Tag Archives: Antonio Conte

How Dele Alli can revive his dwindling career in January

There was a period in time where Dele Alli was one of the most feared goalscoring midfielders in the country, but that time has long gone.

Dele is currently a bit part player at best for Tottenham after losing that goalscoring touch, and reports suggest he is now likely to leave the club in January either on loan or permanently.

But how can the former England star reignite the flame on his dwindling career? There are a few clubs that could provide the platform for him to do it.

Newcastle United

This seems to be the consensus among many, but Newcastle could do with someone of the profile of Dele and Dele could do with a brand new environment.

Newcastle are in a relegation battle but have got the funds for January to be able to completely turn their fortunes around. Dele would likely come on considerable wages, but if Eddie Howe can get the best out of him once more he could be huge for their season.

Tottenham Hotspur's Dele Alli and Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles during the English Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle...

With Callum Wilson the club’s only real source for goals, Dele would be given the chance to re-find his taste for the back of the net and the fans would absolutely adore him from the first minute he pulled the shirt on.


Another team that is desperate for new blood is Rafa Benitez’s Everton side, who have just one win in their last ten Premier League games.

Injuries have plagued them, especially in forward areas, and they have scored only 20 goals in 16 games so far this season. Dele will be seen by any potential signings as a source for goals despite his poor record in recent years, but they know that it is there to be unlocked once again.

Richarlison of Everton challenges for the ball with Dele Alli during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison...

Some fresh blood would be good for them and a potential loan deal would suit all parties, with Rafa Benitez having a natural option to play in the number ten role he likes using.

West Ham

It worked for Jesse Lingard, so why not Dele?

The Hammers are in the hunt for a top four place once again this season, currently occupying the position in the league table as we approach the halfway point of the season.

Jesse Lingard of England celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 1-0 during the International Friendly match between England and United States at...

Last year the arrival of Lingard gave the whole club a boost and his goals and form pushed them to a Europa League spot and revived his career to the point where he got back in the England squad and Manchester United opted to keep him around in the summer.

Dele could have a similar effect in a new squad with great spirit and a style of play that suits him. The rivalry between the clubs could see a deal never materialise, especially with Spurs hopeful of top four themselves, but it could be the perfect move for Dele.

Every Premier League manager – Ranked

With Newcastle United set to complete their task of appointing a new manager this week, the Premier League’s managerial hotseats have just become even more full.

It seems as though Eddie Howe will be the man to fill the void at St James’ Park, after Unai Emery sensationally rejected their offer after being interested in a move earlier in the week. But with 19 other managers in a job currently, where do they all rank?

I’ve ranked each manager and explained (briefly) my reasoning for their position based on preference of style, achievements and coaching of players.

19. Daniel Farke – Norwich

Twice Farke has come up to the Premier League with his Norwich side, and twice he’s been absolutely battered every time.

The German has a style but it seems to be more accustomed to the Championship, where his side is one of the big dogs and he can’t turn that into anything substantial at the top level, so he must go at the bottom.

18. Sean Dyche – Burnley

Maybe controversial for him to be so low, but the style of football grinds me and he’s got nothing other than scraping survival year on year to show for it.

The one season he tried to expand a little saw Burnley dumped out of the Europa League before the group stages even started. The football is too old school for me, but he gets results so it keeps him off the bottom.

17. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Manchester United

Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur...

Another potentially controversial selection, the Manchester United boss is in the relegation spots here.

No obvious style of play, no defensive awareness about his sides and results only tend to come because of the quality of player he has at his disposal. If he got another Premier League job it would be in this region of the table.

16. Ralph Hassenhuttl – Southampton

This is a weird one for the Austrian, because he’s clearly got something about him.

Hassenhuttl likes to play expansive, attacking football but while his ideas are the right ones he seems to struggle with the actual execution of them. 9-0 defeats in consecutive seasons tells me he’s too stubborn to adapt too, so he slots in towards the bottom.

15. Claudio Ranieri – Watford

It seems harsh to have a Premier League winner this far down the rankings, but times have moved and Ranieri isn’t what he once was.

The ‘tinkerman’ tends to play counter-attacking football but it all seems very freestyled when watching his sides and defensively they’ve never been the best. His achievements earn him this height though.

