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After Nuno Espirito Santo’s Dismissal, Antonio Conte Takes Over the Tottenham Hotspur

Following Nuno Espirito Santo’s dismissal on Monday, Antonio Conte has been named Tottenham Hotspur’s new head coach.

According to The Athletic, Conte has agreed to lead Spurs for 18 months, with the potential of a 12-month extension if the club qualifies for the Champions League. Conte, 52, signed his contract on Tuesday morning and will take over as the team’s head coach later that day.

Continue reading on for more of the latest news in Singapore sports.

Taking over

Back in June, Nuno joined Spurs shortly after the north London club failed to persuade Conte to replace Jose Mourinho, who stayed for 17 months as the manager but was eventually sacked in April. AsiaOne has an article detailing the appointment.

Conte was most recently the coach of Inter Milan, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea between 2016 and 2018. Last season, the 52-year-old ended the Italian club’s 10-year trophy drought by leading them to their first Serie A title since 2010.

He departed Inter just a few days after his team won the title, reportedly over-transfer business for the 2021/22 season with the club’s board. Conte’s talks with Tottenham in the spring reportedly hit a similar snag, preventing him from joining the Premier League club at the time.

In case you missed the SG News headlines recently, Conte told Tottenham’s official website that he is “thrilled” to be returning to coaching and went on to discuss the Premier League club’s desire to return to the top.

Conte had been mentioned as a possible successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the Norwegian’s position at Manchester United appeared to be jeopardized earlier this month, but the Red Devils’ impressive Premier League win against Spurs on Saturday appears to have momentarily alleviated Solskjaer’s pressure.

Is Conte a good fit?

The man is regarded as one of the best soccer coaches in the world. He’s a proven winner who’s improved teams and won championships almost wherever he’s gone. This Italian is everywhere and he’s definitely no stranger to many Singapore news outlets.

With Juventus, he won Serie A three times in a row. In his first season at Chelsea, he won the Premier League. In his most recent role, he led Inter Milan to their first Scudetto title in 11 years. Conte would have been pursued by bigger teams than Spurs under different circumstances.

Conte is a former Juventus midfielder who made a whopping 300 appearances from 1991 up until 2004. He also went on to become the leader of the club from 2011 to 2014. He led the Turin team to three Serie A victories in a row and two Supercoppa titles.

Prior to his time at Chelsea, he also managed the Italian national team from 2014 to 2016. Conte also led Atalanta, Siena, Bari, and Arezzo before taking over as Italy’s coach. Spurs were currently in ninth place in the Premier League table when he joined them.

It was the right time

According to the Straits Times, Conte was connected with the Tottenham position during the close season when the club was looking for a permanent replacement after Jose Mourinho was fired, but the Italian said it was too soon after leaving Inter to take on a new role.

Conte, a former Italy coach, will be charged with resurrecting Spurs’ fortunes, who were Champions League finalists in 2019 but are presently languishing in the Europa Conference League’s third tier.

With three wins from three games, they are third in their group, three points behind Rennes of France and two behind Vitesse of the Netherlands. Spurs have struggled offensively this season, scoring nine goals in ten league games, with crucial striker Harry Kane playing much below his best.

Last season’s Premier League Golden Boot winner with 23 goals, the England international has only scored once in nine league games this season.

Final thoughts

Spurs were top of the Premier League standings in August after winning their first three games under Nuno, but they are now ninth after ten games, 10 points behind leaders Chelsea and five points outside the Champions League qualification places.

Conte’s debut game in charge will be a Conference League group stage match against Vitesse Arnhem at home on Thursday.