Antonio Conte has always been a man with a plan. He knows what he wants and more importantly, he knows what he doesn’t want. And what he definitely didn’t want was to manage Tottenham Hotspur.
It’s no secret that Conte had been on Tottenham’s radar for a while. The Italian had enjoyed a highly successful stint in the Premier League with Chelsea, winning the title in his first season in charge. So, when Tottenham parted ways with Jose Mourinho in April, it was widely expected that Conte would be their top choice to take over.
However, there were already signs that Conte wasn’t exactly excited about the prospect of managing Tottenham. During his time at Chelsea, he had a number of clashes with Tottenham, most notably when his Chelsea side ended Tottenham’s title challenge in 2016/17. Conte famously celebrated the victory by jumping into the crowd at Stamford Bridge.
But there were deeper reasons why Conte wasn’t keen on managing Tottenham. For one, he had concerns about the club’s ambition. Tottenham had been a regular top-four finisher under Mauricio Pochettino, but had failed to win a trophy under the Argentine’s tenure. When Mourinho was brought in to change that, the Portuguese coach talked a big game about wanting to win trophies, but ultimately failed to deliver.
Conte, who had won titles at Juventus and Chelsea, wasn’t convinced that Tottenham had the same level of ambition. He was reportedly seeking assurances that Tottenham would be willing to invest in the squad and make the necessary signings to compete at the highest level.
There were also concerns about Tottenham’s style of play. Under Pochettino, Tottenham had developed a reputation for playing attractive, attacking football. However, under Mourinho, the team had taken a more defensive approach. Conte, who is known for his tactical acumen and emphasis on defensive solidity, wasn’t keen on inheriting a team that had developed a more defensive mindset.
So, when Tottenham announced that they had appointed Nuno Espirito Santo as their new manager, it didn’t come as too much of a surprise. However, that’s not to say that Conte was happy. Reports suggested that he was frustrated that talks had gone on for so long without any real progress being made. He was also said to be disappointed that Tottenham hadn’t been more proactive in trying to secure his services.
Despite his reservations about Tottenham, Conte remains one of the most highly regarded managers in world football. He has a proven track record of success and has won titles in Italy and England. His appointment at Tottenham would have been a major coup for the club and would have given them a real chance of challenging for honours.
However, it seems that Conte is happy to wait for the right opportunity to come along. There are plenty of other clubs who would be interested in his services, and with his reputation, he will always have options.
For Tottenham, the appointment of Nuno Espirito Santo represents a new era. The Portuguese coach has enjoyed success in charge of both Porto and Wolves, and will be looking to impose his own style on Tottenham. It remains to be seen whether he can deliver the success that the club’s fans crave, but his appointment is certainly an interesting one.
In the end, it seems that the relationship between Conte and Tottenham was never meant to be. The Italian coach is a man who knows his own mind and wasn’t willing to compromise his principles. Tottenham, meanwhile, were looking for a manager who would fit their long-term plans. It’s a shame that it didn’t work out, but there are still plenty of reasons for Tottenham fans to be excited about the future.
In conclusion, Antonio Conte’s decision not to manage Tottenham Hotspur has been met with mixed reviews but ultimately it may be for the best. As a football manager knows, picking the right club to work for can be the difference between winning and losing. Conte reserved his right not to work with Tottenham, but the future will reveal if it was the best decision.