Tottenham: Antonio Conte mounted Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea mess – now he should repeat the trick

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Jose Mourinho can be forgiven if he regarded over his shoulder and felt like he was seeing an Antonio Conte silhouette, such is the Italian’s behavior of clearing up his rival’s messes. 

Strolling out of Chelsea with the membership hovering precariously above the relegation zone, Mourinho’s squad was in turmoil, the tradition was poisonous, and followers labelled a number of the stars ‘rats’. It was fast-becoming one of many worst title defences of all time and as a lot credit score as Mourinho had within the financial institution, it had all gone so badly mistaken. 

After a interval of stabilisation below trusted interim boss Guus Hiddink – the place they rallied to complete tenth – enter Antonio Conte, stage proper. 

The Italian received straight to work, bringing a ardour, vitality and want that was a serious void of the tip of the Mourinho period. Followers and gamers alike had been having enjoyable once more and shortly they couldn’t cease profitable.  

Antonio Conte picked up Mourinho's mess at Chelsea and will look to do the same at Tottenham

Antonio Conte (proper) finds himself attempting to clear a multitude left by Jose Mourinho (left) once more

Tottenham failed to kick on under Mourinho and have not been able to improve since his exit

Tottenham did not kick on below Mourinho and haven’t been in a position to enhance since his exit

That’s the hope for Tottenham now. To win and win and win and by no means cease. 

In actuality this can be a seismic process for Conte as he seems to clear up one other mess from Mourinho – with successor Nuno Espirito Santo barely with the ability to dip a toe within the water having been sacked after 17 video games. 

‘I hate to say it however what a signing that is,’ former Chelsea captain John Terry stated. 

‘The gamers will love Antonio and his employees. Be able to go to work Harry (Kane).’

Tottenham want a tradition change in addition to a enjoying id. Tottenham want misfiring stars to consider in themselves once more and Tottenham want a crew that followers can rally behind. 

If his clear-up of Mourinho’s bitter finish at Chelsea is something to go by, Conte will hope historical past repeats itself in north London.  


One of many first issues Conte is more likely to implement is a change in formation.

When he turned up at Chelsea he caught with a 4-2-3-1 – the formation utilized by Nuno Espirito Santo in his doomed 17-game spell at Spurs – system however quickly realised it was flawed for his philosophy.

It took Chelsea going 3-0 all the way down to Arsenal for Conte to say sufficient is sufficient. Off got here Cesc Fabregas, on got here Marcos Alonso and Chelsea’s 3-4-3 future below the Italian was born. 

‘It’s not straightforward to adapt to new strategies, a brand new philosophy, and in addition to work very exhausting,’ Conte stated on the time. Tottenham’s gamers greatest be equally receptive or danger discovering themselves frozen out. 

Conte has an obsession with maximising the position of wing-backs and each Alonso and Victor Moses can attest that Conte was one of the best factor to occur to their careers.

Emerson Royal looks more comfortable in attack and Conte can harness his talent much as he did with Victor Moses at Chelsea

Sergio Reguilon has pace on his side and looks a shoo-in to play wing-back

Emerson Royal (left) and Sergio Reguilon (proper) are set to flourish based mostly on Conte’s document

Each had been seen as common to good gamers however below the tutelage of Conte, and with him trusting them each implicitly, they grew to become a number of the greatest full-backs within the nation.  

That ought to come as music to the ears of Emerson Royal and Sergio Reguilon.

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The previous Barcelona and Actual Madrid gamers each boast blistering tempo and have sometimes regarded extra comfy attacking than they’ve defending. 

Ben Davies, as he typically does for Wales, is extra more likely to slot inside as a centre again possibility, Matt Doherty has work to do after falling out of the facet and so Reguilon and Emerson can anticipate vital roles below the Italian. 

There are examples at Inter Milan, too. Achraf Hakimi stepped as much as be one among Europe’s most interesting wing-backs below Conte whereas Ashley Younger breathed new life into his profession with the assistance of the Italian.

However lets give attention to Chelsea, his title-winning 2016-17 season and the way Alonso and Moses elevated. 

The duo mixed for 10 objectives and 7 assists in 2016-17. Whereas this season continues to be in its infancy, Reguilon and Emerson have mixed for zero objectives and two assists.

