It has already been a positive journey since Antonio Conte’s arrival at Tottenham and everyone will be hoping that continues. However, the Italian will need to ensure the same mistakes aren’t made, which were seen during the downfall at Chelsea.
Conte made the move to the London club in April 2016, near the end of the 2016/17 campaign, in which the Blues finished tenth. The 52-year-old’s impact helped his Chelsea side win the Premier League title the following season, but after his side dropped to fifth in the 2017/18 campaign, the Italian was sacked.
There are some similarities between Conte’s early time at Chelsea and what he started at Tottenham. Both clubs have seen him implement a 3-4-3 formation, which has worked well, on the whole, adapting the roles of individuals and improving team performances.
READ MORE: Fabio Paratici’s next four Tottenham signings for Antonio Conte after Yves Bissouma transfer
Neither club got to experience a pre-season under the 52-year-old when he first took charge and both teams had to quickly get used to Conte’s intense training sessions and regimented management. These are all positives that helped Chelsea go on to win the league and have already helped improve the Spurs, as seen with their fourth-place finish last season.
However, it was the Italian’s second full season in charge when things started to go wrong and the downfall arguably started at the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign. Chelsea welcomed Burnley to Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season, but the game ended in a shock 3-2 defeat, which also involved Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas being sent off.
After a mixture of results in the first few months, it seemed the Italian had already admitted defeat, after his side’s 1-0 loss to West Ham in December. “This is the fourth defeat this season in 16 games,” the then Chelsea boss admitted.
“When you have this start, it’s impossible to think you are in the title race. From experience, if you want to stay in the title race, in the first part of the season you can lose only once or twice.”
Fast forward a few months and the Blues were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona, which only added to the blow of losing out on the Premier League title for a second consecutive season. On reflection, Conte explained what he believed the club needed from players, but had a more positive outlook on the situation Chelsea found themselves in.
“We are trying to build a fundamental basis for this club and for this reason you have a lot of young players. You lack experience when you play a game against a team like Barcelona, because many players are playing for the first time in this competition , and they need to have more time to improve their experience to play at this level, “the Italian explained.
“This season has confirmed one thing: that last season we did an incredible achievement. We have to work, we have to try to improve and we have to understand the way to improve eventually for next season, to be stronger, and then to continue to work. “
When it comes to Tottenham, there will be hope that Conte has learned from his time with the Blues and what did not work. Spurs finished fourth last season, a great achievement for a team that weren’t heading in a great direction when the 52-year-old arrived in N17.
Next season the Lilywhites will want to do even better in the Premier League and will hope their boss can be the man to end Spurs’ 14-year trophy drought. For both aims to be achieved, Conte will have to ensure that when his side face their first game of the season against Southampton, there isn’t a repeat of the Chelsea vs Burnley game from the opening day of the 2017/18 campaign.
The Italian will need his side to produce a solid performance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, to give themselves momentum from the off. In order to do this, Conte and his Spurs squad must have a strong squad and a productive pre-season.
The Lilywhites will soon return from their break and are prepared for a tough pre-season, their first under their boss, which won’t be easy. However if they can listen to the advice the 52-year-old is giving them and build upon what Conte has already implemented at Tottenham, it is sure to be a productive pre-season.
After Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League in 2018, the Italian emphasized the young age and lack of experience on his side, which was a disadvantage in the competition. Tottenham have already tried to improve this problem at Spurs, with their new signings.
Fraser Forster has had previous European experience but Ivan Perisic is the clear indication of experience. The 33-year-old has made 74 European appearances, which includes winning the Champions League from Bayern Munich.
The Croatian will bring age and leadership, along with his experience, to the Spurs dressing room and is a solid addition to Conte’s squad. Although Yves Bissouma does not have this European experience, he is a player with Premier League experience, someone who has already proven his quality in the top flight and is willing to learn.
The other Tottenham players have been linked to involve those with a mix of age and experience, from 30-year-old Christian Eriksen to 19-year-old Ilya Zabarnyi. The transfer window has only been open just over a week and Spurs have already made three solid first-team signings.
Conte will still need some more incomings, as well as some outgoings, so he can end up with his strongest possible squad for the tough pre-season and more importantly, the start of the 2022/23 campaign. The Italian will need to ensure the same errors that saw a downfall at Chelsea, do not affect him in N17, but the 52-year-old seems equipped with all the tools and a lot of the players, that can help the Lilywhites find success next season.