Why Antonio Conte would be mad to leave Tottenham for Juventus

In many eras, a choice of whether to go to Juventus or Tottenham Hotspur was never really much of a debate.

Juve may be the team everyone loves to hate in Italy, but their global prominence in the game is up there with the finest and there is an almost uncountable list of world renowned legends that have either played or managed the giants from Turin – Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michel Platini to name just three across different periods.

Juventus have 36 league titles and two Champions League successes – just in case you need silverware to back up their pedigree.

Tottenham, of course, are a big club in their own right too but two league titles, a couple of UEFA Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup is the best of their rather dusty trophy cabinet – we are not comparing like for like here. Deciding where to go and further your career as a professional should be a fairly simple choice.

For Antonio Conte, it could be argued it’s even easier. A proud Italian being offered a potential return to the Allianz Stadium where he has won Serie A eight times as a player and a manager, as well as the Champions League during his days in their midfield, should hardly require a moment’s thought to weigh up his options.

Conte has recently been linked with a return to Juventus, who he left in 2014 after winning Serie A three years running to take charge of the Italian national team. He has less than a year to run on his current Spurs deal, so his ties to the north London side are thin.

But despite all of this, Conte would have to be mad to leave the project he has going at Spurs to move back to the Old Lady, who appear to be unravelling into a storm of chaos.

Juventus have been stumbling in recent seasons, and in Max Allegri, another previous Turin favourite who has returned last year after two years away to try and revive their fortunes, they have stuttered out of the blocks in Serie A.

With seven games gone they have won just twice and lie in eighth – catastrophic for Juve – and are already seven points off early pace setters Napoli and Atalanta. In the Champions League they have lost both of their opening games.

Of course it’s still early in the season but alarm bells were ringing at the weekend when they were beaten 1-0 by Monza, who are playing in the Italian top flight for the first time in their history.

While there has been no suggestion Allegri is about to become an early season managerial casualty in Turin, reports in Italy suggest Conte is ‘open’ to a Juventus return.

Conte has been back in Turin, in the city where his wife and daughter still live, relaxing at his home in Liguria during the international break before diving back into his Tottenham commitments.

Indeed, part of the allure of returning to his homeland would be to spend more time with his family. This would be a strong pull for the Spurs boss to return home – even if he enjoys his London residence.

Conte has previously said he has ‘unfinished business’ at Juventus and is the No 1 pick for the club’s board, which includes former team-mate Pavel Nedved.

Nedved is a great admirer of Conte and has tried to bring him back to Turin. Conte remains popular with the Juve board, but he would have to repair relations with Andrea Agnelli following a controversial incident where he raised his middle finger to the club president last year.

Conte made the offensive gesture during a Coppa Italia clash while he was in charge of Juve’s rivals Inter Milan, but escaped punishment following a post-match investigation.

Italian outlet RAI reported that Conte directed a middle finger gesture at Agnelli at half-time and then following the full-time whistle. The ecstatic Juve chief raced from his seat down towards the Inter bench and was heard shouting: ‘f*** off, shut up you a***hole’.

Agnelli and Conte have had a bitter relationship since Conte decided to leave and this is a significant hurdle that would have to be overcome should the Spurs boss return to Turin.

But it’s just one in a number of reasons why a Juventus return would not be wise.

The squad is nowhere near the standard to the one he left behind nearly a decade ago. The Bianconeri are now an ageing side in need of fresh blood, with key stars including Leonardo Bonucci in the final years of their career.

Conte’s high demands and training sessions are likely to do more harm than good to the existing squad he would be poised to take over. There are still gems in the team that would likely flourish under Conte’s tutelage, including Filip Kostic and star forward Federico Chiesa, though.

Conte would also likely have to take a significant paycut to join Juventus. He earns around 30 per cent more than Allegri, and the club’s accounts are already looking fragile. They would certainly become strained to a great degree should they match his Tottenham wages, which including his backroom team would cost nearly £8million a year – among the most expensive in Europe.

The feeling is that Juventus can no longer guarantee a very high salary budget for the coach and this financial problem could be an insurmountable obstacle to Conte’s potential return.