14. Mikel Arteta – Arsenal

Mikel Arteta, Manager of Arsenal reacts during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on October 26,...

Hear me out. Arteta’s Arsenal are showing improvements in recent months now that he doesn’t have many injuries, but I’m still not convinced.

They seem organised enough for now, but the discipline issues remain and whenever they concede a goal they look frail mentally. He’s young in his career and could certainly move up the list in years to come but for now, he’s low down in my ranking of bosses.

13. Bruno Lage – Wolves

Not a lot of experience for the Portuguese manager here, but what he did at Benfica really stands out to me.

Plenty of focus on attacking football, using different player profiles to get what he needs from his teams. They play exciting football and score goals and the fact he has switched Wolves around as quickly as he has is testament to his coaching skills. Like Arteta, he could move up the ranks over the years.

12. Dean Smith – Aston Villa

Smith may have hit his ceiling with Aston Villa now, but the job he has done to this point is nothing short of excellent.

He took over in the Championship, got them to play front-foot, attacking football while also setting up a good defensive base and was rewarded with a cup final and a top half finish. He’s probably at his peak as a coach now, which means mid-table is where he sits.

11. Patrick Vieira – Crystal Palace

There may be a bit of recency bias in this pick, but the job Vieira is doing at Selhurst Park is incredibly good right now.

He struggled at Nice after moving from the MLS but the way in which he has transformed the squad’s way of playing in such a short space of time is delightful. Possession football with young and flairy players, Vieira’s stock is only going to rise.

10. Thomas Frank – Brentford

Thomas Frank, Manager of Brentford reacts after his sides defeat in the Premier League match between Burnley and Brentford at Turf Moor on October...

Honestly, I can’t praise this man enough. The job he has done since taking over at Brentford has been tremendous, but the transition they have made into Premier League football is even better.

They play attacking football, with a mix of possession and going direct, while they’re brave with playing out from the back and strong defensively. I fully expect them to stay up and think Frank will be on a lot of club’s radars higher up the league should the managerial merry-go-round start later this season.

9. Graham Potter – Brighton & Hove Albion

Not a big name in the slightest but the job he has done since coming to English football has not gone unnoticed.

Potter’s sides play excellent possession football with a major focus on control and scoring goals, just like a Pep Guardiola side. He’s still young in his career to rank him much higher than this, but you have to assume that with better players he gets better results, so he’s one to keep an eye on.

8. Marcelo Bielsa – Leeds United

Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on October 26, 2021 in...

Possibly the most gung-ho manager in all of football, Bielsa’s methods and philosophy are legendary across Europe and now he does it for Leeds.

The one vs one battles he creates all over the pitch rely on intense discipline from each player and unbelievable fitness levels, something he drills into every player. He improves individuals on a regular basis and entertains, but really should’ve won more in his career considering the reputation he has.

7. Rafa Benitez – Everton

A Champions League winner, a La Liga winner, an FA Cup winner, Rafa Benitez is one of the best coaches of his generation.

The issue for him unfortunately, is that generation was about 15 years ago. Rafa was at his best in the mid 2000’s to mid 2010’s during his time with Valencia and Liverpool but since then his football has become very rigid and uninspiring. He can still get results, but I don’t expect him to pull up any trees between now and the end of his career.

6. David Moyes – West Ham

Moyes’ career seemed dead and buried after his Man United spell almost a decade ago, but the way he has built his reputation back up has been nothing short of excellent.

He’s build a West Ham side that now competes with the best teams in the country when they face off against each other and is one of the toughest to beat, while also scoring plenty of goals going forward. The only thing he’s missing now is a trophy or two.

5. Brendan Rodgers – Leicester City

Rodgers showed what a great coach he was during his time with Watford and Swansea, then the Liverpool job when he made them genuine title contenders with brilliant, attacking football.

That job came a little early for him in the end, but he went to Celtic and was dominant and has made Leicester a truly competitive side. He even added the FA Cup to his trophy cabinet, so he is comfortably the best of the rest for me.

4. Antonio Conte – Tottenham

Antonio Conte, head coach of Tottenham Hotspur observes the squad during a training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on November 02, 2021...