Marcos Alonso (right) became a league-leading talent as Conte rid Mourinho's woes at Chelsea

Marcos Alonso (proper) grew to become a league-leading expertise as Conte rid Mourinho’s woes at Chelsea

Nuno’s strategy merely stunted the potential of each Emerson and Reguilon and Conte will possible have checked out them each and seen enormous potential he can harness.

There are different components that will likely be demanded of his wing-backs, it is going to be exhausting, they might want to develop into fitter than ever earlier than – Conte will make certain of that. 

Tales emerged at Chelsea of Conte overhauling the meals choices after coaching and earlier than matches and whereas there was preliminary discontent the outcomes confirmed a fitter and more healthy squad which quickly discovered themselves profitable. 

Apply themselves within the right approach and Tottenham’s full-backs may very well be about to get the shot within the arm their profession has been crying out for.  


It’s enjoyable to start with, getting Mourinho as your supervisor. 

The sarcasm may be seen as humorous, membership photographers seize massive smiles in coaching, however ultimately his chilly nature is unimaginable to defrost and the winter of discontent is obvious for all to sea. 

Axed on the lead-up to the Carabao Cup last Mourinho, who was not the preferred appointment, can take the enjoyable out of it and Conte, whereas being equally explosive when his reins come to an finish, will inject some ardour and vitality right into a membership that’s sleep-walking down the desk.  

Having Nuno comply with Mourinho was one other appointment few followers discovered themselves in a position to get behind. Nuno’s method is rather more reserved, not often does he increase on his factors and he’s a far cry from a number of the box-office managers that run the Large Six golf equipment. 

Passion is the buzzword around Conte (middle) and he can channel the spirit he had at Chelsea

Ardour is the buzzword round Conte (center) and he can channel the spirit he had at Chelsea

Bringing in somebody of Conte’s stature will instantly excite gamers, Harry Kane chief amongst them, and a brand new supervisor means a recent probability to make an impression.

At Chelsea Mourinho left with the Blues one level above the relegation zone. The gamers regarded extremely poor. The tradition was not proper. Requirements had slipped.

‘Palpable discontent’ was how then-director Michael Emenalo described it. Conte had plenty of work to do.

Conte prides himself on attempting to create a familial environment on the golf equipment he’s at, one the place everyone seems to be seen pulling in the identical path for better good. He’s massive on team-building and is without doubt one of the grasp man-managers within the recreation. 

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Profitable helps however it’s no shock that his first interview as Tottenham boss particularly included the phrase ‘ardour’.  

‘My teaching philosophy is easy,’ Conte advised SpursTV. ‘To play good soccer, engaging soccer for our followers with ardour. Followers should have a aggressive crew with a will to combat.’  

There has been a culture issue at Tottenham since the final days of Mourinho's Spurs tenure

There was a tradition problem at Tottenham because the last days of Mourinho’s Spurs tenure


The very first thing to notice is that Hazard, below Mourinho, was a unanimous Participant of the 12 months within the 2014-15 title-winning season. 

However his kind dramatically declined the next season and Hazard was labelled as one among three ‘rats’ who contributed to Mourinho’s demise, and supreme sacking.

His inventory amongst supporters had plummeted, he was booed for supposedly downing instruments and persistence was carrying skinny. His kind, too, had massively dropped off.

What Conte did instantly when he got here in – and Hazard has had gripes since about Conte’s strategies – was make Hazard consider he was one of the best on this planet once more. 

The Belgian flourished alongside Diego Costa and completed 2016-17 with 17 objectives and 7 assists, coupled with a Premier League winner’s medal and Chelsea’s Participant of the 12 months award. 

The upturn is one thing that Son Heung-min can take a look at and develop into enthusiastic about. 

Son Heung-min (centre) has struggled to click into gear but Conte can revive him once more

Son Heung-min (centre) has struggled to click on into gear however Conte can revive him as soon as extra

As a lot as Conte’s rules are predicated on defending and tightening up on the again, creativity and aptitude stays vital. 

If he elects to play a 3-4-3 then Son can occupy a well-recognized vast position, possible out left of Kane, and he would kind a key a part of what can be a three-pronged assault.

Say Conte differs barely and goes for the 3-5-2 he appreciated a lot at Inter Milan, Son alongside Kane would possible be devastating.

