As the clock struck 76 minutes at Carrow Road on the last day of the Premier League season, everything seemed right in the world of Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs celebrated a fifth goal against Norwich while Son Heung-min had just won his 23rd of the season – none of which were penalties – to see him win his first Premier League Golden Boot, an honor with which he would share. Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah.
In the grand scheme of things, Spurs were minutes away from securing Champions League football for next season – an incredible feat achieved by Antonio Conte given what he was walking in when Nuno Espirito Santo was fired back in November.
Tottenham secured Champions League football on the last day of the 2021-22 season
It’s an incredible achievement for Antonio Conte, after inheriting Nuno’s poor Spurs side
During Nuno’s brief and unfortunate reign at Spurs, the team had no identity.
Prior to his dismissal, Spurs were beaten heavily by each of their London rivals and struggled to get even a shot on target, while a discouraging Harry Kane led the line after an attempt to force through a move to Manchester City collapsed.
Everything looked very sad in that area of north London.
But just over six months later, Spurs are back in the big time after a two-year absence, preparing to rub shoulders with Europe’s elite again, taking the third most points in the league since Conte was appointed.
The players and manager celebrated together on the Carrow Road pitch after the full-time whistle, with Conte gesturing that his players should get the flattery, but like the rest of the season, the Tottenham fans just sang and sang the Italian’s name.
Conte has become a fan in such a short time and the desire for Spurs to go forward under him is universally desired by Tottenham supporters.
But as the dust settled on the 2021-22 campaign, the uneasy anxiety that Conte might not even be at Tottenham next season persisted as he refused to commit to the job as he wanted to make sure he would be supported this summer. and its title. -winning ambitions matched forward.
While Conte insisted that securing Champions League football at Tottenham was one of his “biggest achievements” as a manager, he insisted that all would be in vain if there were no reinforcements when the new season came.
Conte fired on Spurs and they took the third most league points since November
He said: “But it’s very important not to forget the way we had to try to improve the situation, because we have to improve the situation, next season for sure, there are five substitutes (per match), another competition and Tottenham have to. , that it will be very difficult, maybe much more than this season.
– Today is not the right time to talk about this topic. Today it is really important to celebrate this great achievement but certainly to become competitive and be ready to fight for something important that you need to improve, improve a lot in many aspects and I know only one word, that is work, work, work.
– Everyone has to do the right thing in this process. We need to improve a lot. Next season the league will be very difficult for all teams.
– With five subscribers you can change game. If the bench is strong as a top team, like City, Chelsea, (Manchester) United and Liverpool, you have to improve your squad a lot in terms of quality and numbers.
‘You have to face three national championships in England and one in the Champions League.’
And it’s not just the fans who are desperate for Conte to be supported and stay – the Tottenham players want it too.
Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane and Eric Dier have all revealed their desire for the club to make ends meet as they look to do well to finally return to the Champions League.
Spurs president Daniel Levy now has to support Conte if Spurs want to press headlines next season
Eric Dier (right) also revealed his desire and that of other senior players to support Conte
The players want Conte to build a team that can compete on four fronts and challenge for silverware next season.
‘I think the club should take advantage of this moment, take advantage of this team and this manager. It’s in the hands of the club now, ‘Dier said.
– We have done our job and now it is the job of the club this summer to do the best job they can.
“I’m sure they will try their best to put us in a position next season so that we and the manager can continue to push forward and improve.”
Captain Lloris hopes that returning to the Champions League after a two-year absence will give the board the confidence to support Conte.
‘I think so [he] he knows exactly what he wants and needs, ‘said the goalkeeper.
‘I think there is great faith. It’s just a matter of making decisions together now. I’m a player, we’re going to leave the club [for the summer].
– We still have international duties, but now it is up to the main players to make the right decisions, to prepare for the next season as best they can. Then we will return with desire and ambition. ‘
Captain Hugo Lloris hopes that returning to the Champions League after a two-year absence will give the board the confidence to support Conte.
It left Spurs at a crossroads.
It’s no secret that Conte will be leaving all his hard work at the north London club if he is not taken seriously and he has previously threatened to leave earlier this year if his ambition does not match.
After years of vastly improving the club’s infrastructure, including building one of the country’s best training grounds and a £ 1 billion state-of-the-art stadium, president Daniel Levy now has to turn his attention back to on-field affairs.
He finally has a world-class manager to take the club to new heights and Conte needs a team in his image to help realize the full potential of what this club can achieve.
That doesn’t mean Levy didn’t support previous managers – far from it. He has broken the club’s transfer record several times during his tenure as chairman – most recently shelling out £ 65 million on Tanguy Ndombele, who was sent back to Lyon on loan this season after being extremely disappointed.
Spending has never really been part of the problem for Levy, it’s about how he spends his money.
However, he later took a step back and hired Fabio Paratici, who oversaw the transfers of Cristian Romero, Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur this season.
It’s no secret that Conte will leave Spurs if his ambition is not matched
All three of those purchases were a massive success but one aspect of the arrivals of Kulusevski and Bentancur, which frustrated supporters at first, was that Levy was too indecisive after chasing targets and lacking advance to make deals quickly.
It saw them miss Luis Diaz to Liverpool and Adama Traore to Barcelona, and although only the former proved to be a massive success story this season, the failure to get any offers across the line can see Conte walk away.
It is hoped that Conte will be supported this summer, however. Just days after securing a seat at Europe’s top table, Spurs ENIC’s owners pumped £ 150 million into the club.
Several reports have claimed that the Tottenham hierarchy is ready to fully support Conte in the summer transfer window and is ready to shell out six new players to make the former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager happy.
According to The TelegraphConte wants to sign a new center-back, right-back, two midfielders, a forward and a safe goalkeeper.
Spurs are looking for a substitute for Lloris and are reportedly close to receiving a free transfer for Southampton keeper Fraser Forster over the line. They were also considering a move for West Brom’s Sam Johnstone.
As for a new central defender, Alessandro Bastoni of Inter and RB Leipzig Croatian star Josko Gvardiol have been linked, but Spurs will face a bidding war with a number of European clubs if they go for both. Pau Torres was also tied up.
Alessandro Bastoni (left) and Josko Gvardiol (right) are possible targets for Tottenham
A return for Christian Eriksen is also disputed, following his wonderful stint at Brentford.
Gabriel Jesus of Man City could be one of the six transfer targets Conte wants to bring
In midfield, a return for Christian Eriksen is disputed while James Ward-Prowse and John McGinn are also lined up, given their experience in the Premier League.
Gabriel Jesus of the city and free agent Paulo Dybala could help unload the burden in attack for Kane and Son, while the pair also add a lot of title and Champions League experience to the side.
If he gets his desire to sign several new faces, Conte will have enough of the balancing act when it comes to staying within the home boundaries, but players are likely to be sent on the road.
It remains to be seen whether Levy will support Conte in the summer. If he doesn’t, Spurs fans could still experience how the supporters of Inter Milan and Chelsea felt after he left the club.
But if he gets the full support and gets his way, and he’s already brought in Ivan Perisic from Inter, silverware could quite realistically be on the cards for Tottenham next season.
If Conte received full support, silverware could realistically be on the cards next season