But a new name came into the fold. Antonio Conte. The one that Spurs fans regarded as the one that got away when Conte was all but set to join in the summer, and last-minute drama and concerns over the owners saw Conte reject the job, and they looked elsewhere.
Fabio Paratici reportedly worked his magic and convinced his fellow countryman to take the job at Spurs, and any worries over the ownership have now been quashed, with guarantees his vision will now lead the club, transfers will ultimately be up to him, and Daniel Levy will provide financial freedom.
Why has Levy never backed a manager like this before? Former boss Mauricio Pochettino was battling for the Premier League and led the team to a Champions League final, but lack of financial backing led to his demise.
Unlike previous managers such as Nuno, Pochettino, Andre-Villa Boas, Harry Redknapp, Conte brings a better, more assured aura about him. His no-nonsense antics and his ability to galvanise not just a squad, but a club, as we saw with Chelsea during his previous tenure in the Premier League. He fits the profile of what Spurs need right now.
What can he bring to Tottenham?
Conte started his managerial career in 2006, immediately leading Bari to a Serie B title and then Siena to promotion from Serie B two years later.
He rose to great success quickly and caught the eye of Italian giants Juventus, the same club he played for, for 13 years and made just shy of 300 appearances. He took over the Old Lady in 2011, winning three consecutive Serie A titles, before leaving to manage the Italian national team, staying there for two years, and departing after a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign.
The poor showing at the Euros didn’t damage Conte’s reputation as he took over Chelsea in 2016. This is where the world, and England witnessed the madness, yet frightening genius of the Italian. He won the Premier League in his first season with Chelsea, and is credited with essentially changing football in England as romped to a league title, breaking numerous records along the way, all whilst adopting a 3-5-2 formation, something that was rarely used since the inauguration of it in the 1990 World Cup
After winning the FA cup with Chelsea, he left in 2018 and returned home to Italy, where he ended Juventus’ 9-year title streak and winning the league with Inter.
A common theme through his managerial career: winning. He’s won trophies wherever he has gone and has commanded great respect throughout. Maybe its fate that a serial winner like Conte has been appointed as manager of Spurs, as today marks 5,000 years since they last won a major trophy, the Carling Cup (as it was known then) in 2008.
He is mad, eccentric but he understands the game inside out, and as said, is a serial winner. Spurs have been described as soft and spineless, everything Conte is not. A frail team, with a poor defence, Conte’s compact, rigid formation will make them hard to break down. And, with one of the world’s most potent finishers, we could witness the start of Tottenham’s ascendency to the top.