Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Conte compared to club legend as Carragher reveals why Tottenham can now think big

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte, December 2021

Jamie Carragher feels Tottenham are now in safe hands under ‘top manager’ Antonio Conte as his methods are already paying huge dividends at the club.

Conte, 52, replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the helm on November 2 this year. Nuno lasted just four months in the job and paid the price for a series of underwhelming results and performances. Spurs looked disjointed and there were suggestions that the squad were not playing for the Portuguese tactician.

That could not be further from the truth with the former Chelsea chief in charge. The north Londoners have leapt from ninth to fifth under the Italian.

And Carragher, in his role as a pundit, outlined just how the Lilywhites have improved.

“Under the last manager Nuno Espirito Santo they were massively underperforming, there is no doubt about that,” he told Sky Sports. “But we can actually look at the comparison and it has improved massively.

“It has improved in goals conceded. They were near the bottom of the table. Now they are top of the league.

“Distance covered is the one that everyone talks about because it almost feels like we are talking about a different team with the same names and same players.”

Conte compared to Tottenham great

There is still a long way to go in Conte’s Spurs career but the early signs are good. Finishing in the top four will be key and that is now a real possibility.

Spurs to have January clear out

Matt Doherty, Joe Rodon, Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn have been linked with moves away from Spurs.

Rivals Arsenal currently occupy fourth spot and are six points better off. But the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium outfit have three games in hand due to Covid-related issues.

And Carragher is adamant that they have every chance of qualifying for the Champions League with Conte at the wheel.

“The reason why I think Spurs have a really good chance of top four is that they have a really good manager,” he added. “They have a manager who can go up against Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel.

“Look at his record. We are not talking about a guy who has been in the Premier League for half a season and had a good run.

“He has won the Premier League, he has won the FA Cup in his second season, and he has had a great start at Spurs.”

And the former Liverpool defender believes that it is around half a century since they have had a boss of Conte’s quality.

“His win ratio puts him up there with the best Premier League managers. You think of Spurs and you probably have to go back to the most famous manager in the club’s history, Bill Nicholson who was the manager when they won the double in 1961,” he continued.

Jamie Carragher

“They have never had a manager of this level. People will say Jose Mourinho but it was not Mourinho in his prime. I think they have got a top manager in his prime right now and that is what gives them a realistic chance.”

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