Antonio Conte's Tottenham tenure got off to a winning start as Spurs held on for a 3-2 victory against Vitesse in an action-packed Europa Conference League game that saw three red cards.

Life after Nuno Espirito Santo began brilliantly for Spurs, with Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and an own goal from Jacob Rasmussen giving them a firm grip on the game after just 28 minutes. 

However, Rasmussen atoned for his error and Matus Bero brought Vitesse – who won the reverse fixture 1-0 – back to within a goal of restoring parity before half-time, with a previously jubilant Tottenham Hotspur Stadium falling flat. 

Romero's second booking with 30 minutes remaining increased the pressure on Conte's men, but Danilo Doekhi and Markus Schubert also received their marching orders in the final 10 minutes as Vitesse missed a chance to complete a historic comeback.

Ben Davies was perhaps fortunate not to concede a third-minute penalty for a clumsy tackle on Nikolai Frederiksen and Spurs took advantage of that reprieve, Son scoring on the follow-up after Schubert failed to hang onto an effort from Lucas.

Son rattled the upright but Tottenham soon stormed clear as Lucas added a cool finish to Harry Kane's throughball and Rasmussen scored an own goal while attempting to stop Kane steering Davies' mishit shot home. 

Hugo Lloris did brilliantly to tip Sondre Tronstad's long-range shot over the crossbar, but Rasmussen headed home from the resulting corner and Bero punished a mistake from Lucas to curb the enthusiasm that was building in the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 

The pace of the game was far slower after the restart and Spurs were reduced to 10 men when Romero received a second yellow card for pulling down Lois Openda. 

Vitesse's hopes of completing the comeback and causing an upset evaporated in the closing stages, though, as Doekhi committed a second bookable offence and Schubert got a straight red for handling outside his area.
 

What does it mean? Something to build on 

Conceding two goals in seven first-half minutes will not have pleased Conte, but the way his team stoically made sure of the win in difficult circumstances will have.

With their next five Premier League games coming against teams that currently sit below them in the table, the new coach has a great chance to quickly turn their fortunes around. 

They also sit second in Group G and could qualify by winning their next game against Mura if other results go their way.

Teacher's pet 

After going close in the second minute, it did not take much longer for Son to get Tottenham off the mark under Conte. He has now scored Spurs' first goal under each of their past three permanent head coaches. 

Problems at the back 

Romero picked up two bookings for tackles he really did not need to make, while Eric Dier's marking of Rasmussen was questionable on Vitesse's first goal and Davies was lucky not to concede an early penalty. Conte's three-man defence looked anything but solid. 

What's next? 

Conte's Premier League return will be made at Everton on Sunday, when Vitesse host Utrecht in the Eredivisie. 

Inter have slammed the door shut on the prospect of stars leaving in January to be reunited with former boss Antonio Conte at Tottenham.

Just six months have passed since Inter were celebrating Serie A title success under Conte's leadership, only for the head coach to leave the club within weeks.

He has this week returned to the Premier League as the new Spurs head coach, in what has the makings of a stellar appointment by the north London club.

A patchy Tottenham squad may need urgent reinforcements, but Inter – who sold Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku in the last transfer window amid financial difficulties – are adamant none of their players will be available to Conte, or any other boss, in January.

Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio told Sky Italia: "The intention is to move forward with this squad and in January no requests for possible transfers will be taken into consideration.

"We know this it is a team that has quality and that has a new coach who has taken over the group for a few months, so in the next transfer window we will only give continuity to what started in June. Then in the summer we will make other assessments, which will be the time to strengthen Inter, not to weaken."

Simone Inzaghi was selected as Conte's successor and Inter have moved on quickly, heading the pack chasing fast-starting Napoli and Milan.

Ausilio backed Conte to do well in England, however, as he embarks on a second Premier League stint after previously coaching Chelsea.

"I can say that I am happy, and I wish him the best for this new adventure," Ausilio said. "I know how pleased he is to be able to work in the Premier League, how much passion and how many skills he has, and I'm sure he will do well with Spurs."

Ausilio also confirmed new contracts for midfielders Marcelo Brozovic and Nicolo Barella are in the works.

Indeed, the latter could sign before Sunday's derby against Milan. "We are talking about more formal aspects than anything else, so I am fully confident that the deal will be closed," said Ausilio.

The 28-year-old Brozovic scored his first Champions League goal in his 27th appearance in the competition in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Sheriff.

Ausilio said of the Croatian: "He is certainly an important player who we hope will be part of our project also in the future , but we need to hear what the other side thinks and we will do this in the coming days."

Roma boss Jose Mourinho has questioned the decision of his former club Tottenham to replace Nuno Espirito Santo with Antonio Conte.

