Antonio Conte is a great coach, but is he compatible with Spurs?

Antonio Conte should be confirmed as Spurs boss before the afternoon Mailbox. Send your thoughts to


Ole’s shape
With the initial anger and frustration at Ole’s line up on the weekend now spent, maybe it’s time to put a more positive glint on it.

Ole has now seen (I hesitate to say learned) that two up front works wonders. You’d think he’d know this, since it worked so well for him as a player and he has four wonderful strikers to rotate, but however this moment has been reached, fingers crossed that we can look forward to a future of Rashford and Greenwood upfront as should be. Man, Rashford is a player.

352 could work, as long as we use players who can actually be wingers. This would mean a lopsided one, with Shaw as a wingback, Sancho as an actual winger and AWB providing the pacy cover. Would be good news is it would mean we don’t have to risk both Maguire and Lindelof at the same time (and hopefully neither in due course). It means that we patch over the missing CDM until Christmas or Summer (or while someone learns the role), and means VdB may actually see the pitch again. Not so good when it is really 532, because using Sancho as a wingback is as much sense as it would have been to ask Ronaldo to do that back in 2007, and not playing him at all is, frankly, f*cking stupid.

442 would still be fine, in whatever layout. I can see a happy future of a back four with a left side of both Telles and Shaw covering and attacking at will. Two left footers delivering crosses and width… Ok, I’ll stop before I do a Neville sex wee.

However, it does still mean someone needs to learn how to be a CDM. Obviously, it’s McTominay, but no one seems to be telling him or training him on this, which is strange. Maybe that’s something to come back to.

What a mental season this is looking to be. After the shambles of the first quarter of the season so far, it’s absurd that neither United nor Arsenal are entirely out of it with other teams dropping their winning advantages. Could be the most competitive league in a while, or maybe there are a lot of inconsistent sides. Either way, it’s fun.


Conte’s Spurs
You can probably imagine how exciting it is to be a Spurs fan currently with the news about Conte being close to signing. I have created a potential starting 11 below based on a couple of the more strongly rumoured transfers going through in January. It’s based on the 3421 that Conte used at Chelsea and I believe it’s stronger than that side before Conte took over and improved players like Moses and Alonso.


De Ligt
De Vrij




That looks like a Premier League winning starting 11 to me. Maybe not this season but next season. Strong in central defence and midfield with pace and energy in the wide positions and goals and creativity in the forward positions. I will be biting my nails over the next 24 hours waiting for the Conte appointment to be confirmed as I believe he will lead the club into a trophy-laden era of success at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Barry Fox


Not convinced by Conte
I don’t live in the UK so currently catching up on the Nuno fall out from overnight.

While appointing blame in various proportions is fair and obvious for the current edition of the Tottenham Omnishambles (depending on your preference, any combination of Nuno, the players, and the board) its regularly debated that Levy has been at the helm and core of every poor decision on the footballing side of the business.

A fairly large portion of Spurs support, bloggers and YouTube channels regularly push the Levy/ENIC out dialogue but the fact remains Levy is Chairman of a private company and between him and his family own 30% of ENIC, which owns 85% of Spurs. No one can sack Levy or get ENIC out. The shares in Spurs would need to be sold, and I really do not see this happening and it definitely won’t happen just because fans complain. Imagine if this was any other form of business where loyal consumers were loudly asking for the Chairman to kindly seek alternative employment and divest of his or her investments with banners and booing. It simply wouldn’t happen. The only way to vote on this is with your wallet, but Levy has rescued his reliance on fans buying Spurs trinkets and match day experiences by his revenue generating machine at the new, unsponsored, Lane.

Alas unless the club is sold (and given its roots and links to the Jewish community, it’s probably fair to say only big league ballers from the US would ever be likely suitors) the merry go round will continue. As a long suffering Spurs fan I’ve been through far worse times than this, but pointing the finger at Levy and expecting anything to change is in old man and clouds territory.

Conte seems a stretch although the press seem convinced he’s on his way to sign a deal, but the chances of this particular marriage should it occur not ending in an ugly divorce are practically non existent.

Won’t somebody think of the children.
Andy Mac, Vancouver Spur.


F365 Says: Might Manchester United have both won and lost El Sackico?


