Antonio Conte is attempting to get fired from Tottenham


It solely takes a matter of hours after turning into a soccer fan to listen to the time period, “Spursy.” It solely takes a pair extra after that to utterly perceive that. It refers to Tottenham Hotspur and that irrespective of the scenario, or the seeming unlikeliness, one thing bizarre will occur to the membership, and in a foul means. Whereas the reality is sort of actually some calculable mixture of dangerous administration from the highest, an absence of a long-term plan, being only a contact much less wealthy than their rivals, with a splash of some dangerous luck, the general feeling that one thing hangs over the membership that may all the time lead to a balls-up is inescapable. They’re the Premier League’s Jets, or Maple Leafs, the place one thing ineffable should be overcome, regardless that that nebulous drive has change into so pungent and robust that the duty is inconceivable.

Yesterday was one of the Spursy days on file in latest historical past. Tottenham managed to toss away a two-goal lead within the final 13 minutes away to Southampton, the worst crew within the league. Certain, the equalizer got here from a fairly rattling doubtful penalty, however Spurs followers are so overwhelmed down by…being Spurs followers that that form of factor simply looks as if the worth of admission.

That end result alone would have been bizarre sufficient for the North London membership, however that is Tottenham Hotspur, the place they’ll all the time pour extra confounding mishegas on prime of the bedrock of confounding mishegas the membership is seemingly constructed on. Enter supervisor Antonio Conte, with a press convention that torched his personal gamers, and his bosses, and acted as a big neon signal flashing, “PLEASE FIRE ME!” that was additionally on hearth.

One of the best a part of this must be when Conte exclaims, “I’m very upset!” Oh you don’t say?

It’s additionally vital to do not forget that Conte is such a level-headed kind that he authored my favourite soccer clip of all time throughout the 2016 Euros:

Does Conte have a degree? In all probability, sure. Spurs are 15 years with none trophy, relying on how a lot inventory you set within the League Cup. They haven’t gained the FA Cup in 32 years, and let’s not even wade into their final league title. Chairman Daniel Levy has been in cost for 22 years, and it’s a reasonably barren 22 years for a membership that sees itself on the identical stage with neighbors Arsenal, if not the remainder of the league’s giants. And Levy’s reign has been chaotic at occasions, hiring managers at a charge that may spin a revolving door off the hinges.

However Spurs have additionally hit their biggest latest heights beneath Levy, and maybe extra poignantly to each Spurs supporter, supervisor Mauricio Pochettino. They made a Champions League ultimate, the membership’s first, and contended for a few league titles with out successful them. Pochettino’s Tottenham ran off third, 2nd, and third place finishes from 2016-2018, the most effective run by far that Spurs have ever managed within the Premier League.

Levy’s biggest mistake was firing Pochettino as an alternative of funding the squad overhaul that Pochettino instructed him was vital, and one Levy ended up funding anyway to please subsequent managers Jose Mourinho and Conte. However Mourinho and Conte are by no means, ever a part of a long-term imaginative and prescient, given the best way they rapidly flameout, or straight up nuke, their environment after a season or two.

The right symmetry to all that is that the ghost of Pochettino has hung within the background all season, as he has been closely rumored to be the one who’s going to interchange Conte at any time when the Italian packs up his baggage (although truthfully, it positive has felt like Conte has had his baggage packed for some time now). However it’s one other instance of the scattergun planning that Levy’s Tottenham have by no means been in a position to get out of.

The Conte M.O.

On the flip facet, that is what Conte does. At Juventus, at Chelsea, at Inter, and now Spurs, he engineers an instantaneous bounce in outcomes, efficiency, and optimism, after which he firebombs his personal work the next season, normally bitching a couple of lack of help in transfers or affect or each. The dude simply can’t sit nonetheless.

And Conte would have a tough time arguing he hasn’t been supported by Levy. Spurs introduced in Richarlison, Christian Romero, Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perišić, Clément Lenglet in the summertime, and Pedro Porro and Arnaut Danjuma within the January window. Of all of them, solely Romero and Perišić have featured frequently, although a few of that is because of damage. However a few of it isn’t, as Richarlison was solely too comfortable to level out when Spurs limply exited the Champions League to a far-from-impressive AC Milan. That’s some $215 million in expenditure on Conte’s behalf, and that’s a contact greater than the change discovered within the sofa cushions.

And it’s arduous to place the blame wherever aside from Conte for a way typically Spurs look bland and torpid on the sphere. He can pillory his gamers within the press all he likes, and he apparently likes it lots, however it’s form of in his job description to generate ardour and want inside his squad. Seeing as how he’s been making goo-goo eyes on the exit door for a lot of the season, it’s not all that stunning that his gamers aren’t precisely feeling it week in and week out.

One wonders if Pochettino might save this if he’s certainly to make an excellent return, irrespective of how a lot goodwill and leeway the followers will give him. Of Tottenham’s main gamers by minutes this season, solely Romero and Dejan Kulusevski aren’t both over or about to be over 30 years outdated. It’s a thriller how far more endurance Harry Kane has for this horseshit (although let’s all pray that Man United resolve to shell out large for him for his declining years as an alternative of Victor Osimhen, who has inhaled and spit again out Serie A for Napoli this 12 months and is six years youthful). The squad may have one other overhaul after the overhaul they engineered after telling Pochettino they wouldn’t let him overhaul the squad.


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