He expects the best financial package as one of the game’s best managers. Juventus would presumably be available to negotiate a two-year agreement, but they may also have to factor in an even greater salary demand from Conte, whose financial expectations tend to increase with every team he takes over.

It’s not just Agnelli who Conte will have to mend relations with either, with elements of the fanbase also despising him.

The section who hate Conte has grown since he chose to accept a role at Inter. His return to Turin could be tormented by this ‘original sin’ but it could be overcome as always with a great series of immediate victories that would allow Conte to regain the overall appeal of Juventus fans.

But it’s not all about what he is signing up for, it’s also what he could leave behind.

Conte’s stock was already high in England prior to joining Tottenham having previously won the Premier League title in dominant fashion with Chelsea in 2017. Spurs were in crisis when he arrived in November having sacked predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo after a poor start to the season.

By the turn of the year, Conte had his side well drilled to the point that they became one of the form teams of 2022, rewarding them with a return to the Champions League after a fourth place finish.

The fact they did it at the expense of rivals Arsenal made it even sweeter for supporters, who unlike a portion of Juventus fans are almost unanimous in admiration for the Italian, regularly singing his name at matches.

Conte’s team are clicking, with Spurs enjoying one of their best starts to a Premier League season that see them sit third with an impressive 17 points after seven games.

Like the fans, Conte is highly regarded by his squad including stars like Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, and his methods on and off the pitch appear to be getting the best out of his players.

Dejan Kulusevski has already said he is ready to ‘suffer’ Conte’s high demands.

‘When I came here, the training here was much more different from Italy – in a very good way,’ he said following his January arrival.

‘People are running faster, everything is faster to try to get us stronger. So it was very good because that’s what I need – I need my body to feel alive so I can think faster with my head.

‘He has very good training, very good tactics, his staff are fantastic, he works a lot, he explains things, if you don’t understand, he explains them again.

‘Having Conte is just very, very good. He’s a winner and I want to be a winner, so I think I’m on the right side.’

Conte is also enjoying a productive relationship with club chairman Daniel Levy, who backed the Italian with a £150m transfer kitty over the summer that facilitated the signings of the likes of Richarlison and Yves Bissouma, and the permanent arrival of highly-rated defender Cristian Romero.

That’s not forgetting the Italian links between him and Levy too, with former Juventus chief Fabio Paratici director of football at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

To swap all that for what will be pandemonium at the Allianz Stadium without guaranteed success doesn’t appear to be the wisest of career moves.

Spurs may not have the history of Juventus, but right now they have the edge on them in nearly every area. The choice of Tottenham or Juventus is just not much of a debate.

Добавить комментарий

Kwasi Kwarteng admits tax cuts sparked ‘turbulence’ over past 10 days
Kwasi Kwarteng urged Tories to “focus on the task in hand” as he battled to restore his authority as Chancellor…
Beleaguered PM Liz Truss dealt another blow as new poll sees Labour grab 25-point lead
Liz Truss has been dealt another devastating blow for her leadership while at the Tory conference in Birmingham as a…
  • 15 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Roger Federer told Novak Djokovic’s parents ‘be quiet’ as his ‘angry outbursts’ recalled

    Roger Federer once called out Novak Djokovic’s parents back in 2008. One of his ‘angry outbursts’ has been recalled by Tracy Austin. The pair faced off in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters 14 years ago when, in a rare moment of frustration, the Swiss maestro turned to the Serbian’s mum and dad in the crowd and asked them to ‘be quiet’.

    In an article on Tennis.com, two-time US Open winner Austin recalled some of the things she will miss most about Federer now he has retired from the game. She then recalled the events of the pair’s eighth meeting on the hallowed Monaco clay courts.

    “I will miss Roger Federer’s angry outbursts because they were few and far between, which makes them that much more memorable,” the American wrote. “They proved that Federer is not a human smiley-face icon blessed with genius, but subject to the same emotions, moods, and anxieties as any other athlete.