Having simply signed a brand new five-year deal on the membership Son is a bit that Conte can construct the remainder of the puzzle round.

His relationship with Kane has regarded non-existent this season and so each gamers’ stats have suffered in consequence. 

In 13 video games to date this season, Son has 4 objectives and simply two assists. 

In 2020-21 his stat-line learn 51 video games, 22 objectives and 17 assists. 

Son works exhausting which can endear him to Conte and as one of the vital passionate gamers within the squad he’s positive to develop into a favorite of the Italian. 

When Hazard seemed to be channeling within the mistaken path Conte breathed new life into him and put him again on the fitting path. Don’t be caught abruptly if Son will get the identical remedy.  

Conte's passion revives out-of-form players and attackers can flourish as part of his systems

Conte’s ardour revives out-of-form gamers and attackers can flourish as a part of his methods 


When he posed for the cameras upon arriving at Chelsea, Conte stated: ‘The coach should be a tailor to search out the fitting go well with for his crew.’ 

It grew to become a well-liked soundbite amid the discontent sewed by Mourinho in his last days.

Defeat at Leicester in December 2015 was a ninth loss in 16 video games for Chelsea below Mourinho. Solely Swansea, Norwich, Sunderland and Aston Villa sat under them within the desk.

Mourinho was left ‘ashamed’ and stated they’d ‘no probability’ of creating the highest 4. Roman Abramovich had heard sufficient and Mourinho was gone. All blame was being shoved onto his gamers and it was changing into determined. 

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Guus Hiddink steadied the ship earlier than Conte got here in and catapulted them to the following degree.

A lot of that success in clearing up Mourinho’s mess was all the way down to defensive solidity and after the swap to a again three at Arsenal, they conceded simply 24 objectives within the league for the rest of the marketing campaign.

For context, Spurs have already shipped 16 objectives within the Premier League this season. 

Mourinho (left) has been viewed as a defensive manager but not in the mould of Conte (right)

Mourinho (left) has been seen as a defensive supervisor however not within the mould of Conte (proper)

Tottenham’s defenders, simply as Chelsea’s did 5 years in the past, are about to get the proper tutor in Conte.  

Cristian Romero and Eric Dier have regarded less-than-convincing as a partnership and it stays to be seen who will show the third element of a new-look again three, maybe Japhet Tanganga, Davinson Sanchez or Ben Davies. 

Keep in mind too that no crew in Serie A conceded lower than his Inter Milan crew in 2020-21 – en path to their first title in a decade.

Come the tip of his time at Chelsea, Mourinho’s crew had been leaking objectives in close to comical style.  It received to the purpose the place he was at odds attempting to elucidate it.

In Conte Spurs may have a supervisor who has a observe document of creating common defenders play past their believed capabilities and far of his give attention to the coaching floor will likely be in drilling a form and a defensive id that has introduced him success wherever he has gone. 

The interval which many view because the second they received the league noticed Conte’s Chelsea take 10 clear sheets from 13 matches. The sense was rising that this defence couldn’t be breached – it was a champions mentality.  

Cristian Romero (left) and Eric Dier (right) will get a masterclass in defending from Conte

Cristian Romero (left) and Eric Dier (proper) will get a masterclass in defending from Conte


Within the season Mourinho received the league title at Chelsea in 2014-15, Chelsea scored a complete of 73 objectives. 

Beneath Conte, a new-and-improved Chelsea scored a powerful 85 objectives, solely Tottenham, paradoxically, beat them out to high spot in that rating that season.

Mourinho was reducing in his criticism and attackers quickly stopped responding. Conte may be harsh however typically he’s the one backslapping, whooping and hollering his gamers to make them really feel like one of the best on this planet.  

And so it’s no shock Kane is enthused by the 52-year-old’s arrival given his confirmed observe document of success.

Diego Costa, earlier than it ended bitter over textual content, thrived below Conte and the Italian took an out-of-shape Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan earlier than turning him again right into a £98m expertise.  

Kane will likely be key. The striker has been pissed off by the membership’s lack of ambition and tried to go away the membership in the summertime in consequence.

However Conte’s arrival is actually seen as a constructive by the Tottenham striker.

Harry Kane (left) is excited to play for Conte (right) and it is no surprise given his track record

Harry Kane (left) is happy to play for Conte (proper) and it’s no shock given his observe document

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