Up until the end of October, season ticket holders at Leeds United would have been eyeing up their travel plans for the month of November, expecting a trip to the capital on the 21st. Spurs’ form had dropped off a cliff and with any luck, Daniel Levy would leave Nuno Espirito Santo in charge for their big day down in London before eventually having to do the inevitable by relieving the Portuguese manager of his duties. Should this have ended up being the case then everything pointed towards a rampant win for Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds.
However, a few weeks on and it’s fair to say that the same eagerness Leeds supporters had is now gone after the serial winner Antonio Conte was put into the hot-seat at Spurs. In fact, the latest Tottenham v Leeds betting price Conte’s charges as just 8/11 to beat the West Yorkshire side and it seems fairly certain that Spurs will benefit from the new bounce that a manager brings.
But what about Spurs’ chances of success after the lights go out and the Leeds supporters all cram into various LNER services to take them back up north? The long-term looks less certain with the latest premier league betting tips suggesting that Spurs will battle to make the top four after being priced at 6/1 to do so. With this being the current situation, would Champions League qualification constitute a success for Antonio Conte this season?
Welcome to Tottenham Hotspur, Antonio Conte. pic.twitter.com/3faSqLW38g
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 2, 2021
The answer to that would have to be an emphatic yes and you would imagine that if the 52-year-old did achieve that goal then he would be the frontrunner for the Manager of the Season award. Without a shadow of a doubt, the initiative has been well and truly lost under Nuno, which means that Conte’s job is bordering on an impossible one in terms of getting into those lucrative Champions League places.
Having said this, should Spurs fans lower their expectations given how much catch-up Conte is going to have to play? Perhaps some supporters may harbour a degree of reservation about doing so in fear of letting an unambitious mindset creep in after a couple of indifferent seasons. But the reassuring news is that Conte won’t have lowered his expectations for the season and will be working night and day until it is mathematically impossible to qualify for the Champions League.
But perhaps there is an argument to be made for letting Spurs find a rhythm again even if the results don’t make for the most satisfying weekends in the short term. Having chopped and changed so much after firing Mourinho and now Nuno, there really aren’t any foundations to work with which is why patience is going to be key.
🗣 “If someone doesn’t have a good attitude or behaviour, I prefer to kill him.”
Antonio Conte speaking about how he deals with bad attitudes in the dressing room 👀pic.twitter.com/gvLvF7AM94
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 1, 2021
The good news is that Conte is a master at quick transformation and his league titles at Chelsea and Inter Milan speak of his ability to make a meaningful change over a short period.
With this being the case, could the Spurs faithful settle for a barnstorming end to the campaign if it meant that next season would guarantee a legitimate title charge? Naturally, this may mean that Champions League qualification is lost over the winter as Conte eyes long-term success over short-term results. But it does feel like the time has come for Spurs to prepare for the future instead of judging their success by everything that happens in the here and now.