What’s the Most Important Task for Antonio Conte at Tottenham?

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The Nuno Santo era at Tottenham lasted just a few months, with the ex-Wolves man failing to get Spurs firing. To be fair to Santo, he arrived at the club during a wild time, one that almost any manager would have struggled in.

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur is still on the transfer radar of Manchester United.
Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur is still on the transfer radar of Manchester United. (imago Images)

When coming in, it appeared Harry Kane was on his way out, and wanted to move. That didn’t materialise, and despite Kane saying he was happy at Tottenham, his play for the club so far this season would suggest otherwise. That left Santo without the full benefit of a £100 million striker, and without the benefit of being able to spend the funds from his sale. This isn’t the only factor in his downfall, but certainly a big part of it, and it is always worth remembering that talk of Kane leaving has been around before.

In comes Antonio Conte, an experienced man who has been brought in to steady the ship, and then move it forward.

The Job Ahead of Conte

Initial expectations are simply to steady the ship, but what about afterwards, where do Tottenham stand and what do they want to achieve?

Winning the Premier League looks some way off and battling to get into the top four also seems a bit like a pipe dream right now, especially given the quality of the four best teams in this league. Even with a level start, Tottenham would struggle to break that, but they have a points deficit on top based on where they currently are in the standings.

With that in mind, Conte’s most important task has to be to win a trophy. Domestically, they have the FA Cup to look forward to, and are already in the Carabao Cup quarter finals, but it could be in Europe where their best chance lies.

Since confirmation they were going to play in the competition this summer, bookmakers that have have listed Tottenham as favourites to win the newly formed Europa Conference League. When you look down the teams that are involved in this competition, in terms of stature, no one can match Tottenham.

Teams from bigger footballing nations are those who generally finish further down the league, while others come from smaller nations that simply don’t have the quality to compete with the Premier League.

When the competition moves into 2022, the teams who finish third in the Europa League will move into the Europa Conference League. The only way that Tottenham will see anyone in their competition that has a similar kind of stature around Europe is if there is a big shock in that competition, if not, the clubs coming down should pose no threat.

While clubs do not like playing on Thursday’s, and the emphasis is usually on domestic games over the lower tiers of European competition, this does present Tottenham with their best chance to win a trophy for some time.

Given their history, and how much the club needs something to pick it up, winning this should be seen as the most important task Antonio Conte has in the immediate future.