Antonio Conte’s arrival in north London last November received a warm welcome from both fans and players. The struggles under Nuno Espirito Santo are starting to be a thing of the past and the Italian has already made improvements both on and off the pitch.
The arrival of Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski have helped Spurs in key areas, as well as the likes of Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Harry Kane amongst a number of others stepping up. The Lilywhites now sit fourth in the Premier League table, with just eight games to go.
The prospect of Champions League football for next season is one that will help with players already at the club, attracting new potentials and financially. There is still a long way to go for Conte to help his side secure that top four spot and the battle continues with a trip to Villa Park on Saturday.
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Conte spoke to Soccer AM presenter Tubes, about how he has found his time at the club so far, ahead of Tottenham’s trip North at the weekend. “I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve found a really good club, modern club, great infrastructure and a fantastic stadium, fantastic training ground.
“To work with this group of players, they are showing me great availability, great desire to improve, great will to try to go on another level,” the Italian said. At the start of the season, Spurs were lacking fitness and energy…until the Italian arrived.
Conte is known for his tough managerial methods and they have been working both on and off the field to help the Lilywhites get the positive results they need. Tottenham have now gone from having some of the worst running statistics in the league to some of the best and the 52-year-old spoke about this intensity.
“You arrive at the training ground and you have to push the players to bring identity. In England, it’s easier to find players that, from the start to the end of the session they push very hard.
“I don’t want players to moan. I like strong men, I like the players that want to face the work in the right way,” Conte explained. The Spurs boss has been seen getting involved during training sessions, which he was also asked about in the recent interview.
“Sometimes I want to bring the example and have to be strong in the tackle. Sometimes it’s right to bring the right example and to remember yourself you were a player.” The Italian seems to suggest that his involvement in training brings back an element of his past, when he was a player.
Conte has found success at a number of clubs, winning league titles with Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan, meaning he has worked in both the Premier League and Serie A before Tottenham. The 52-year-old explained that there is a tactical difference between the English and Italian leagues, but this tactical aspect has been improved in recent years in England, due to the involvement of foreign coaches.
The Italian also spoke about the emotion involved in English football. Emotion is something Conte brings in every match for his Spurs side, showing his passion on the touchline throughout.
In the recent interview, the 52-year-old explained his actions on the sideline. “Many times when we are attacking I’m looking at my team when we’re attacking,” he said.
“At the same time I’m looking to be prepared to defend for the counterattack. Many times you have to send them [players] messages, to shout, to take the best position.
“I like to live the game and when they finish the game, I played with them,” Conte added. This just reiterates his dedication and involvement during games, even if he isn’t on the pitch.
Fans will now hope that the 52-year-old can lead his side to the strongest finish possible, before preparing for a potentially big summer transfer window.