Antonio Conte might explode in his touchline celebrations but the Tottenham Hotspur manager doesn’t often let it carry over to his post-match press conferences.
Conte was, of course, delighted that Spurs came back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits and claimed all three points at Leicester City when Steven Bergwijn scored in the fifth and seventh minutes of stoppage time.
Spurs are now just behind third-place Chelsea on points-per-game and they are absolutely surging under Conte. Tottenham has weather COVID-19 concerns and more — we’re talking three postponements — and has only dropped points three times in nine Premier League matches under the Italian.
But this is as close to a statement win you’ll find in his performances. Yes, even if we included the 2-2 draw with Liverpool where Spurs were a better side over 90 minutes.
Tottenham deserved all three points. They might’ve needed all 97 minutes to get them, but they got them. But Conte won’t get ahead of himself.
What does Conte believe about Spurs’ season hopes?
“We have to try to continue to work, to improve and if there is the possibility in this transfer market to improve also numerically the number of this squad it will be very important because we need to try to.
“We know very well we have to fight against every team in England. In England the level is very high. It was good to have this run of nine games and for this reason now we’re seeing Tottenham in this position in the table. On the one hand it’s good but on the other hand we have to be very honest and understand we’re doing well but it will be very difficult to keep this position.
“We want to continue to work very hard, continue to try to fight, and give our best. This must be our target, that at the end of the season we are sure we gave everything and the position we reached in the table means we deserved this position.”
Tottenham should keep its expectations about performance as Conte tries to get the most out of his men before addressing the team in the summer.
That’s not to say Spurs won’t add players this month and have an even better shot of landing in the top four, but the summer is where business gets done and when Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy won’t get a pass from his decorated boss.
What should we believe Spurs can do this season?
First of all, Antonio Conte is a top-tier manager and he’s got a top-tier striker and a team of decent players, many of whom have big-game experience.
Several have big-game experience in a Tottenham shirt.
Spurs are taking just under 1.9 points-per-game this season, less than .2 ppg behind third-place Chelsea.
But Conte’s words come at a calculated time, as Tottenham has lost two League Cup matches to the Blues and he doesn’t want expectations to get too loaded before Sunday’s visit to Stamford Bridge
Yet should Spurs get all three points they should honestly be considered almost a lock to drive Into the top four and possibly third, too.
Spurs still have Man City, Liverpool, Manchester United, and Chelsea away, with just Arsenal left at home. It’s going to be a slog, but Conte’s done it before and is a born winner.
Kane is back in the league’s top 10 for expected goals per 90 minutes and he’s top 30 for expected assists/90. The team is a top-five passing team in the PL and have now edged into the top five in shots on target per game.
It’s not a stretch to believe that Conte’s acumen, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s grit, and the leadership of Kane, Heung-min Son, and Hugo Lloris makes Tottenham a top-four probability if they can hold off their North London derby rivals and steal some away results against the big boys.