Antonio Conte has been linked with the likely managerial role at Paris Saint-Germain and he may not be able to take Tottenham to the levels Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have taken their teams to
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham journey is only just beginning, but there are already questions over his future, with Mauricio Pochettino’s job as Paris Saint-Germain manager in doubt. The French side have just won the Ligue 1 title so you would expect spirits to be sky-high, but it is becoming more likely that the Argentine will be relieved of his duties, despite the season’s league success.
The Italian has been one of the names linked with replacing Pochettino, just six months after his Spurs chapter began. As Hugo Lloris admitted last month, PSG will be linked with the best managers and therefore it is no surprise that Conte has been one of them, but no one wants to see the Italian leave the capital yet
When the 52-year-old started the job in N17, Tottenham had struggled in the first few months of the season, under Nuno Espirito Santo. The Lilywhites were struggling for consistency and team cohesion and despite the last two results, those are both things Conte has been working to improve.
Both Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been in charge of Liverpool and Man City respectively, for over half a decade. However, it wasn’t a quick fix for them to turn their sides into title-winning teams.
Klopp became the Liverpool manager towards the end of 2015 and Guardiola became the City manager in early 2016. In the managers’ first year in charge, albeit not being there a full season, Liverpool finished eighth and Man City claimed fourth spot.
The following season both sides finished in the top four and the season after City were title winners. Two years later and Liverpool claimed the league title and this season the duo have just one point separating them at the top of the Premier League.
Therefore it wasn’t a quick fix for either manager and it took a lot of time and investment to get their clubs to where they are now. This has been helped by the duo’s contract, as both signed for three years when they arrived at their clubs.
In March, Klopp admitted that he plans to leave his current role, in 2024. “The plan is still the same. Nothing has changed and if I decide to [leave] in 2024 it’ll be nothing to do with the quality of the squad.”
Guardiola on the other hand, has no intention of leaving City. “I’m willing to stay here forever. There cannot be a better place to be, I’d extend the contract for 10 years.”
Even though the 54-year-old has set a time for when his chapter at Liverpool will come to an end, he would’ve been at the club for nearly a decade when 2024 comes along. After being hesitant to spend at first, Klopp semingly followed Guardiola’s ways and in 2018 spent over £200million, bringing in the likes of Virgil Van Dijk and Fabinho.
Both sides have gone from strength to strength over the years and it has earned them their spots at the top of the league. This is where Tottenham will hope that Conte can lead them.
The Italian signed an 18-month contract at the start of November last year and has already made improvements both on and off the pitch. Spurs are still battling for a spot inside the top four, which they haven’t managed since the 2018/19 season.
Conte had his first transfer window with Tottenham in January, where Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were brought in. The duo have both so far made a positive impact on their new side and proves the winter window as a successful one.
However, it is clear there is still a lot of work to do, highlighted by the Lilywhites losing to Brighton and drawing to Brentford in their last two games when three points were needed in both. This is why the summer window is such a crucial one for Spurs.
They need a number of new players to help Conte guide his side to the next level. However, this requires support from Fabio Paratici and money from Daniel Levy and whether the Italian gets this backing remains to be seen.
If the 52-year-old isn’t backed when the summer window comes along and he has offers from a title-winning team like PSG, the Italian isn’t likely to want to stay in N17 and could be tempted by a move to France. With Tottenham’s recent records of managers, this would cause great upset among fans and fingers are likely to then be pointed at the board.
This will take Spurs back to square one and they will find it difficult to bring in a more successful manager than Conte. In an ideal scenario, the Italian gets the backing he needs and the players he wants, which will help Tottenham start the 2022/23 campaign in a strong position.
This will require money to be spent and some players to leave but could help massively, in Tottenham’s pursuit to become title contenders. In 2020, Guardiola made a humble claim about his success.
“I won because I had extraordinary players at big clubs. The incredible managers don’t have these players. They don’t have these clubs. I’m a good manager, but not the best. Give me a team not like Manchester City and I’m not going to win,” the 51-year-old admitted.
Both Klopp and Guardiola have worked to improve their current players and bring in quality players, to help build the squads they have today. This takes time, money and most of all, patience.
This is where the problems could lie with Spurs. Conte’s track record shows he isn’t a long-term manager like the City and Liverpool bosses are.
Therefore even if the Italian does get backed, gets players in he wants and improves the Tottenham squad, will 18 months be enough to get Spurs to where he wants them to be? Even if it was, if Conte leaves at the end of next season after the success he hopes to find with the Lilywhites, where will they go after his departure?
football.londonreported on Monday that there will be a post-season meeting for Conte, with Levy and Paratici, where these questions will likely be answered. The 52-year-old has spoken on his commitment to the club but it is likely that he will require certain things to keep him in north London for the entirety of his contract.