Antonio Conte handed unlikely Premier League title hope after Tottenham victory vs Southampton
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side has been tipped to be Premier League title contenders after winning their first game of the season against Southampton
Antonio Conte’s Tottenham side haven’t been ruled out as Premier League title contenders. (Image: Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
Antonio Conte couldn’t have asked for a much better start to the season from his Tottenham side on Saturday. Spurs went 1-0 down against Southampton but equalised less than ten minutes later and went on to win the game 4-1.
It was an overall solid display, with some very decent goals from a number of the Tottenham players. As always, Conte gave his honest assessment of the game in his post-match press conference.
“It was a really good start for us. It was really important to have this reaction after 15-20 minutes. We were 1-0 down, despite starting well, with great personality and good possession to create many situations to score. But then to stay 1-0 down was really important to see the reaction of my team,” he admitted.
“The reaction was really good because we kept calm, we continued to play in the way that we know. To believe in what we tried before in this week before playing Southampton. We won three important points, but the most important thing was the way we got three points, with really good football, with the ball, without the ball, with important pressure, also the way we decided to win the ball after we lost it was another important aspect.
“We are working to implement football knowledge over the last season. For sure, today, we have seen this team has seven months of work on its back. I always say this. This season, we are starting with seven months of work, and for me, it’s very important because I can go another step, in another situation, to implement football knowledge and try to be stronger,” the Italian added.
Conte’s admission highlights how far his side have come so far and thanks to him, there have been improvements made all over the pitch. After a decent pre-season, Spurs needed to take the momentum from that into the first fixture, which they did.
In the 2021/22 campaign, Tottenham secured fourth spot in the league. This season there are hopes that the Lilywhites can continue to climb the table, especially with the help of their six new arrivals.
Last season there was still a large gap between Spurs and Liverpool, and Man City at the top of the table. All three teams have already strengthened their squad this summer.
In their first games, City and Tottenham both won, but Liverpool only picked up one point against Fulham. There is a long season to go, and only time will tell how each team does, especially with the World Cup breaking up the campaign.
However, an ex-Spurs goalkeeper has already said that his former club shouldn’t be ruled out of the title race. “Under Antonio Conte, you’d be foolish to rule out Tottenham for the title,” Brad Friedel admitted in an interview with Boyle Sports via TEAMtalk.
“He’s been at the club a while now and spent some quality time with his players so they could be a dark horse. He doesn’t settle for second best.
“Antonio Conte is a winner. He’s done great business in the transfer window, but it’ll be tough,” he added.
These two points that Friedel makes echo the quality Conte has as a manager. The 53-year-old has won league titles with Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan, improving teams and players wherever he goes. The latter is something that has already been seen at Spurs, and winning silverware is the next step.
“Arsenal and Manchester United have both improved. However, you can’t take Tottenham out of the question when you have a winner like Conte,” Friedel continued.
“When a club has a manager like Antonio Conte and players that are used to winning, they can do special things in a season. Tottenham definitely have an outside chance of winning the Premier League, for sure.”
High hopes for Spurs from their former shot-stopper, and there has been a lot of positive talk surrounding the north London club recently too. Ex-Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp has tipped Liverpool to win the league and his former side to finish third.
Although he also hasn’t completely ruled them out of the title race. “I think Spurs look strong. They’re going to get a lot closer this year,” he told GB News via The Metro.
“I fancy Tottenham to finish third, and then it’s Chelsea, Arsenal. But I think any of that top five could win [the Premier League].”
It is now down to the Spurs players on the pitch to perform consistently well and produce the solid performances which will get the results they need in order to try and compete with those at the top.