The new Tottenham manager has a proven CV in the managerial world and is without a doubt one of the best in the world.

His 3-4-3 formation has seen him win Serie A titles, a Premier League title and an FA Cup and his management style makes all his sides incredibly difficult to beat. Sometimes though, that pragmatism takes over and not losing gets prioritised over winning, so he just misses out on the top three.

3. Thomas Tuchel – Chelsea

A brilliant thinker with positive attacking football his forté, Tuchel has come to Chelsea and flipped a switch to become a brilliant defensive coach now.

Chelsea barely ever concede goals and yet they still find a way to score goals and win trophies. He’s shown he can do all sides of the game to a high level and has the trophies to boot with a Champions League winners medal so he goes in at third.

2. Pep Guardiola – Manchester City

When it’s all said and done and Guardiola hangs up his coaching hat, he could go down as one of the absolute best ever.

He’s won everything there is to win twice over, playing brilliant attacking football and revolutionising the way teams all over the world approach the game. He improves players individually, improves teams endlessly and wins games with style. The only flaw for me is he’s always had to spend a lot of money to do it, but that’s why teams bring him in and he always delivers.

1. Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool FC at Molineux on January 23,...

For me, the best coach in world football not just the Premier League.

Klopp came into a Liverpool side and implemented a brand new style immediately, and slowly but surely built his squad to become one of the best sides in modern history that won it all. They play fast-paced football with the first though always to score goals, have pace and are brave in their positions.

If I was starting a football club and could make anyone the manager, I’d pick Klopp.

Antonio Conte to replace Nuno Espirito Santo as Tottenham manager

Antonio Conte is set to become the new Tottenham manager after agreeing to take over from Nuno Espirito Santo.

The north London club parted ways with Santo after just 17 games in charge of the club on Monday morning, with the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United at the weekend the final straw for chairman Daniel Levy.

Santo was dismissed with the club in eighth place, having lost five of their last seven games in charge of the club in the Premier League.

Tottenham attempted to hire Antonio Conte in the summer after their dismissal of Jose Mourinho in April, only for the Italian coach to reject their offer citing concerns over the club’s project.

However after further talks over the last 24 hours with director of football Fabio Paratici, it’s believed that he is now very open to taking the job after receiving some assurances.

According to reports in Italy, Conte has demanded several signings be made during the January transfer window in order to improve the squad and also a contract until 2023.

It’s believed that the former Chelsea and Inter Milan boss will fly to London on Monday afternoon to complete the deal and then take training on Tuesday morning ahead of his first game in charge against Vitesse on Thursday in the Europa Conference League, before a trip to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

The news is a huge boost to Spurs fans who were vocal about their dislike towards Santo, who was appointed in the summer after a host of failed attempts to lure other managers to the club left him as the only viable option.

But with the board acting quickly to try and correct the bad decision made in the summer, Conte is a sure-fire way to boost the morale of fans and get the club buzzing again before it’s too late.

Conte has won the Premier League, FA Cup, four Serie A titles and two Italian Super Cups during his managerial career and will be trying to win Spurs their first trophy since 2008 when they won the League Cup under Juande Ramos.

Nuno Espirito Santo sacked by Tottenham Hotspur

Nuno Espirito Santo has been sacked by Tottenham Hotspur after just 17 games in charge.

The Portuguese manager took over from the sacked Jose Mourinho in the summer after leaving Wolves by mutual consent.

However after starting the season with three wins from three with zero goals conceded, the north London side’s season has fallen off a cliff and they have now lost five of their last seven games in the Premier League.

The fans have been vocal about not wanting the former Porto goalkeeper in charge because of his negative style of play, but that climaxed at the weekend after they were thumped 3-0 at home by Manchester United.

Spurs failed to register a single shot on target in the game, marking the first time since 2013 that that has happened at their home ground.

Santo was audibly booed when he chose to substitute Lucas Moura for Steven Bergwijn during the game, with chants of “you don’t know what you’re doing” going around the stadium during the game.

Reports in the media now state that chairman Daniel Levy was furious with the performance and the club have sacked him as a result.

It’s believed that the club now believe that while it was clear that he was never the first choice option for the job, it’s a decision that has now come back to bite the club as he has only added to the turmoil surrounding the board’s decision making.

