Conte admits Stamford Bridge return will be 'emotional'
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Harry Kane is right to worry that he won’t win as many trophies as his talent deserves. But Antonio Conte thinks he has convinced the England captain that is precisely why Spurs brought him to the club in the first place.
Conte won five Scudetti and three European trophies as Juventus captain and has since added another five league titles and the FA Cup as a manager.
And unlike his rival Thomas Tuchel in the Carabao Cup semi-final right now, the Tottenham manager is completely on the same wavelength as his main striker.
“Yeah, I understand,” he said. “I understand Harry’s situation.
“Because for sure when you finish your career, and it is good, you can look back on your appearances and whichever teams you played for.
“But at the same time, it’s also right when you finish your career to see what you have won.
“That is important especially for top, top players. Because sometimes it happens that important and top players finish their career with only a couple of titles.
“And instead other players who are medium or medium low finish their career with many titles.”
Conte turned down Spurs in the summer when it seemed that Kane had concluded that he would have to move elsewhere to win medals.
However, chairman Daniel Levy’s steadfast refusal to allow Kane to leave was instrumental in showing the club had the ambition Conte needed if he was to take over the reins.
Now in the same manner Conte has told Kane that Spurs would not have gone back for him if they were not serious about winning things at last.
“If we want to win,” Conte said, “if we even want to think about building something capable of winning, Harry must be the starting point.
“That’s normal because, for sure, we are talking about a top player, a top striker in the world.
“I think that for Tottenham to bring me here, they wanted to send a signal outside.
“And maybe also to our players. Now we will see what happens because then after taking charge, the coach that is used to winning then has to do it.”
Not that winning things is always the answer.
In 2016, Conte inherited a team that finished 10th in the table and led them to a title secured with a record number of wins. The following year brought FA Cup success – then eight weeks later he was sacked.
This will be his first return to Stamford Bridge.
“I spent two amazing seasons at Chelsea,” Conte said.
“In my first season after a tenth place finish in the previous season we won the League with a team that I think wasn’t the best team in the Premier League at the time.
“We reached the final in the FA Cup and in the second season we won the FA Cup.
“I think we did a fantastic job with Chelsea but sometimes it’s not enough.
“When it happens that the club decides to send you away, for sure you can be disappointed and a bit frustrated.
“But at every moment you have to show great respect for the decision that the club wants to take.”
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