    “Federer managed to win the battle within as predictably he prevailed in the exterior one with opponents. My favourite lapse of Federer’s cool was way back in 2008 in Monte Carlo where, following a close call that (correctly) went his way at the baseline, he turned to Novak Djokovic’s voluble parents and barked, ‘Be quiet, okay?’ Then Federer walked up to the baseline and angrily kicked at the mark, raising clay dust.

    “Federer overcame an early-career zeal for splintering racquets, but he discreetly sparred with chair umpires on a number of occasions, he muttered and cursed, often while sitting, staring straight ahead, on a changeover. He once told an official, as part of running commentary, ‘Don’t tell me to be quiet. When I wanna talk, I talk, alright?’

    “My favourite quote overheard in the heat of battle: During a match plagued by bad calls and overrules, Federer chuntered: ‘We need a clown for this circus.’” Federer was winning the encounter 6-3, 3-2, before the 35-year-old had to retire from the match. The five-time year-end number one is known for his class and poise both on and off the court, but very early in his career he was prone to the occasional racket smash or outburst.

    In fact, as a teenager he was given a punishment of cleaning toilets and vacuuming offices after he threw his racket and broke the newly-erected curtains that had been placed to separate the courts. “He was highly upset when he lost a match. Throw a racket or even cry. He could cry for half an hour after the match, which was disturbing,” his mother Lynette once said.

    His father Robert added: “We were never angry if he lost a match but we were angry with his behaviour after matches. “He was horrible sometimes. Throwing rackets, swearing on the court – sometimes we felt a bit ashamed.”

    Now at the age of 41 and regarded by many as the greatest tennis player of all time, his parents were among the proudest in the room as he bid farewell to tennis at the Laver Cup. On what was a very emotional evening at the O2 Arena, the 20-time major winner bowed out of the sport following a doubles loss alongside great friend and rival Rafael Nadal.

  • 15 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Antonio Conte seethes at Tottenham fans demanding Djed Spence plays after Arsenal loss

    Antonio Conte has hit back at Tottenham fans calling for Djed Spence to start by claiming he is ‘not stupid’ and adding that the player is ‘not ready’ for match action. His comments come straight after the club’s poor performance Saturday’s 3-1 north London derby defeat to Arsenal where current first-choice right wing-back Emerson Royal had a poor performance which culminated in a red card for a stupid challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

    Spence arrived during the transfer window in a £13million deal from the north east club after he spent a hugely impressive season on loan at Nottingham Forest. There had been high hopes that he would come straight into the starting lineup given the Lilywhites struggles in the right-wing-back position however he has been behind Emerson Royal, Matt Doherty and Ivan Perisic in the pecking order.

    The right-back has found his match action severely limited, seeing just one minute of competitive match action since the start of the campaign. Some fans have been calling him to be given a starting place from the off, especially after Emerson’s poor performance at the Emirates. However, Conte has hit back at his own supporters claiming the England under-21 international is not ready to take part at this moment in time.

    He said: “The fans have to be fans. They can think anything but I see every day the training sessions. If they trust me, they trust me, but the choices are mine. If I don’t decide to pick a player, it’s because he’s maybe not ready.

    “We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I repeat I try to pick the best team. Also Doherty last season played every game. Now I’m not seeing him in the right way to start the game. I’m not stupid, I don’t want to lose. I try to put the best team, to pick the best team. If they trust me it’s ok, if they don’t trust me then I’m the coach and I need to take the best decision for Tottenham.”

    The Italian was speaking ahead of Tottenham’s Champions League fixture with Eintracht Frankfurt tomorrow as the club looks to overcome the disappointment of the weekend’s performance. The result saw them fall four points behind their biggest rivals, helping the Gunners to solidify their position at the top of the Premier League table.

    They also need to get back on track in Europe having been defeated 2-0 in their last match against Sporting Lisbon.

    Conte has also received criticism for sticking so rigidly to a 3-4-3 formation this season, something which supporters believe left them overrun in midfield at the Emirates. The Italian conceded this was a system that the club could utilise given the players at his disposal.

    “With this type of players and this squad we can play with these two systems, 3-4-3 and a 3-5-2. Also, Bissouma who is a good player who can play with the two midfielders and the two strikers can be Sonny and Kane or Richarlison and Kane.”