Reports in Italy suggest they will retry for Antonio Conte to take over although it is unknown if he is interested after turning the position down in the summer.

Why Antonio Conte isn’t a good fit for the Manchester United job

If one thing is sure right now at Manchester United, it’s that there needs to be a change of manager as soon as possible.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is, as of this writing, currently still the manager at Old Trafford despite the embarrassing 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.

But there are reports doing the rounds now that the club hierarchy are considering his position as manager of the club, and some even state that Antonio Conte has been included on the shortlist of potential replacements.

Now lets get this clear, Conte would 100 per cent be an upgrade on Solskjaer.

He is a brilliant coach, with a track record for success at club level and even internationally with Italy where he kickstarted the journey that has led to them becoming European champions under Roberto Mancini.

He led Juventus to three successive Serie A titles before leaving after a fall-out with the board. He took Italy to the quarter-finals with wins over number 1 ranked Belgium and reigning champions Spain, before a penalty-shootout defeat to Germany at Euro 2016.

He then came to the Premier League with Chelsea and won the Premier League in his first season, before winning the FA Cup the following year and leaving following another bust up with the board.

Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea poses with the Premier League Trophy after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford...

Then at Inter Milan, he missed out on the Serie A title by just one point in his first season before then waltzing to the club’s first championship since the days of Jose Mourinho in 2011. He left Inter in the summer after the club informed him of their plans to sell a key player to make money.

There is no doubting his ability to coach, but one thing all those teams have in common in addition to their success is the profile of the squad and the players he brought in. It goes totally against what Manchester United currently have and have been doing in the market.

Conte is a big advocate of a three-at-the-back formation and the truth is that United’s defenders aren’t good. So it’s a positive that they’d get extra help, but United don’t have great full-backs either.

United’s biggest strength is their wingers and attackers, who play at pace and are all a great goal threat. So limiting the amount of attackers that can play in the team because of the need for an extra defender seems counter productive to the team.

Inter Milan's Italian coach Antonio Conte reacts during the UEFA Champions League first round first leg, group B, football match between Inter Milan...

Conte is also an incredibly opinionated manager which would be great for fans who are sick of the board making footballing decisions based on no experience. However despite that, the likelihood of the Glazers appointing a manager at this stage who won’t support them publicly is unlikely.

Add to that the fact that Conte would require further huge investment in a squad to overhaul it to fit in with his style and moniker, before likely leaving a couple of years later after a bust up with the board then it makes you question whether it’s worth risking a Jose Mourinho v2 appointment.

Another big concern of mine is his tendency not to use young players. While at Chelsea he had access to one of the best academies in the land and yet opted to experienced signings and shuffling players into new positions.

Players like Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho are in the first-team currently but could find their position under threat or forced to perform roles that are far from their best.

Manchester United's English striker Mason Greenwood celebrates scoring the opening goal with Manchester United's English striker Jadon Sancho during...

Youngsters such as Hannibal Mejbri, Shola Shoretire, Anthony Elanga, Teden Mengi, James Garner and Ethan Galbraith could quickly find their path to the first-team blocked and United would be throwing away bags of talent.

The best way for United to ensure a successful appointment for their next manager is to decide on a playing style and personality type they want in charge and then appoint based on that. Not pick a big name or pick someone who doesn’t align with those processes.

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich will appoint a nobody so long as they align with the thoughts of the board, because they’re not scared to wave the axe if necessary.

If Manchester United want to be considered a top club again, then they need to start acting like one. All this talk of ‘United DNA’ or ‘the United way of playing’ is nonsense if you don’t appoint staff that adhere to it.

Ole tried and failed. Conte wouldn’t even try, just like Mourinho didn’t. That’s not what the club needs and why United should stay away from Conte.

Antonio Conte to Tottenham is a marriage destined to end in flames

It seems as though Tottenham Hotspur have finally settled upon their new manager as they close in on appointing Antonio Conte.

Spurs have been without a manager since sacking Jose Mourinho in April, with former midfielder Ryan Mason fulfilling a caretaker role until the end of the season.

Chairman Daniel Levy has been linked with several different coaches including Erik Ten Haag, Eddie Howe, Max Allegri and Nuno Espirito Santo since the end of the campaign but it seems now that none of those men will become the next boss.

