Dubai: You can see why Tottenham pushed the boat out and made sure they finally got Antonio Conte – who turned them down earlier this summer – as their new manager having sacked Nuno Espirito Santo.
The Italian is a serial winner and brings to White Hart Lane a winning mentality. It will be something the Spurs squad is not used to but they had better get in tune with the former Inter Milan and Chelsea manager’s demands – and boy is he demanding.
He is known to be extremely single-minded and somewhat of a disciplinarian. He is also a brilliant tactician and should oversee a huge improvement from top to bottom at the North London club.
But, that is if chairman Daniel Levy keeps his nose out of Conte’s business and affords him the time to work his magic. Levy is being critiscised for sacking Santo after just four months in charge. Frankly, that is a ridiculously short amount of time to give a new manager to change the fortunes of a football team. The former Wolves coach had barely gotten his feet under the table before he was given the boot but now with Conte in charge, Tottenham must show an improvement in results and performances because they will not be able to attract a better coach than him.
It is odd that he is joining the club now instead of when they first made their move for him back in June. Perhaps Levy has offered him more money and also funds to improve the squad in the upcoming January transfer window. But had Conte arrived for the start of the English Premier League season then many believe Spurs would have been comfortably in the top four. Instead, they are sitting in eighth and look woefully off form.
It is also odd that the Italian has only been given an 18-month contract. The Tottenham job is a long-term project and an coach will need several years in the hot seat to get it right but clearly Levy wants instant results from Conte otherwise he will soon find out how ruthless a chairman he can be. Jose Mourinho and now Santo know this only too well...
But I do feel that Manchester United have missed out in not getting Conte as a replacement for the struggling Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. He would have been the perfect, high-profile name the fans demand and he would have gotten the best out of the talented Old Trafford squad. It will be interesting to see how the two clubs now fare going forwards…