Sacking of Antonio Conte: When the Italian left Tottenham, it brought up problems that Daniel Levy, Harry Kane, and the club had seen before

April 3, 2023

Again, this has occurred. For the fourth time in four years, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has twisted the knife on the club's manager.

Like Vn88 rezence told that his predecessors Mauricio Pochettino, Jose Mourinho, and Nuno Espirito Santo, Antonio Conte has failed to lead Tottenham Hotspur to championship glory.

And once again, a caretaker will see them through the season's end; this time it's been 23 months. In 2021, it was Ryan Mason, and this time it's the ex-Spurs midfielder Cristian Stellini, who worked under Conte as an assistant.

Tottenham fans may find this all too familiar. Has Levy essentially restarted the clock for the Spurs by doing the same thing he did two years ago? You could literally just cut and paste the entire Mourinho scenario into this season...

Both Mourinho and Conte's schedules are tight.

W88 was expected that both Conte and Mourinho, two elite managers, would be the ones to lead the trophy-less but potentially great Tottenham squad to victory.

Both managers had strong starts to the season, but they were unable to sustain that momentum.

In his first six months as manager, Mourinho led Spurs from the bottom of the league to a Europa League finish, and he used his first summer transfer window to try to bring in winners.

Many of the players who joined the club in north London—including Carlos Vinicius, Gareth Bale, Joe Hart, Gedson Fernandes, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Matt Doherty, and even Sergio Reguilon —had previously won league titles or major trophies before making the move.

However, Vn88 thinks that Spurs' early season success waned after they were knocked out of the FA Cup and the Europa League in consecutive months (February and March) and fell out of the top four in the league.

Conte's tenure at Tottenham offers parallel threads. Again, the Italian got off to a fantastic start, turning around a disillusioned Spurs team that had been under Espirito Santo into a title contender.

Similar to Mourinho, Conte used the transfer window to send a message after his Spurs overtook Arsenal for fourth place in the Premier League.

The January additions of Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were crucial in bolstering Spurs' top-four hopes; their arrival was aided by Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici's connections to Juventus.

Spurs got off to a great start this season, and in October, Conte took an undefeated team to a north London derby against Arsenal.

However, the 3-1 loss at the Emirates was a portent of things to come for Conte's Spurs, as they continued to lose to the teams in the playoff hunt. Before the World Cup, they would lose to Manchester United, Liverpool, and Newcastle.

Then, similar to Mourinho, elimination from the FA Cup and the Europa League marked the beginning of the end.

In what spot were the Spurs?

With six games left in the Premier League season and just days before the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City, Mourinho was fired on April 19, 2021. Spurs sat in seventh place, five points behind West Ham United for fourth and 24 behind Manchester City for first.

While Conte had Spurs in fourth place at the time of his dismissal, they now face serious danger from the teams directly behind them—Newcastle, Liverpool, and Brighton—all of whom have multiple games in hand. After announcing Conte's departure, Levy said with W88 rezence, "We have a fight on our hands for a Champions League place."

Both Conte and Mourinho saw their teams eliminated from the FA Cup and the Champions League in the weeks leading up to their dismissals, but the Portuguese coach still had a chance to win a trophy.

In the days leading up to the Carabao Cup final, Spurs' best chance in years to end their 15-year trophy drought, Mourinho was fired by Levy.

Mason took over the Spurs and led them to a Wembley loss, 1-0, thanks to a late goal by Aymeric Laporte.

How did Mourinho and Conte's Spurs feel?

The rapidity with which both managers were dismissed after criticizing the team's mentality is another similarity between the two departures.

Spurs blew a 3-1 lead at Southampton and settled for a 3-3 draw, and Conte's ensuing meltdown got all the attention. The Italian leader said his team lacked teamwork and was "unable to play under pressure and stress."

He went on to say on, "I'm not used to seeing this type of situation." "I see a lot of individualistic players, but no team."

You can even find an old Mourinho quote that sounds very similar.

In April of 2021, after Tottenham blew two leads at Newcastle and settled for a 2-2 draw, Mourinho said of his team, "They come with things I'm not used to seeing in football matches at this level."

The Portuguese coach continued, saying his team lacked the "profile, vision, balance, which belongs to the top players."

Fifteen days later, after a 2-2 draw at Everton, Mourinho was fired. After his outburst at Southampton, Conte lasted just over a week in his position.

Tim Smathers

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