Antonio Conte says it was a “simple” decision to stay at Tottenham this summer and he believes with more investment they can fight for four trophies in 2022/23.
Spurs will return to the Champions League next season after ousting Arsenal from fourth place with a consistent run of results in the final three months of the campaign. That outcome was crucial for Conte, who was able to lure the likes of Richarlison, Clement Lenglet and Yves Bissouma in the window so far.
But while things look on track for the time being, the situation looked pretty bleak in February. The Italian had only been at the helm just over three months when a 1-0 defeat at Burnley prompted an angry response from the former Chelsea coach.
The 53-year-old vented his frustration and questioned his own credentials.
“I am too honest to close my eyes and continue in this way, and also take my salary. But it’s not right in this moment,” said Conte.
It was a reaction which had many fans thinking the worst. In fact some reports claimed Conte was on the verge of quitting.
But after talks with Daniel Levy in May, the tactician’s path was smoothed.
And Conte revealed it was a straight forward decision to fulfill the second year of his contract.
“I always said that at the end of the season it was very important for me to speak to the club and the club to make the decision,” said Conte.
“It was very simple to continue this project, because first I have another year of contract and we have just started this project with the club. You know very well my ambitions. I think last season to finish in the top four was a great achievement for us all but I think we have just started.
“We need time and patience, but it will be important to be stronger than the past. I have ambition and it is the same for the club.”
Spurs plans ‘very clear’
Conte knows he needs to continue building a squad capable of fighting on four fronts next season.
Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster have also landed in the capital in addition to Richarlison, Lenglet and Bissouma, but Conte wants more. And after detailed talks with Levy the Italian obviosuly laid out his intention to form a squad capable of winning all four trophies.
“When the ideas are very clear it’s more simple to go into the transfer window and sign the players,” Conte told reporters in Seoul.
“Our plan was very clear about the positions in which we needed to improve. We did it, the club worked very well in this window.
“For every coach to have players quickly is very important because [we] can work with them and put them in the know. It was good to sign five players quickly. And now we will see. We’re always looking to strengthen the squad if there is the opportunity.
“We want to improve it numerically because to play in four competitions is difficult. You need a very good squad, numerical and quality. It will be a tough, demanding season for us but we want to enjoy this season to play four competitions and try to be competitive. We’ll see what happens. In the next two months if there’s a possibility to strengthen the squad we’ll do it.”
Conte: We will fight for everything
There is no doubt about Conte’s aim at Tottenham next season. The former Juve coach wants silverware and plenty of it.
“I said since I arrived that we needed time and patience to build something important for this club,” added Conte.
“Last season was really important to finish in the top four because it means you can accelerate this process.
“The club want to build something important for the fans. Our ambition is to try to improve and be competitive in all the competitions. Next season, we are going to play Champions League, the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, and you need a big squad because you need so many players to face these competitions and be competitive.
“I know to win is very difficult. We have just started this process but at the same time, it is very important to have ambition. And we will see. We are working very well to improve our idea of football in the past and add something more.
“I have good group. We added players with qualities and the right characteristics. Our ambition to be competitive and try to fight for everything.”