With Tottenham having been taken over by Antonio Conte, what can be achieved by the club this season?
So far the Conte era is two games in. Spurs won the first game 3-2 against Vitesse in the Europa Conference League and then drew 0-0 away at Everton in the Premier League.
In both matches there were encouraging moments, but also evidence of the work that Conte needs to do. Compared to Nuno’s brief spell in charge, the team already looks like it has a plan and a set way of playing. The glaring problem is the side’s obvious lack of fitness. In both games they faded badly, with the squad clearly not in the condition to play with the intensity that Conte demands, for 90 minutes.
There are already reports of Conte extending training sessions and changing the players’ diet, as he strives to get them to the level that he wants. We will see how quickly that reaps rewards. It could well be a slow process.
Yet while improvement will take time, you’d have to expect results to get better, even in the short-term. For one, Spurs have a favourable set of fixtures coming up. Secondly, as flawed as the performances have been under Conte, it already looks a world apart from the performances under Nuno.
We know from experience that players that don’t meet Conte’s requirements, will soon be frozen out. There could be a lot of comings and goings in January. From the moment that Conte was appointed, there was media talk regarding the promises made to the Italian regarding the money and control available to him. Long-term observers of ENIC’s ownership of the club, will be reserving judgement.
Expectations should be tempered. Spurs are rated as only the seventh favourites at 7/1 to finish in the to four and secure Champions League football, behind the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and West Ham. Tottenham are 13/8 to finish in the top six. Checkout a list of free bets for football betting, if you want to take advantage of such odds.
Perhaps cup success is more of a realistic aim than the consistency needed to finish in the top four. Spurs are the 15/2 fifth favourites to win the EFL Cup and the 6/1 favourites to win the Europa Conference League. It’s the latter tournament that looks like a real opportunity for Conte to land a trophy in his first season.