They are trying to fire Antonio Conte from Tottenham

After becoming a football fan, it only takes a few hours to hear this phrase, “Spursy.” After that, it only takes a few to fully understand it. This refers to Tottenham Hotspur and that regardless of the situation or the unlikely, something strange will happen to the club, and in a bad way. While the truth is almost certainly mismanagement from the top, a lack of long-term plan, being a touch less wealthy than their rivals, a bit of bad luck, the general feeling is that something is stuck. the club that will always result in balls is unavoidable. They are the Jets or Maple Leafs of the Premier League, where something indescribable must be overcome, even if that nebulous force has become so pungent and powerful that the task is impossible.

Yesterday was one of the most pressing days in recent history. In the last 13 minutes, Tottenham was able to throw up a two-goal lead as a guest of the worst team in the league, Southampton. Of course, the equation is a pretty damn dubious punishmentbut Spurs fans are so beaten down by being Spurs fans that this sort of thing feels like the price of admission.

That result alone would have been strange enough for the north London club, but this is Tottenham Hotspur, where they can always pour more confusing mishegas onto the bedrock of confusing mishegas that the club is apparently built on. Enter manager Antonio Conte with a press conference that torched his own players and bosses and flashed like a big neon sign: “PLEASE GET OUT!” it was also on fire.

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The best part is when Conte exclaims: “I’m very nervous!” Oh, don’t you say?

It’s also important to remember that Conte is such a soft-spoken guy that he wrote my favorite soccer video of all time at Euro 2016:

Does Conte have a point? Probably yes. Spurs 15 years without a trophy, depending on how much stock you put into the League Cup. They haven’t won the FA Cup in 32 years, and let’s not even get into their last league title. Chairman Daniel Levy has been in charge for 22 years, a rather barren 22 years for a club that is on par with neighbors Arsenal, if not the other giants of the league. And Levy’s reign has been chaotic at times, hiring managers at such a pace that a revolving door is thrown off its hinges.

But Spurs have also reached their greatest heights in recent times under Levy, which is perhaps even more poignant for any Spurs fan, manager Mauricio Pochettino. They reached the Champions League final, the club’s first, and contested a couple of titles without winning them. Pochettino’s Tottenham finished 3rd, 2nd and 3rd between 2016 and 2018, Spurs’ best ever run in the Premier League.

Levy’s biggest mistake was to sack Pochettino instead of funding the squad overhaul that Pochettino said was needed, and a Levy was eventually paid to please subsequent managers Jose Mourinho and Conte. But Mourinho and Conte are never, ever part of a long-term vision, given the prospect of quickly flaming them or outright nuking them after a season or two.

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The perfect symmetry to all of this is that Pochettino’s ghost has been hanging in the background all season, as he has they were heavily gossiped about to be the one to replace Conte when the Italian packs his bags (although, to be honest, it felt like Conte’s bags had already been packed for some time). But this is yet another example of the scattershot planning that Levy’s Tottenham have never been able to break out of.

Conte MO

On the other side, Conte is doing this. At Juventus, Chelsea, Inter and now Spurs, he projects an immediate upswing in results, performance and optimism, then bombards his own work next season, usually through a lack of support from transfers, influence or both. . The guy just can’t sit still.

And Conte would have a hard time arguing that Levy doesn’t support him. Spurs brought in Richarlison, Christian Romero, Yves Bissouma, Ivan Perišić, Clément Lenglet in the summer and Pedro Porro and Arnaut Danjum in the January window. Among them, only Romero and Perišić appeared regularly, although some of them are due to injury. But some of them are not, such as Richarlison was only too happy to point it out when Spurs made a weak exit from the Champions League to a far from impressive AC Milan. That’s about $215 million in spending on Conte’s behalf, and that’s a little more than the change found in couch cushions.

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And it’s hard to blame anyone but Conté for how often Spurs look bland and lethargic on the pitch. He can bash his players all he wants in the press, and he obviously loves it, but his job description includes instilling passion and desire in his team. Seeing as he’s been staring at the exit door for most of the season, it’s not all that shocking that his players aren’t exactly feeling it week in and week out.

One wonders whether Pochettino can salvage this if he makes a truly glorious return, regardless of how much goodwill and leeway the fans give him. Among Tottenham’s top players this season, only Romero and Dejan Kulusevski have not exceeded or will not be over 30. How much more patience Harry Kane has for this horseshit is a mystery (although let’s all pray that Man United decide to pay him big for his declining years instead of Victor Osimhen, who inhaled and spat back from Serie A to Napoli this year and six years younger). The team may need another overhaul after the overhaul planned after Pochettino was told he would not be allowed to overhaul the squad.