Kane, Conte and Ole
Harry Kane. So many players these days are over rated by press, pundits and fans. We have a fair few at Man Utd with the obvious being Pogba/Maguire and the other 7. Harry Kane is right up there as possibly one of the most over rated players I have ever seen.
Looking at his stats he looks alright but really, is he?

Last season he assisted more and people were praising how much he had developed his game. I would totally disagree and say that it is showing a massive decline in pace (not that he ever had any) and not being able to get into the box quick enough. Or bothered enough. Man I feel sorry for Son who is massively under rated.

His league form stats are ok for a striker but not anywhere near a 150 million quid and have been declining since 17/18 season.

He was England’s worst performing player at the Euro’s and at the WC despite being top scorer with quite possibly the worst hat trick in football history. He’ll probably break the England goalscoring record and that must be depressing for the players before him. Just imagine Alan Shearer in his prime playing in the games that England play today.

His attitude on Saturday was embarrassing. At least when Utd get hammered they moan, throw their arms up and act like the spoilt entitled brats they are. With Kane, there is nothing, it’s vacant behind those eyes.

The lights aren’t even on. There is nothing there.

I don’t think City were that keen on him during the summer. Honestly, I think it was a bit of Pep mind games seeing if he can bump the price up for Utd (no evidence to back that up), but when amazingly Utd didn’t bite they pulled out. No way they were ever going to pay what Levy was asking. They dodged a bullet. But then they spent 100 mill on Grealish which is equally as crazy.

Some say he is sulking as he wasn’t allowed to leave. Of course he could leave, if someone offered a price the club would accept.
He was so overjoyed at being given a 6 year contract on a ridiculous salary that he forgot to add something like a release clause.

These bloody players, and it isn’t just him, these bloody players who moan they can’t leave a club they freely chose to contract themselves to, on weekly salaries that most of us don’t even earn in 10 years, down tools because they didn’t get what they wanted. F*** em!!

He has never turned up in any big finals or big games. Ever!
He is basically Lukaku but a damn sight worse. Great against the little boys but bang out of depth against anyone with half a defending brain.
Did I mention he is slow? He’s got a Fifa pace of 68, that’s generous.

I think it may be club bias that makes Kane out to be a superstar that he clearly isn’t.

Some pundit over the weekend suggested that if he was Levy he would be on the phone to Pep now saying ‘OK what about 100, 90, 80?’ Just like that yeah. Even if Kane was free, I wouldn’t have him at Utd, we have too many with his personality traits.

So anyway, I don’t care if anyone suggests that Kane is a world class striker and that I’m talking nonsense. I’ll just be over in the corner laughing to myself. Just the same way I laugh when I hear people laud over most of that Utd team.

Can we just spare a thought for Bailly, Beek, Sancho and those 2 wingers Utd bought last summer, in that Ole and Man Utd have totally destroyed their careers. Never given a real chance or any chance under Ole despite those in front being allowed to play worse than League 2 standard football for months and never being dropped. Keeping the players happy Ole, good lad, keep hold of the wheel son.

Thanks Spurs and in part Kane for ensuring that we have to suffer yet more misery this season.

Finally, a big round of applause, pat on the back, high fives all over to the ones who laughably said they don’t want Conte as he plays 5-3-2 yet applaud Ole for his Tactics masterstroke. You can’t make this up.

The Spurs clusterf*ck
As a lifelong Spurs fan, following them since i was an 80’s child and the ‘glory’ days of 1991, it’s been a rollercoaster ride the whole way, but this really does feel like a new low. Buidling a fantastic new stadium and then not having gate receipts and all the extras that come with that must have had a massive impact on the business side of the club, and possibly more so than most other PL clubs due to the massive expenditure this entailed, but if the chairman and the board are only interested in this side of things and not what actually happens on the pitch then that speaks volumes. What’s the point in having a shiny new toy if the contents are sh*te!?

Nuno was never right for the club and all this talk of DNA just shows Levy knows what to say and when, but not what to do or when. Mugging off the supporter’s trust when they ask questions that he deems too hard and clearly doesn’t have the answers to isn’t exactly the ideal way to build bridges with the fans.