Allegri returned to Juventus following a two-year spell away from management, replacing Andrea Pirlo who was sacked after leading the Turin side to a fourth placed finish in Serie A.

After originally attempting to bring back former manager Mauricio Pochettino from Paris Saint-Germain, the Ligue 1 side completely refused to release the Argentine from his contract and insist that he is happy to continue with them despite reports to the contrary.

Because of that, it seems Spurs have now moved on after spending a short while prioritising Pochettino and that search has now taken them to former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte.

Conte won Serie A with Inter Milan last season, ending an 11 year run without a title for the club. He walked away from the club at the end of the season however after a dispute with the board, who informed him that they needed to sell at least one key player to bring in around €70m to help balance the books.

That meant he would have no money to spend to continue building the team to challenge next season and decided that was reason enough to leave, with their visions no longer aligned.

It’s not the first time that Conte has walked out on a job after disagreements with the board, as he resigned from his post as Juventus manager for similar reasons before being sacked by Chelsea despite winning the Premier League and FA Cup in his two seasons due to fall outs with the squad and board.

So joining up with notoriously tough chairman Daniel Levy seems like a marriage destined to end by going up in flames.

Conte is without a doubt a world class manager, who has a phenomenal ability to get the absolute maximum out of average. Spurs’ squad at the moment is strong, but is also at the tail end of it’s run and without much cash to spend Conte is unlikely to have free reign in the transfer market.

With Harry Kane desperate to leave this summer, that’s something that will surely come up in conversations between the two parties’ negotiations.

If Conte is promised that Kane will stay and then he doesn’t, the relationship will start off on the wrong foot immediately while if he does stay he’ll be beginning his tenure with his best player far from happy.

Spurs fans are also notorious for wanting to play exciting, attacking football which is not something Conte is particularly known for. The Italian has always had most of his success with a three-at-the-back formation that is centred around being structurally sound and as solid as possible defensively so as to not lose games easily.

He’s also known to be quite confrontational with his squad if necessary, and considering the squad of players didn’t take so well to Mourinho’s style of management it’s hard to know how they’d react to Conte’s way.

Despite that, he is without doubt the best manager on the market right now and would prove to be a real coup.

I think many teams in the Premier League would be wary of coming up against a Conte-led Spurs side next season and he would put a real fighters mentality into the squad. But ultimately, this is a partnership that won’t work long-term.

Conte is too volatile and Levy isn’t the type to stand for much nonsense or be pushed around by his manager, so while there would likely be some short-term progress and success it would all come burning down by the end of his tenure.

Real Madrid bringing back Carlo Ancelotti is bizarre

Real Madrid have made yet another shocking move in the managerial world after they made Carlo Ancelotti their new manager once again.

Ancelotti was the manager of Los Blancos between 2013 and 2015 winning a Copa Del Rey, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup during his time at the club.

He left after finishing as runner up to an MSN-led Barcelona in La Liga, with president Florentino Perez claiming the decision was made “with a heavy heart”.

But after a spell with Bayern Munich and then 18 months with Everton, Ancelotti has seemingly shown the Madrid board enough that they’re willing to bring him back to replace recently departed boss Zinedine Zidane.

Zizou served as Ancelotti’s assistant as Madrid lifted ‘La Decima’ and the Frenchman credited the former Milan and Juventus boss for teaching him a lot. But considering recent campaigns, the decision to bring Ancelotti back seems very rushed and bizarre.

He’s hardly lit the Premier League up since joining the Toffees, leading them to a 12th and 10th placed finish in his one-and-a-half seasons with the club. He’s developed some good talent while there, with the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin shining since his arrival while others like defender Ben Godfrey has really improved his all-round game.

But other than a few stand-out performers and some big spending, Ancelotti has barely improved the side.

They didn’t play particularly attractive football, didn’t earn European football during his time at the club and hardly stood out in a league full of top coaches. His in-game management has always left plenty to be desired and now it seems as though it’s his cup competition pedigree that has attracted Perez back to him.

Real Madrid Celebration After UEFA Champions League Final : News Photo

He’s one of only two managers, along with Zidane, to win the Champions League three times and with Madrid so hell-bent on bringing the trophy back to the club it seems like he’s just decided to go with what he knows already.

