The decision by Tottenham to appoint Antonio Conte as manager will significantly lift the club to new heights and end the malaise around the club, according to Rio Ferdinand.
The Italian chief is back in the Premier League, having been chosen by Daniel Levy and Fabio Paratici to coach Tottenham. He returns to London, having previously led Chelsea to Premier League and FA Cup glory. And he also successfuly led Inter Milan to the Scudetto last season as Juventus were finally dethroned.
It certainly marks an exciting appointment for Tottenham. Their brand of football under Nuno Espirito Santo failed to win over fans and five losses in 10 games told its own story. It was no shock to see him sacked after this damning statement from Paratici.
But in Conte, they now have a man who will give the club a serious lift. And according to Ferdinand, it will halt the slide of a team that has been in decline since 2019.
“Since the Champions League final, this team hasn’t had any consistency and confidence. They’ve gone backwards massively. They’re a far worse off team,” he told his YouTube channel.
“Is there anyone, if you’re looking in world football, who could come in and change the fortunes of some of these players in this team?”
Assessing his greatest strengths as a coach, Ferdinand believes Conte will quickly get his message through to the Spurs players.
“Conte would be very high on my list because he’s a disciplinarian, he doesn’t mess about. And he gets people working. And I think this is what this Spurs team need.”
The Italian is renowned for using a 3-4-3 system, which should suit Tottenham’s personnel.
More to the point, Conte has also previously outlined his demands from his players.
“I always talk about education and respect. I give this, but I demand this,” said Conte in an interview.
“If someone haven’t the good attitude during the training session or the good behaviour, in different circumstances, then I would prefer to kill him.
“If a manager closes his eyes and does not want to see the bad situation he will lose the changing room.”
Conte excited to get started
Conte, speaking on the official Tottenham website, clearly can’t wait to get started.
“I am extremely happy to return to coaching. To do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.
“Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.
“I can’t wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach.
“Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent. I was emotionally too involved with the end of the season. So I felt that it wasn’t yet the right time to return to coaching.
“But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction.”