As the Mauricio Pochettino saga continues to swirl on without the Argentine making any kind of statement about his future, Tottenham may have finally decided to move on. According to Fabrizio Romano, Tottenham is now in talks with Antonio Conte as manager and Fabio Paratici as director of football. While neither deal is done, this is a positive movement in a drama taking far too long.
Tottenham have two needs
We all know that only hiring a coach and not re-organizing some of the football operations is not going to be good enough at Tottenham Hotspur. After bringing in a known winner and then not building around that knowledge, we have to hope Daniel Levy has learned something.
For coaches to win they do not have to necessarily have the best players but they do have to have their players. When I say their players, players that fit their style and approach. It was obvious before he came that Tottenham did not really fit Mourinho and then instead of bringing in the talent to fill the gaps, Spurs signed Gareth Bale.
A real director of football uses knowledge not emotion
Gareth Bale coming back, just like hanging on to Dele Alli or Harry Winks has more to do with the ethos of the club and the DNA of the club than it does actually winning football matches. Tottenham has allowed far too many players to hang around for far too long doing far too little.
With a serious director of football in charge – Paratici built Juventus up from Serie B – the team can expect to both identify, attract, and hopefully sign some top-quality talent. Spurs have lived on emotional decisions and long-term targets for too long, some new thinking is in order.
Just as important as having a director of football who knows talent is one that knows the talent the coach desires. Conte and Paratici have worked together twice at Juventus with tremendous success both times.
Conte a coach Tottenham needs
There seems to be a narrative about Conte that says he leaves places as a mess and leaves on bad terms. The fact that Paratici brought back Conte after a brief time away to Juventus should tell us something. As should the fact that this seems to be a bit of a package deal. Would Paratici want to hook his wagon to a coach that is only going to burn the place down?
The reality is, likely some Tottenham players are scared. Conte is not going to come in and call players the “c” word like Mourinho, he is going to come in and kick their butts like Pochettino. Maybe it will not be the two-sessions-a-day schedule of the Argentine but Conte is a no-nonsense coach who will demand more from this team.
Ultimately, Conte is exactly what the teams need a coach who does not expect more – like Mourinho – or hope for more – like Pochetttino – but demands more and has players that deliver. While just like with Mourinho’s hire there are no guarantees with Conte, we do know if given the tools he finds ways to win, and winning is what great club DNA is all about.