But with Madrid struggling so much financially, it’s unlikely there will be any sort of rebuild this summer or in the near future. That means Ancelotti will be forced to just deal with the squad he has currently, which is not the best.

Several key players will be 30 or over this summer while the futures of Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane are still up in the air.

Without investment it’s really tough to see how the squad can improve on last season’s performances, despite ending the year trophyless.

With Ancelotti going to sign a three-year contract, it seems as though Real Madrid are putting their eggs into his basket in the hope of one last big push to end his career and get them back to the top of the game while the rest of Europe undergo a big transition period.

Risky, bizarre and just weird. But it’s happening. Carlo Ancelotti is the new Real Madrid manager, again.

Zinedine Zidane resigns as Real Madrid boss as Max Allegri returns to Juventus

The European managerial merry-go-round has begun.

As the season comes to an end, the biggest clubs in Europe are making the tough decisions that can break or break the new season and it turns out that the heavyweights want change this summer.

After Antonio Conte resigned as manager of Inter Milan, he has been followed by Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid who officially resigned for the second time with a year left on his contract.

It had been widely expected that Zidane was going to walk away from Madrid again, as he oversaw a trophyless season with the club. He took the La Liga title race all the way to the final day, where Atletico Madrid’s victory meant they claimed the title.

He also took them to the Champions League semi-finals, where they couldn’t overcome a solid Chelsea side and were dumped out following defeat at Stamford Bridge in the second leg. But with so many injuries throughout the season and the club struggling financially, he wasn’t able to get the squad he was promised and has decided to call it a day with no sign of change this summer.

It was believed he was going to be replaced by Max Allegri, who had been without a job for two seasons after leaving Juventus following five consecutive Serie A titles. However, it was revealed on Thursday that Allegri is in fact set to return to Juventus, with the Turin side deciding to sack Andrea Pirlo.

Former midfielder Pirlo was originally hired as the youth team coach, but was promptly promoted once Maurizio Sarri was sacked last summer after winning the league. Despite his legendary status and strong squad, Juventus only finished fourth on the final day when Napoli failed to win allowing the Bianconeri to leapfrog them in the table.

While Pirlo was hopeful of staying, the decision was taken away from him and it seems now that Allegri will return and be given the keys to the rebuild that the club will undertake.

It means that Real Madrid will likely turn their attention to Conte now that he is a free agent. Conte previously almost joined Madrid back in 2018 when Zidane left the first time, but the club in the end went for Julen Lopetegui and we all know how that went.

There is also the chance that the club could go for Mauricio Pochettino, the current PSG manager. After failing to win Ligue 1, it’s believed that he is considering his future at the club after signing an 18-month contract in January of this year.

It was believed that his position could be under threat, but reports in France suggest they are keen to keep him for the upcoming season but he could be tempted to leave with his former club Tottenham Hotspur also back in the race for him.

It’s said that Spurs are confident they could strike a deal with PSG and Pochettino to bring him back to north London less than two years after sacking him. It seems as though both parties are open to making it happen, but PSG aren’t the most keen.

If Spurs and Pochettino were to push for it though, they could look to try and bring Zidane as a replacement. A French legend with plenty of success in Europe as a player and a coach, Zizou could be the perfect answer to the managerial position should it become available.

It’s a managerial merry-go-round in Europe, with the top clubs making big changes at the top. There’s a big summer incoming and there are plenty of twists and turns coming.

Antonio Conte leaves Inter Milan as exodus begins

After two seasons, a Serie A title and a Europa Legue final, Antonio Conte has left Inter Milan.

The Italian coach joined the club in 2019 and reached the Europa League final, losing 3-2 to Sevilla, while finishing one point behind Juventus in the race for the Serie A title.

He followed that performance up this season with a remarkable league run, winning the title for the first time since 2010 by finishing 12 points ahead of city rivals AC Milan.

But after the COVID-19 pandemic caused owners Suning International some really tough times financially, it was reported that Inter needed to make up to €70m worth of sales this summer to survive.

That meant that not only would Conte have no money to spend during this transfer window to bolster his squad, but that his team would get weakened considerably by the sale of a key player or two.