    It appears unlikely that Spurs fans will get there wish anytime soon with Conte pouring cold water on Spence’s first-team prospects. It is therefore likely Doherty and Perisic will battle for the position in the coming weeks as Emerson serves his suspension.


  • 15 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    London Marathon runner, 36, dies after collapsing three miles from finish line

    London Marathon organisers have confirmed that a participant sadly passed away during the event. The 36-year-old man collapsed 23 miles into the run but was unable to be saved despite the quick response of medical teams.

    The brief statement released by organisers read: “With deep sadness, we confirm the death of a participant in the 2022 TCS London Marathon.

    “A 36-year-old man from South East England collapsed between mile 23 and mile 24 and, although he received immediate medical treatment and an ambulance was on the scene within three minutes, he died later in hospital.

    “Everyone involved in the organisation of the London Marathon would like to express sincere condolences to his family and friends.

    “The family has requested privacy and no further details will be released in accordance with their wishes.

    “The cause of death will be established later through medical examination.”

    42,000 people competed in the event yesterday, which takes place between Greenwich and the Mall, with the race held in October for the third time after it was moved as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The women’s elite race was the first to get underway at 9am before they were followed by the elite men and general competition within the next hour.

    Three of England’s victorious Euro’s squad got the races started, with captain Leah Williamson joined by veterans Jill Scott and Ellen White to give competitors a mental boost as they got underway. Thousands lined the streets of the capital to provide moral support and help provide refreshments as the competitors took on the 26.2 mile long challenge.

    The women’s event was won by Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw who set a personal best time of 2:17:26 while Kenya’s Amos Kipruto claimed success in the men’s race, finishing with a time of 2:04:39. Chris Evans, Sophie Raworth and Mark Wright were among the celebrities who completed the marathon alongside the wider public to raise money for charities and good causes.

  • 15 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Chris Eubank Jr sends stern message to dad ahead of Conor Benn fight – ‘I’m the boss now’

    Chris Eubank Jr told legendary boxing father Eubank Sr that he is in complete control of his boxing career now. The 33-year-old is preparing for a generational clash with Conor Benn, the son of boxer Nigel, who fought Eubank Sr in two titanic tussles back in the 1990s.

    While Conor’s father is relishing the thought of seeing his son clash with the offspring of his former rival, Eubank Sr tried to pull his son out of the battle and has played little to no role in the fight’s buildup. He has repeatedly expressed concerns about his weight, which will be fought at a catchweight of 157lbs.

    The former WBO middleweight and super-middleweight champion, who acted as his son’s manager for most of his career, has had less of an input in his flights in recent years. In fact, he has not been in Eubank Jr’s corner since he employed Roy Jones Jr as a trainer just before the start of the Covid pandemic.

    As reported by the Daily Star, Eubank Jr said: “At the beginning of my career he was seen as the boss in my career. I didn’t mind that. I just wanted to fight, I didn’t want to be the boss. Now I want to be a part of the decision making.

    “I told him I will write a book one day so I have to go through these experiences and I can’t just leave it all up to him because then I have nothing to write about. I’m the boss. I am the boss now. I texted him about a month ago. Just so there’s no doubt moving forward on my mindset.

    In response, his son added: “You haven’t seen him around as much because he understands I want to take more control. Then we have the situation that he was telling me not to take the fight and when I said I wanted to take the fight he was unhappy with that.

    “He was saying all these things to try to change my mind. I had to just say it, ‘I am the boss’. This is what I want to do and I want your help but this fight is not going to happen.” Eubank Sr has gone a step further today and told fans to boycott the fight at the O2 Arena on Saturday night.

    The boxing icon had previously voiced his concerns over the agreed catchweight for the bout, and has now urged supporters to stay away. Just six days out from the highly-anticipated night, the legendary figure has sent in a statement to Spencer Fearon on the Fight is Right podcast. He pleaded: “Boycott the fight. You know what 3lbs beneath the middleweight limit at 33 years old can do, this is how brain injuries occur.”

