Antonio Conte explains Man City and Liverpool supremacy in hint to his Tottenham future

Antonio Conte explains Man City and Liverpool supremacy in hint to his Tottenham future


Antonio Conte believes that for Tottenham Hotspur to act like a great club, he must see Thursday’s North London derby against Arsenal as just a chance to get three points towards an important goal.

Realistically, Spurs need to beat the Gunners at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this week to stay in contention for fourth place on four points between the two sides with three games to go. On the other hand, Mikel Arteta’s side know that if they can win at their local rivals, they will guarantee Champions League qualification for next season.

Conte believes that while the emotional side of the derby is clear, he thinks top teams simply see these games as another method of getting the points they need to achieve their goals.

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“I understand the importance and I understand the rivalry between the two teams, but in the past when I played other derbies, with Inter or Juventus, I always said that a derby is is a game, or two games in a season, and a great team must think that you have to win the derby, not because it’s your rival, but because you get three points, and those three points earn you [nearer] to win something important at the end of the season, not just to beat your rival,” he said.

“Our minds have to be open for an important goal, and for winning a derby to be a means to an important goal. There is a big rivalry, we know that very well, the players know that very well, and we want give satisfaction to our fans, and we will try to do our best, but it is a game and I hope to breathe a fantastic atmosphere, like the last game at Anfield.

“It was the same in the past in our stadium, with our supporters, and our supporters have to push us from start to finish, in a positive moment or a negative moment, they have to stay with us and we have to try to overcome this obstacle together.”

Conte hopes Tottenham’s very recent experience at Anfield in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool could set them up for another tough game against strong opposition.

“We are playing another important game, we played against Liverpool and you know you are playing for a goal, to take a place in the Champions League. I think we are ready because just three days ago we played a important game, and now we have another one,” he said. “The players know very well the importance of this derby. We know very well that if we don’t get three points, we will probably finish fifth in the table. We have this chance in our hands, to try to take this chance in the best possible way and then we’ll see, but I’ll say it again: we have to be proud of how far we’ve come since November.”

The last time Tottenham and Arsenal met, at the Emirates Stadium at the start of the season in September, the visitors collapsed to a 3-1 defeat under then-boss Nuno Espirito Santo. Conte was watching closely that day and he thinks the two sides are now different animals.

“It was a difficult period for my team. I think at that time it was difficult to play, also because Tottenham’s season had started very well, with nine points from three games, and Tottenham were at the top then, in the [next] seven]games, before I arrived they only got six points, and for sure at that time the confidence was down,” he said.

“The belief was not that high and for that reason I think Arsenal won the game in a big way. I think and hope that on Thursday I will see a different type of game, also because I think many situations have changed and now we want to show that we are a good team and that we can fight for a place in the Champions League.”

Since Conte was last in the Premier League as Chelsea manager, before returning to Italy to win the Serie A title with Inter Milan, he has seen various changes, including Spurs falling down the table. and creating a breakaway of the top three teams. in the English top flight.

“Don’t forget that four or five years ago when I was at Chelsea, Tottenham were in the top four and the team was really, really strong. I remember very well that we won the title and in second place was Tottenham. It was the same when Leicester won the title,” he explained.

“At that time, maybe Manchester City was a different team and Liverpool was a different team. Now they worked for many years with the same coach, the best coaches, Pep [Guardiola] and Jürgen [Klopp]then also Chelsea with [Thomas] Tuchel. They gave continuity, they invested money, they worked a lot because investing only money is not enough, but it is important and because if you work with important and quality players , it means that you have a very strong team and you can improve from year to year. .

“Now it’s very difficult because you come back to reality, with a good base, with good foundations. When I arrived at Chelsea, they were 10th the previous season and we won the title. I arrived with Pep , Jurgen started before working with Liverpool, there was Mourinho and Wenger, there were the best here.

“The problem now is that City, Liverpool and Chelsea have had time to work with the same coach to improve with a big investment. Because of this, there is now a gap. A big gap. The others teams missed something and for sure Tottenham missed something because Tottenham fell.

“If you compare Tottenham three, four or five years ago at this time, they have lowered the level, but the situation in England is very clear. You have monsters, and you have to have time and patience, and you have Tottenham and Arsenal United is strange because they have a big team, finished second last season and in the transfer market have added Cristiano Ronaldo, Varane and Sancho and they are fighting for sixth place.

“Maybe it means Arsenal and Tottenham did something amazing to beat United, but only that. Of course you can talk about the top four, the top six. If you’re Tottenham, you have to try to stay and fight for that achievement in this If you start working very hard and pursuing a process to improve the situation, you can hope one day to try to fight for something important, but at the same time, you have to be realistic because honesty is always important to people.

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