That was enough to convince Conte to walk away from the club, citing a lack of ambition and the two parties agreed on a mutual agreement that would allow him to leave immediately.

Sky Italia’s best reporter Gianluca Di Marzio was the first to break the news and revealed that the club have agreed to pay the former Chelsea coach €7m to leave immediately. He will be free to take another coaching role too, with no compensation required.

Inter will now look to hire quickly to replace him, with Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi and former Milan and Juventus manager Max Allegri among the favourites for the job.

As for Conte, he won’t be short on admirers either. Zinedine Zidane looks likely to leave Real Madrid this summer and Conte has revealed in the past that he was close to signing with the Bernabeu club, only for them to go in a different direction in the end.

After winning the title this season, his stock will be at an all-time high and Madrid will look for a quick replacement too. While it’s expected that Allegri will be their first choice too, if he opts to go for Inter then Conte would be a great alternative.

There is always the possibility of a return to the Premier League with Tottenham too. Spurs sacked Jose Mourinho last season, who has since gone on to join Roma for next season.

Conte enjoyed his time in England, winning the Premier League in his first season before winning the FA Cup with Chelsea before leaving after just two years once again. During that title winning campaign, the Blues had no European football to contend with and while Spurs will be in the UEFA Europa Conference League it should be easy enough to navigate with youth players if the club want to push for a real title challenge.

He would need assurances of cash to spend and that the club would be able to hold on to it’s stars, like Harry Kane, but if Daniel Levy can promise that then he will have a great chance at being able to bring in one of the top coaches in the world.

Conte is able now to move on from a job where he has done really well, without damaging his reputation by going out on a low. So whatever comes next will come with high expectations too, but he seems to thrive in that anyway.

Inter Milan crowned Serie A champions as Antonio Conte proves he’s one of the best

After 11 long years, Inter Milan are the champions of Italy as they were crowned the winners of Serie A on Sunday afternoon.

After a 2-0 win on Saturday against Crotone, Antonio Conte’s side needed Atalanta to drop points to seal the title and after seeing their goalkeeper sent off early on they eventually succumbed to a draw to concede the crown.

It’s the first time that Milan have been crowned as champions of Italy since Jose Mourinho was manager, when they won the treble back in 2010.

It brings to an end Juventus’ domination of Italian football after they won nine in a row, and it’s the man who started that exceptional run in Conte who has now ended it.

Conte won three titles in a row during his time as manager in Serie A with Juventus, before leaving and becoming national team manager after a falling out with the board. Conte then joined Chelsea after an unsuccessful spell with the Azzurri, winning the Premier League in his first season before winning the FA Cup in his second season and leaving following another bust up with the board.

He returned to Italy and took on the role of Inter boss, tasked with the job of overrunning the Juventus powerhouse he helped to create.

In his first season he missed out on the title by just a point to Juventus, but this year they have been relentless in their attempts to become champions. He has made the club’s record signing Romelu Lukaku one of the best strikers in world football, with the Belgian becoming the first player in league history to score 20+ and assist 10+ in the same league season.

He also managed to keep Lautaro Martinez at the club, while using his 3-5-2 system once again to provide defensive stability to a side that were leaking goals before he came in. He has continued to prove that he is a brilliant coach, using the likes of Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young and Arturo Vidal to help the team grow.

He also managed to reintegrate Ivan Perisic into the side, after the Croatian initially left the club on loan in Conte’s first season after believing the system the club were planning to play in didn’t suit him.

But he has adapted to the wing back role brilliantly and been a big help to Inter’s title push. He has built a brotherhood within the team and they created a mentality of us against the world once more, in a similar way to Mourinho all those years ago.

Whether you find his methods entertaining to watch, or question his taste in player when it comes to the transfer market, you can’t deny that Conte is one of the best in the world at what he does.

His next task will be to get some sort of European pedigree in his career, with the best he’s done so far being a losing effort in the Europa League final in 2020 when they lost 3-2 to Sevilla. His Champions League record is pretty poor and is something Inter will be hoping that he can boost as they go into the new season as the defending champions.

He wins trophies everywhere he goes, he drills his teams to master exactly what he wants and they get results. You cannot argue that this man is one of the best coaches on the planet.