  • 15 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag makes ‘contract demand’ to the Glazers following Man City defeat

    Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has reportedly sent a demand to the Glazers and told them they aren’t to hand out any new contracts before he has decided which players warrant them. The Red Devils were embarrassed by rivals Manchester City on Sunday afternoon as they were defeated 6-3 in the Premier League.

    United were second best throughout the encounter at the Etihad as Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both bagged braces in the opening 45 minutes to put the hosts 4-0 up at half-time. Antony got one back for the Red Devils in the early stages of the second half, before Haaland and Foden both completed their hat-tricks. And, despite a late double from away substitute Anthony Martial, the day belonged to the Sky Blues.

    United had enjoyed an upturn in fortunes in recent weeks following back-to-back losses against Brighton and Brentford at the start of the campaign and travelled to the Etihad Stadium off the back of four straight league victories. But Ten Hag will now be scratching his head over how his team could get it so wrong against the Premier League champions.

    According to The Telegraph, the Dutchman will put the brakes on any new contracts until he has made his mind up about which players deserve to play a part in his long-term plans. While the result at City hasn’t triggered Ten Hag’s demand, it would hardly have helped players who are fighting for their United futures.

    United have handed out a whole host of long-term mega-money deals in the past. But Ten Hag now wants to create a culture where contracts are harder to win. And that could ultimately signal the end of some players’ United careers.

    The Red Devils’ loss to City means they remain nine points behind current Premier League leaders Arsenal. And after the match across town, Ten Hag admitted he will allow his players to take aim at each other in a meeting on Monday. “It’s an open door – this performance was unacceptable,” the 52-year-old told MUTV.

    “As a team and as individuals, we will criticise each other and then we will learn the lessons and we have to do better, starting the next game. I think it’s good that a team like City gives you the status where you are in this moment. It’s clear we did well against top teams like Liverpool and Arsenal, when we were disciplined and we followed the rules and principles, we had belief to play and we were on the front foot defending.

    “Then you can bring a good performance and that can bring a result. When you don’t, when you are not on the front foot, when you are not brave to play, you get a result as today.”


  • 1 час, 3 минуты назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Matthew Stafford dooms Rams with 52-yard fourth quarter pick-six to Talanoa Hufanga

    Matthew Stafford effectively ended the night for the Rams with a fourth quarter pick-six vs. the 49ers Monday night, allowing the hosts to extend their lead to 15 points with roughly six minutes remaining.

    The Rams were far from their best in the difficult matchup, which they lost 24-9, but found themselves down just eight with the ball at San Francisco’s 44-yard line in the fourth quarter.

    But any hopes of a comeback were squashed when 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga jumped a screen route and intercepted a ball intended for Cooper Kupp behind the line of scrimmage, returning it the rest of the way for a touchdown.

    The deflating play means Stafford now leads the league in interceptions with six, as the Super Bowl-winning quarterback has not reached the lofty heights of last season four games into 2022.

    Stafford dealt with elbow tendinitis in the offseason, and perhaps that ailment is still lingering as the 34-year-old has gotten off to a slow start this season.

    Stafford has thrown just four touchdowns in as many games, and hasn’t gone over 254 yards in any contest, with Monday’s loss actually being that game.

    It wasn’t a great performance for him vs. the 49ers, however, as he needed 48 attempts to reach that figure and took seven sacks.

    The offense looked fairly lifeless when he wasn’t targeting Cooper Kupp (19 times!) or dumping it off to tight end Tyler Higbee.

    The poor offensive effort was the first time since Week 16 of the 2020 season that the Rams failed to score a touchdown, as kicker Matt Gay accounted for all of the team’s nine points.

    The next test for LA will not be much easier, but they’ll at least have the comfort of SoFi Stadium.

    They’ll host the Cowboys next Sunday in the late afternoon time slot.

  • Загрузить еще
Fed’s Powell slides into tough cop role
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is going where no central bank chief has gone in decades: whacking the economy and…
Jay Powell takes on the world
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is waging a relentless battle against inflation that threatens to leave a path of destruction…

Sport Why Antonio Conte would be mad to leave Tottenham for Juventus