That says, if he gets in Conte and we get Champs League football next season and a Cup final (better still some silverware) will anyone really remember or care about the shitshow that has been the season so far?
Dave, glad I moved to Aus so I don’t have to deal with UK media, Perth


The real winners
If Man Yoo beating Spurs means they are stuck with Solskjaer, but Spurs upgrade to Conte, does that mean…Spurs won? Is this Spursy in reverse?
John, Chicago


Narrative watch
So basically in the last month one big thing happened, one medium thing happened, and one medium thing continues to happen…

Well then, that happened

1 Newcastle (up 2): *Insert sub-narrative of choice
Bad owner gone, ‘bad’ manager gone, new owner worse in every way – except what they bring to the table as a football club owner. Will be interesting to see how long the outrage continues, already feels like its dying (although dropping 100m on Hazard / Kroos in January might change that)

2 Spurs (down 1): Spurs are effed
I love this storyline – 7th choice manager gets the ar$e after drubbings against the local rival and a bleeding ManU, with ownership spooked they might miss out on the #1 managerial free agent. Only issue is that Conte will inevitably blow the place up, picking fights with ownership on the way (he might also win some trophies). If Conte doesn’t succeed my guess is fans will blame Levy, not Conte. Or they miss out on Conte altogether and have to unveil Eddie Howe as some sort of coup / the guy they were going after all along. Awfully big gamble from ownership, with an awfully big spotlight on them…

3 Man U (down 1): Ole Out
Are you not entertained! Thank Christ for Tottenham, but fixtures against City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Villareal in the next month will be genuinely fascinating. Add in Ronaldo and Pogba being their own inimitable selves, Ole’s mates in the media storyline, and a hollow midfield guaranteeing every game is a battle and this will-Bambi-get-shot storyline gets better and beter…

4 Arsenal (up 1): Arteta in
Bandwagon pretty full at the minute. Arsenal fans were giving Arteta until about now to prove his value, but its not a good look when you’re looking enviously at West Ham – and to some extent Crystal Palace

5 Chelsea (down 1): Win the PL
Move down as a function of the above hogging the limelight more than anything else. 4 wins after their last loss

6 West Ham (up 4): Finish higher than 7th
Wowsa. A manager who can’t really aspire to a higher step, leading a London-based club with a strong playing group in their prime. This will be fun for another season and a half

7 Liverpool (down 1): Better than last year
No one seems to care. Have heard 5 x more about Mo Salah playstationing past people and Simeone running up the tunnel than Liverpool as a whole

8 Everton (up 1): Finish higher than 7th
3 losses on the bounce. But a super-congested table means they’re still in the thick of it

9 Leicester (up 3): Rodgers as next man up
Battered Arsenal and lost 2-0. Done Rodgers no favours there…

10 Leeds (up 3): Out of gas
Critics will be coming out of the woodwork if they can’t stay above the relegation fight…

11 Villa (down 3): Actually good
Cant explain this one. 4 losses on the bounce, last one somewhat unlucky, gave Arsenal and Tottenham life, tough loss against Wolves. Will be in the relegation fight if they don’t take care…

12 Crystal Palace (up 7): Finish between 10th and 15th
I mean they’re still finishing between 10th and 15th, but Vieira has got something here…

13 Wolves (up 2): Staying up
Has there been less said about a surprising upper mid-table side ever?

14 Brighton (down 3): Top half
See above

15 Burnley (up 1): Continuing to defy gravity
It begins!

16 Watford (down 2): *New story: How many managers in the season
I mean there’s a clear plan from ownership, but no dead cat bounce and a real fear that Ranieri gives his reputation a whack getting fired in 8 games… I say 4 managers

17 Brentford (down 10): Staying up!
Prediction not aging well…

18 Southampton (down 1): Do something interesting
Appears highly unlikely…

19 City (up 1): Need a striker
Still winner of the moneybags league given Newcastle are still 3 seasons away from the Champions League. And still signing Haaland in the summer

20 Norwich (down 1): Care about staying in the PL
This must suck to watch…
Simon – formerly of London


Ramsdale for England
Pickford has been a good servant. But…

I’d like to make an outlandish prediction for December 2022: Aaron Ramsdale is coming home with a World Cup winner’s medal. Who’s with me?
Simon, Norf London Gooner x

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