Conte And Tottenham's Loveless Marriage Needs Ending Now, Not In The Summer

Spurs' last hope of holding on to a top-four spot depends on turning the page
16:00, 09 Mar 2023

There was little doubt this was the way it was going. Tottenham Hotspur were 1-0 down to AC Milan in their round-of-16 Champions League tie and simply didn’t test the Rossoneri nearly enough. In the final half-hour at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night they tested Mike Maignan only once, and in all truth could have been buried by a number of Milan efforts.

That one Harry Kane effort summed up the extent of the fight in Antonio Conte’s side, and now both characters could be set for the exit door. Kane, a man who has publicly stated that his desire to win trophies at club level is a huge driver in his career, has wasted so much of the last decade at Spurs. Meanwhile, the relationship between Tottenham and Conte simply hasn’t worked and the sooner both sides are put out of their misery the better.


Conte seemed to be suggesting he’s already made his mind up about leaving in the summer when speaking to Prime after the match. “I am under contract at Tottenham, then we will decide at the end of the season with the club. My contract expires in June… we will see. They might sack me even before the end of the season, who knows? Maybe they are disappointed.”

Yes, they are disappointed. Yes, Conte leaving is inevitable. Yes, Liverpool’s 7-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday and recent form of four wins in five suggests they are a far better bet than Spurs to earn the final Champions League qualification spot in the Premier League this season. So why delay things now?

Spurs need to move on from Conte, and Conte needs to move on from Spurs.


A man who has won league titles on both sides of the Derby d’Italia divide – winning a first tile in six years with Juventus and a first in 11 with Inter – clearly has plenty about him. He was also a champion in England with Chelsea just four years ago, reassembling an outfit left utterly broken from their second experience with Jose Mourinho. His tactics have won titles elsewhere, but it was always going to be a reach to expect the same with Spurs.

Conte could also do with a bit of time off following his recent surgery to have his gallbladder removed, which he has already come back too soon from once. After a period of rest and relaxation he should be back in the game with a club who can match his ambition and whose philosophies he is aligned with.

It has too often felt like an uncomfortable alliance between Tottenham and Conte. The manager a born winner with an acute tactical brain, the club itself bereft of recent experience at the top of a podium and needing somebody to inject real belief into its players rather than gridlines for them to follow to the letter.

Daniel Levy has bounced from one manager to another and from philosophy to philosophy as a result. From Mauricio Pochettino to Jose Mourinho, from Nuno Espirito Santo to Antonio Conte. The answer to acid is always alkaline.

But now that it is clear to all and sundry that Conte is not the man for Tottenham and Spurs are not the club for the five-time league champion manager, it is time to cut the cord. No wasting anyone’s time from now until June. Spurs have been going backwards for months, and it will do nobody any good to maintain the current impasse for the final 12 games of the season.

It didn’t work, move on. Otherwise where does the motivation needed to reignite the Champions League charge come from? Because it isn’t going to be injected by a manager who has basically said his goodbyes already.


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

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