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“Pay attention”- What Antonio Conte told Tottenham’s staff members after 2022 UCL qualification

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Antonio Conte urged his staff not to celebrate UCL qualification but dream bigger

Per Fabrizio Romano’s X post, Antonio Conte urged his team not to celebrate the ‘bare minimum’ after securing the UCL spot in 2022. The former Tottenham boss was talking to Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph. Conte said:

“For me, to celebrate fourth place was strange. At the end of the final game vs Norwich, I called my staff — I said pay attention, don’t be used to celebrating a Champions League place. I’m used to winning, not to celebrate 4th place.”

Conte took over the club when they were eighth on the league table. Nuno Espirito Santo’s services were cut short due to the poor form. Conte arrived in North London on 2nd November 2021. Within the next six months, Conte gave Spurs fans what they expected the least.

Matchday 37 in the 2021/22 season saw Arsenal slip points after losing against Newcastle. Conte’s men capitalised on this slip-up by securing the fourth spot in the last matchday.

Conte’s legacy continues

Antonio Conte left the club by mutual consent in March 2023 after spending 16 months in North London. Even though it was termed ‘mutual consent’, the duo parted ways after Conte’s ranting where he slammed the players and the management, as mentioned by Matt Law via Daily Telegraph (subscription required). This happened after the 3-3 draw against bottom-placed Southampton.

Conte was replaced by Cristian Stellini and later by Ryan Mason. Both couldn’t bring significant differences to the club. It wasn’t until Ange Postecoglou’s arrival that the club saw significant changes.

Antonio Conte's stint at Spurs ended on a bitter note.
Antonio Conte’s stint at Spurs ended on a bitter note. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Postecoglou went unbeaten for the first 10 Premier League games with his new club. Apart from collecting points, the club became an attacking threat like never before. He moulded Richarlison into a goal-scoring machine and signed James Maddison and Michy van de Ven, who are enjoying the best days of their career so far.

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However, credits must be given where due. Many players, including Richarliosn, Pedro Porro, Bissouma, Romero and others arrived in Tottenham only because of Conte. The former Inter Milan manager paved the way for Ange Postecolou (though unknowingly), to build the club’s future.

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