Tottenham v Arsenal: Pictures
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Antonio Conte sent a transfer message to Tottenham chief Daniel Levy by guiding Spurs to a crucial 3-0 win over Arsenal in the north London derby. The huge victory has rekindled Tottenham’s hopes of clinching a top-four finish – but Conte deserves to be backed in the transfer market regardless of whether or not the Londoners secure Champions League football.
With just two Premier League games remaining, Spurs now have an outside chance of qualifying for next year’s Champions League – if Arsenal slip up in the next fortnight. But the fact that Tottenham even have a shot at sneaking back into Europe’s elite competition shows just how well Conte has done since he was handed the reins back in November.
Since the Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo, only Manchester City (69) and Liverpool (64) have accumulated more points in the league than the 50 that Tottenham have racked up. Similarly, only the Premier League’s top two have managed to outgun Conte’s side, who have plundered 54 goals in that time.
Tottenham were in disarray when Conte arrived, and the ex-Inter Milan coach has worked miracles – but his long-term future is still uncertain. Conte has been vocal about the club’s ambitions in the transfer market on more than one occasion since he got the job, with some taking that as a hint that he could quit the club if funds aren’t made available; something that Levy simply cannot afford to let happen.
Considering the wonders that Conte has conjured up after being allowed to make just two signings in January – Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentacur – the Spurs coach has already proven that he could guide Tottenham back to the top if he is given significant backing.
The 52-year-old has won silverware across Europe – including the Premier League title with Chelsea – and he undoubtedly has the pedigree to end Spurs’ agonising 14-year trophy drought. The man is a born winner and has already talked up his future title aspirations, even if that does currently seem lightyears away.
Conte has bagged results against the Premier League’s top teams already during his tenure, and the way that his side systematically dismantled Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal on Thursday night just goes to show that Spurs have the quality to mix it with the Premier League’s elite.
While it’s undeniable that there is still a gulf between Tottenham and the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, who knows what Conte could achieve if he was allowed to operate without the handicap that he’s currently operating under.
Attracting Conte to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was regarded as a coup for Spurs at the time, but Conte has exceeded all expectations since returning to the capital.
The onus is now on Levy to back him properly. The Spurs supremo has no more credit in the bank with the club’s disgruntled fanbase after failing to capitalise on the momentum built up under Mauricio Pochettino and years of tightening the pursestrings. Conte has already shown that he can build something special at Tottenham; if he is given the tools to succeed.
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