World Football

Top five challenges Antonio Conte will face at Tottenham Hotspur

Siddarth KhargaSiddarth Kharga
November 3 2021
Antonio Conte
(Courtesy : Renders)

The Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm of the club recently.

Following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur, the club has appointed Antonio Conte as his successor. The move also marked Spurs’ third managerial change in the space of seven months.

Conte, who has previously worked with Chelsea, had an offer to become the club’s manager earlier in the summer of 2021. However, the Italian turned it down due to disagreement in negotiations. Antonio Conte was Tottenham’s first-choice replacement for Jose Mourinho. However, with the appointment now, the Italian looks set to return for his second spell in the Premier League after leading Chelsea to the league tite in 2017.

Here are the five challenges Antonio Conte will encounter at Tottenham Hotspur.

5. Underperforming Squad

At the time of the appointment of Antonio Conte, the club have already lost 50% of their fixtures at the Premier League. In the process, Spurs have managed to score nine goals and have conceded 16. The squad have been hugely disappointing for the past few months and have slid down the Premier League table. 

The job that lays ahead of Conte seems huge, given their poor run of form. The former Chelsea boss will be tasked with boosting the players’ morale and creating a winning formula. Given the club’s dry spell in front of goal and their defensive frailties, the Italian will have to quickly find his best playing XI and get the squad on their feet again.

4. Defensive Woes

Conte’s teams have been known for being formidable at the back. Unlike his previous squads, this Tottenham Hotspur team is a different ball game altogether. The signings of players like Cristian Romero, Emerson and Sergio Reguilon have failed to make an impact for the club in the Premier League. The North London side have also failed to replace Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen at the back. 

Antonio Conte will have to make do with the existing defence until January. The likes of Dier, Sanchez and Romero have looked very vulnerable at the back. The Italian tactician prefers his defenders to be rock solid as well as comfortable on the ball.

The newly appointed manager also prefers to play a back three and the wingbacks seem to be another area of concern. Wingbacks are the cornerstone to Conte’s squad and are hugely involved in creating goalscoring opportunities for the forwards. With the injury to Sergio Reguilon and the lack of speed in Doherty, Davies and Emerson, the former Chelsea boss will have to work with the bits and pieces at Tottenham.

3. Lack of creativity in the midfield

Since Christian Eriksen switched to Inter last year, no one has been able to step into his shoes. The major problem that Spurs faced under Nuno was the lack of creativity in the middle. Neither Alli nor Son have been able to create enough goalscoring chances this season. Spurs have averaged fewer shots per game as compared to any other Premier League club this season. Since the departure of Pochettino, Spurs have lost their identity. 

Antonio Conte will surely be looking for an effective partner for Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and a creative outlet in the midfield. The likes of Alli, Ndombele, Winks and Lo Celso have not been able to replicate Eriksen’s 90 assists and 69 goals for the club. Lo Celso and Ndombele have shown glimpses of their potential since their arrival. Whether they have the ability to thrive under the Italian is a different question. The future of players like Alli and Winks seems to be uncertain under Conte.

2. Making Harry Kane world class again

Harry Kane is enduring the worst start to his Premier League campaign in a Tottenham shirt. His failed move to Manchester City seems to have affected Kane’s performance this season. The England international has just found the net once in his last nine appearances in the Premier League. Given Kane’s high standards, the England international has looked far from convincing this season. 

The downfall of Kane is highly due to Nuno’s conservative style of play and the lack of chances created. Kane had racked up 23 goals and 14 assists in his previous campaign. At times, he was the man to drag Tottenham Hotspur out of difficult situations. This season, however, it feels as if the striker seems to have lost his desire to play for the North London club.

Antonio Conte will have to work to restore Kane’s form and get him firing again. The future of Harry Kane is also up for debate and if the England star is to leave Spurs, finding a replacement for him would be an uphill task for the Italian.

1. Winning a Trophy

Tottenham Hotspur last won a trophy under Juande Ramos in 2008. Since then, Spurs have had nine different managers, including Pochettino and Mourinho, who have failed to win silverware at the club. The Champions League heroics of 2019 under Pochettino seems a distant achievement for the club.

The Carabao Cup would be something that Antonio Conte would be targeting. Spurs were defeated in the final of last season’s Carabao Cup by Manchester City. Given Conte’s reputation, the Spurs faithful will be hoping to finish higher than last season and expect to go further than the fifth round of the FA Cup.

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