Tottenham facing chaos as Antonio Conte talks end abruptly
Well, that was a fun few days was it not?
For Spurs fans, the dream was alive. Free from the reactive football of Jose Mourinho, fans were dreaming of an attack-minded, modern coach. So, the talk that Antonio Conte was mere days away from appearing at Spurs was a major boon. For fans, it made next season – even with the likely exit of Harry Kane – very exciting indeed. Conte is one of the best in the world, a pressing mastermind who creates teams that fans can fall in love with.
Now, though? Now it is back to the drawing board. Conte has fell through, as talks over the deal and the transfer power he would wield became problematic. Despite often working under others to make singings in his career as a coach, Conte is believed to have wanted more say and power at Spurs. This, according to reports, included the freedom to sell Harry Kane and rebuild the team with the funds. Instead, the club – wary of the bad PR of selling the homegrown hero – vetoed the decision.
Instead, the decision to press on and bring in Fabio Paratici, formerly of Juventus and an ex-colleague of Conte whom he shares a tempestuous relationship – was believed to have become a major dividing line in talks. Eventually, it led to a fall-through and thus nothing happened, with Spurs now back to the drawing board as they seek out a new coaching opportunity.
What does this mean for Spurs?
Really, it means the decision on hiring a new coach has to start all over again. Fans, though, should be worried.
Conte was an A-plus hire; the kind that a club can carry off with supreme confidence in success. That being said, the decision to pivot from an attempt to recapture Mauricio Pochettino to talking with Conte shows a lack of focus. Although both coaches are excellent talents, their style of play, squad needs, and general demeanour are quite opposed. As such, it seems odd that a club could feasibly see both men as the answer to the same problem.
For Spurs, it leaves the club searching for a new solution to a problem that is becoming a major headache. With every passing day, a new major coaching name appears to reject the approaches of Spurs. This leaves the club with not only a headache in finding a coach who ticks the boxes; it also causes some pretty serious problems with regards to hiring someone who knows they are wanted.
With both the Pochettino and Conte moves, club sources believed they were close – so the press were subtly briefed. Now, anyone else who comes in to be Spurs coach knows they were, at best, third pick on the list. That makes it hard to win over fans and players alike, because everyone now knows that new coach is not the primary target.
It also makes it harder for fans, who were hoping for a grandiose name to arrive, to get behind the signing purely because of pre-set expectation. For Spurs, a headache of a summer now looks set to become a migraine.