Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Tottenham and the ultimatum they face this summer

Posted on 27 May 2022 by Ben Thorne

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This time last year Tottenham secured their place in the inaugural UEFA Conference League campaign, whilst also struggling to lure any manager to take over the reins.

However, after an eventful season which saw the appointment of Antonio Conte who has single-handedly brought Champions League football back to N17, the sacking of Nuno Espírito Santo and the Harry Kane saga.

In order to quantify how much Antonio Conte has resurrected Tottenham’s future it is important to remember the significant problems that he was walking into at the time.

It was the Summer of 2021 when Sky Sports broadcaster, Paul Gilmour, broke and covered the story that Harry Kane had asked Daniel Levy to leave.

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Paul Gilmour explained: “It wasn’t easy at all because I have grown a relationship with Tottenham. It was a story that the club would have not liked to come out, especially the timing as well.

“In this case, we had Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea all showing an interest. Last summer they were able to convince him to give Tottenham one more season under José Mourinho.

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“Kane believed that he had a verbal agreement, he didn’t get his move last summer that’s why everything was kept under wraps.”

When I spoke to Paul Gilmour back in October this was what he thought Kane would have been thinking at the time.

He said: “Kane will be 29 next year. He just knows that he doesn’t have time on his side to win the things he wants to win with Tottenham, so he wants to move elsewhere.”

However, flash forward 12 months and remarkably Kane is now looking ahead to a new campaign under Antonio Conte at Tottenham and a return to playing in the Champions League.

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It is no coincidence that the arrival of Conte was the catalyst for the change in form and attitude of Kane and many other players at Tottenham.

Conte took Tottenham from ninth in November to fourth in May, whilst accumulating the third most points in the league since he took over with 56 points.

Despite all this, Conte’s no-nonsense demeanour and lack of patience at clubs such as Inter Milan and Chelsea may suggest a short stint at Tottenham.

But Tottenham fans feel that Tottenham and Daniel Levy have no choice but to back Conte or they face losing one of the best managers in the world.

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Jamie Brown of @DailyHotspur believes that despite qualification for the Champions League being confirmed, the priority should be on ensuring Conte’s long-term future at the club.

He said: “Both factors could be massive for Spurs, but for me, keeping Conte is the priority. Champions League football would make attracting top players a lot easier, but Conte will be the key to any potential successes at Spurs.

“Over the course of the last 28 Premier League matches, the Italian has shown exactly why he is considered to be one of the best coaches in world football.”

The club do seem to be preparing to back Conte financially this summer to convince him to stay after the club announced this week a ‘150 million capital increase’.

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Tottenham Hotspur stated: “The equity injection provides the Premier League club with greater financial flexibility and the ability to further invest on and off the pitch.”

Charlie Gordon of the Daily Express thinks this decision is a ‘no-brainer’ for Tottenham as they seek to disrupt the heavyweights of Liverpool and Manchester City.

He said: “Conte should undoubtedly be the clubs top priority. He turned the whole place around in just a few months with two January signings, who weren’t even top of his wish list. Without him there would be no UCL qualification.

“If he (Conte) went, the next best option is a tired Pochettino who’s just been chewed up and spat back out by PSG. He (Conte) only has one year left on his contract and he wants to go big this summer, so keeping him happy could be their best chance of winning a PL title yet.”

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Tottenham seem eager to take advantage of the opportunity that they have got with Antonio Conte, which makes sense with Kane and Son Heung-min entering the peaks of their careers.

The Athletic’s Tottenham reporter, Charlie Eccleshare, believes that qualifying for the Champions League has increased the chances of Conte staying considerably.

He said: “I feel like getting Champions League was so critical in the medium term and that it and keeping Conte are so linked. As without the former you probably don’t get the latter.

“I definitely feel keeping Conte is also pivotal to Spurs making a proper go of next season.”

It remains to be seen how Chelsea will operate with the recently announced Todd Boehly takeover and Manchester United are only just beginning their rebuild under Erik Ten Hag, which presents a window of opportunity for Tottenham to push on and compete right at the top.

If you want to find out more about the upcoming summer transfer window for Tottenham head to: A Watershed Summer for Tottenham Hotspur? Featuring Paul Gilmour – Sports Gazette

To keep up to date with all the latest Tottenham news make sure to follow Paul Gilmour here:  Paul Gilmour (@skysportspaulg) / Twitter