The Spurs coach: “I took on a team in a difficult situation. Our goal is to work hard to improve. To triumph, we need to lay the foundations, we’re not ready now: we need patience”

    The message is clear, even in the “not good” English that Antonio Conte denounces himself. “My challenge with Tottenham is to help the club build solid foundations, not win the Premier League or the Champions League. If I want to stay here I have to accept it, otherwise I have to leave.” It’s not an immediate farewell, on the eve of the match against Crystal Palace on matchday 19 scheduled for 9pm. Nor is it a declaration of intent for June, when that agreement signed in November 2021 that the club can renew for another season expires . However, Conte reveals for the first time that his future in London is much more complex than a result, much less linked to whether or not Tottenham make purchases in January to improve a team that is denouncing its limits. It also depends on him, on Antonio, who is in a new situation for him after years at the top. One that has yet to decide whether or not to accept, in the long run.


    Conte’s future at Spurs in north London has already been a catchphrase since the summer, since Antonio after some reflection decided to honor until the end the agreement with that team taken in the running in November 2021 and brought with a “miracle” (his own words) up to 4th place last season. The goal was to continue to grow by doing their part, him on the pitch and in training and the club by supporting his work with the right investments. “I took a team in a difficult situation, for many reasons – he explains -. It wasn’t easy at the beginning for me to accept what our objectives were, that my challenge was to try to rebuild the club and not to win as I am in any case I think it is an important experience, which I accepted because I found a modern club, in which I am happy, made up of people who want to build something knowing full well what the starting situation was. We are in a process that is started, which can be accelerated with major investments or proceed step by step.This is not the time to think about winning, not after just one year together: my goal is to work hard with staff and players to improve the club and build a solid foundation. If I’m satisfied with this situation I’ll stay, if I’m not 100% convinced then I can leave.” These are reflections that Conte has begun to make, even in those speeches with the club that he has decided not to speak about in public anymore. Tottenham know Conte’s position well, they know that he is not the type to have an additional season imposed on a project that he is not fully convinced of just because it is a possibility provided for in the contract. Since he became a top coach, Conte has always worked in teams that aimed for the maximum goal: this is not the case at Tottenham. He has begun to lay the foundations, the ones needed to win, but the finish line is still far away.

    I commit

    The fact that Conte is not yet 100% sure of staying does not make his commitment fail. “I don’t sleep for this club, I do my best to understand how to improve.” This is why he gets impatient when the fans boo, when the enthusiasm that reigned at Tottenham Stadium at the beginning of the season, when Spurs seemed to be the third force in the Premier League behind City and Liverpool, turns into frustration for defeats like the one with the ‘Aston Villa denouncing all the manpower limitations of a team that is still in the process of turning into one contender. “I understand that the fans want to win, but to do that you need to create the foundations first. And you need patience,” he said. “We are all working hard for the best of the club, we are still trying to build something. , but for me the Premier League or the Champions League count, certainly not the Carabao Cup: for those goals you need foundations, the ones we are trying to build and which we don’t have yet. At the moment we are not ready to win”. It’s a concept that Antonio has been repeating a lot in recent weeks, hoping that the whole Tottenham environment will accept it. He too must accept it, thinking not so much about the present as about the future. The first time in England, with Chelsea, he played for the Premier League and then also won the FA Cup. Then he returned to Inter and won the Scudetto. With Tottenham that goal is still far away. Maybe still too much for Conte to decide at the end of the season that this part of London, the stadium with the golden cockerel looking down on it, and Tottenham itself are the right place for him.