with coaching staff Ian Cathro, Rui Barbosa and Antonio Dias, have all been relieved of their duties.

Spurs managing director Fabio Paratici, who like Nuno only arrived at the club in the summer, said, “I know how much Nuno and his coaching staff wanted to succeed and I regret that we have had to take this decision.

“Nuno is a true gentleman and will always be welcome here. We should like to thank him and his coaching staff and wish them well for the future.”

Nuno took charge of just 17 games across all competitions as Tottenham head coach, recording nine wins, one draw and seven losses.

Five of those defeats came in the Premier League, with Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Arsenal and West Ham getting the better of his side in addition to United.

Spurs had the second-worst totals in both shots and chances created in the Premier League under Nuno, who also has the unwanted record of the most defeats by three goals or more in the division so far this season.

No sooner had the tenure of Nuno ended – The Spurs wasted no time in appointing the former Italian coach – Antonio Conte, who last season, helped Inter win the Scudetto after 10 years.

Antonio Conte has been appointed Tottenham manager to replace the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo, with the Italian signing an initial 18-month contract that includes an extension option.

Conte, who met his new squad for the first time on Tuesday morning, returns to the Premier League three years on from a stint at Chelsea that delivered top-flight title glory and an FA Cup triumph.

Conte expressed his delight after being named Spurs manager, telling the club’s website:

“I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.”

“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world. I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.”

“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching.”

“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”

Tottenham managing director Fabio Paratici, who previously worked with Conte at Juventus, added:

“We are delighted to welcome Antonio to the club. His track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England.

“I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus, and look forward to seeing his work with our talented group of players.”

Conte has a job on his hands – the team is currently ninth in the Premier League table, with 15 points from 10 games; they trail leaders Chelsea by 10 points and are five points off the top four. So Conte will really have to turn things around if Spurs are to qualify for next year’s Champions League. His team face tough competition –  Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham are all better placed for the last berth at the moment.

Unfortunately, Tottenham aren’t doing much better in Europe.

They have been struggling on the road in the first edition of the Conference League but have been getting results at home. Conte will take some comfort in that as his first game in charge is against Vitesse, in London, on Thursday.

Spurs are third in their qualifying group on four points – two behind Vitesse and three behind leaders Rennes.

Success, whether in the Premier League, FA Cup or Europe is paramount to whether Harry Kane stays at the club or tries his luck elsewhere. The England captain is under contract until June 2024 but contemplating a move to a club where he might enjoy the kind of success he is not getting at Spurs. City, who have been without an out-and-out striker since Kun Aguero’s departure, would offer that and they have been strongly linked to Kane.

Apart from getting the team’s confidence back, results coming in and hopefully, convincing Kane to stick out the next two years of his contract, Conte’s other task at Tottenham will be to start rebuilding the squad and clearing out all of the deadwood.

Giovani Lo Celso has been disappointing since his 32-M euro move from Betis – injury blighted his first season and he has only made a handful of starts across three competitions with a return of one goal in 12 appearances.

He, along with Steven Bergwijn and Dele Alli could be on the way out of the club.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the sword could also fall on Lucas Moura in Conte’s plans to revitalize the Spurs attack.

Some outlets claim that Daniel Levy has approved 175 million euros towards new signings but luring the players that Conte has in mind won’t be easy.

Among the players who could soon be available are AC Milan’s Franck Kessie and Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic, both could be snapped up on free transfers next summer although Spurs are not the only clubs interested in the pair.

Atletico Madrid are believed to have Vlahovic lined up for next season while Kessie, who is valued at 55 million euros, has drawn interest from Juventus, Liverpool, PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

According to today’s print edition of Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, who report that Nicolo Barella, Lautaro Martinez, and Milan Skriniar are also among the new Tottenham coach’s top targets.

Conte will look to Serie A to bring in players who suit his ideas and fill positions in his new-look Spurs side, and the first destination for them will likely be the Nerazzurri where the Italian coach had worked successfully for two seasons.

Barella is a player who developed significantly under Conte and who Tottenham could try and convince to come to the Premier League, while Martinez is also a player that the club tried to sign in the summer transfer window.

Martinez has signed an extension with the Nerazzurri, but this may not stop the London-based side from pursuing his signature at some point in the near future at the behest of Conte.

Skriniar is another player who Spurs had targeted in past transfer windows, and Tottenham Sporting Director Fabio Paratici is an admirer of the Slovak defender who he could seek to reunite with Conte in London.

Meanwhile, Marcelo Brozovic is yet another player who struck up a good relationship with Conte at the Nerazzurri, and with the Croat’s current deal expiring next summer he could also be a target for Tottenham.

In the end, these are all speculative and part of a plan that remains to be executed.

But it can be assumed; Conte would spend during the winter and next summer transfer to build his force and put them in the right places in his 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation.  No matter which players Conte buys, he would have to build the whole unit centring the dynamic duo – Kane and Heung-Min Son.

There is no doubt, Conte is tactically one of the most efficient coaches in world football and he has brought a lot of dynamism among teams that struggled before his arrival. Inter is the latest example that shone brightly last season in the Italian Serie A.


For the Spurs, at this period of time, none could be the ideal coach than Conte – who can bring them back on track.

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