So whose idea was 18 months? Yours? Its? What president, if he could strike a hit like insuring Antonio Conte, would do as good as working on his ad the day he walks through the door?
We assume this was pretty close to Plan A last summer. If the romantic reunion with Mauricio Pochettino was more hope than expectation, the name that jumped from Tottenham’s endless preselection was Conte.
A winner at Juventus, at Chelsea, with Inter Milan, a coach with Premier League experience, a trophy collector, a lot of maintenance but worth it. He assessed the state of Tottenham, saw the roadmap for the future and ran a mile.
At first glance, the signing of Antonio Conte by Spurs seems like a great blow but not everything is what it seems
Now what has changed? Does Tottenham have better prospects than the summer, have they released transfer funds, have they shown that this team is much more than Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and a mediocre supporting cast?
If so, we are missing something. Tottenham appear to be the same club Conte turned down in June, except for ninth place with five losses this season and fewer goals than two of the teams in the bottom three. The money is good, but what do you say if Conte could be a free agent in less than two seasons? At first glance it feels like a shiny hit, but on closer inspection it’s not entirely correct.
It is a matter of trust. There are some? Either Conte doesn’t trust Tottenham to give him the financial support he needs, or they can’t trust Conte won’t be disappointed with his plans and walk.
The 52-year-old Italian turned away North Londoners last summer, so what has changed?
Otherwise, if both parties were convinced, why wouldn’t Tottenham be trying to tie up their man any longer? And why wouldn’t Conte commit to the Pochettino-style reform that the club needs?
It’s a brilliant date. He is the man Manchester United should have gone for, rather than continuing their walk along the edge of the cliff. Maybe that’s why Daniel Levy acted so fast. By the weekend, after a visit to Atalanta and a home game with Manchester City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future could be subject to speculation again. Get Conte in quick and to hell with the cost. We understand that.
However, not the short-term. That’s how Conte likes it, they tell us: a couple of seasons and then he left, ran over, and ran off. However, Pep Guardiola was not supposed to stay five seasons at Manchester City.
The 18-month contract screams Conte’s lack of confidence in Spurs or Spurs in Conte
Conte does not stay long but nobody expected Pep Guardiola to stay so long at City
Things change. It could take the rest of this season to stabilize Tottenham’s boat. An 18-month contract gives them a full campaign with Conte at the helm, and then what? You will need an explanation once the euphoria wears off. There is talk of a one-year extension clause. That is the minimum Tottenham should aspire to.
If nothing else, this shows his fear of coming out of the elite Premier League clique. They were always number six in a field of six, without a title since 1961, without trophies in this century except the 2008 League Cup. And although the Super League project may be dead, the deception is not, and the Spurs With its impressive but expensive new stadium, they will want to participate. If they fall back into the mediocrity of the middle of the table, they could easily be adrift.
Paying Conte over £ 13 million a year is Levy’s insurance policy against that happening. It will make them competitive again; at least having it shows that they are a serious club.
However, immediately, there is talk of crazy January or summer expenses. Really, with a manager whose contract screams approval? If Conte wants to spend the budget or profit from Kane, surely he has to be tied to a longer-term project?
Also, if Conte wants to spend a lot or profit from Harry Kane, there must be a vision
Reports on Conte’s long-awaited relationship with Fabio Paratici are also alarming
Fabio Paratici is Conte’s soccer director and friend, but he’s a recipe for disaster if his job is to act independently. The best of relationships, Guardiola and Txiki Begiristain at City, Jurgen Klopp and Michael Edwards at Liverpool, give the coach what he wants rather than forcing him to have a vision.
However, if successful, Guardiola and Klopp would always find themselves on a longer road; certainly more than 18 months. That is why, even though Tottenham have recovered from a miserable Saturday, and Levy was clearly shaken by negativity in the stadium, which will also disappear with the arrival of Conte, there is much in this resolution that puzzles.
Conte, never forget, won the League in Chelsea with Victor Moses playing right back. You may have looked at the Tottenham team and seen individuals and areas that can be improved. You can feel that the group is stronger and more capable than recent performances suggest.
And a coach of his caliber is sure to get more out of Kane and Son. If they just start scoring like they did last season, they will propel Tottenham into the league. These are all reasons for optimism, but also reasons to make Conte more than just a glorious and expensive intermediate. Why would Tottenham want a short-term solution when, with greater commitment, this could be the managerial blow of the season?