The Italian signed an 18-month contract with Spurs on Tuesday after Nuno was relieved of his duties following a stuttering start to the season that saw them win five and lose five of their first 10 Premier League games.

The former Wolves manager saw his four-month spell at the North London club come to an end on Monday after a 3-0 defeat at home to another of Mourinho's former teams, Manchester United.

When asked whether Spurs turning to Conte would make them Tottenham stronger, Mourinho spoke to Sky Sport. “He is a good coach, but Nuno Espirito Santo is also a very good coach who had done well for four or five years at Wolverhampton. I can't say that Tottenham have a good coach now, they had one before. They have it now and they already had it.”

Like Mourinho, Conte has enjoyed previous success in English football with Chelsea, whom he guided to the Premier League and FA Cup during his two seasons in charge.

Of all managers to have taken charge of at least 20 Premier League games, only Pep Guardiola (73 per cent) has a higher winning percentage than Conte (67 per cent).

Mourinho and Conte clashed several times during their time in the Premier League when the former Italy boss was at Stamford Bridge and the Portuguese managed the Red Devils.

During his 18-month spell at Tottenham that came to an end in April, Mourinho managed 58 Premier League games, winning 27, drawing 14 and losing 17.

Antonio Conte's appointment does not guarantee success for Tottenham, but managing director Fabio Paratici is hopeful his compatriot is the right man to end the club's trophy drought.

Spurs announced Conte as Nuno Espirito Santo's successor on Tuesday after bringing an end to the Portuguese coach's tenure just four months into a two-year deal.

The 52-year-old is reunited with Paratici following their time together at Juventus, where Conte won three successive Serie A titles.

He also won a Scudetto in his second and final season with Inter in 2020-21 and previously lifted the Premier League and FA Cup in two years with Spurs' London rivals Chelsea.

With nine trophies across his coaching career, Conte is now tasked with ending Tottenham's wait for silverware, which spans 5,001 days since their 2008 EFL Cup triumph.

But with Jose Mourinho and Mauricio Pochettino among those to have tried and failed to stop the rot, Paratici accepts a big-name appointment in itself is not the only ingredient required.

"We have to work, to be focused, to be committed and to be involved with this project 100 per cent every day," he said at a news conference on Wednesday. 

"This is what we can do, what we have to do. It is not assurance to win something – nobody can give you this assurance. I think we have to do the best we can.

"No one can guarantee we will win. There are no assurances. We have to do the best to compete to win. When we reach this level, then we want to improve again and win trophies."

Conte previously rejected the chance to take over at Tottenham prior to Nuno's short-lived reign, citing the fact he had only just stepped down from his position at Inter.

Paratici knows exactly what to expect from his former colleague but has called on supporters to show some patience while his fellow Italian gets to grips with a new squad.

"Now was the right time because we spoke once with Antonio in the summer, but it was not the right time then," Paratici said. "He was not ready for a new opportunity then.

"I worked with Antonio before but it was at a different club. I know him very well; he's a hard worker, he has a lot of passion and a lot of knowledge.

"He is one of the best coaches in the world. His track record speaks for itself. We have to work harder and be committed.

"We're here to do our best to win trophies. Big or small trophy, it doesn't matter. We serve to win every game, to build to be the best this season and the next seasons. 

"But sometimes you have to be patient. For sure we believe we can achieve our target. It is why we are here. We have everything to achieve big things."

Conte was reportedly persuaded to take on the Spurs job after being promised large funds to strengthen the squad in the January transfer window.

However, Paratici says he is yet to discuss possible targets with Conte and instead wants the former Italy head coach to get the most out of his current group.

"We trust in our players and are focused on being a better team," he said. "The team we have is competitive. We do not speak about other players now. It's not time for that."

One of those Conte will be tasked with getting more out of is star striker Harry Kane, who has endured a slow start to the 2021-22 campaign.

"It's not just about Harry," Paratici added. "We are here to work, to achieve our ambitions as a club, not as individuals.

"We try to do the best for this club every day in order to build something good, not just for this season but for the long-term project. It's not just about Harry but about everyone."

Conte must first steady the ship at Tottenham following the dismissal of Nuno, who managed just 10 Premier League games – the fewest of any Tottenham boss.

The Italian's win rate of 67 per cent is the second-highest of any manager to have taken charge of at least 20 Premier League games, behind only Pep Guardiola (73 per cent).

And having achieved success in a number of other jobs, Spurs skipper Hugo Lloris is excited about what the future holds under Conte.

"He's going to give a proper structure to the team. As players we need to demand more from each other," Lloris said. 

"I think it's a great opportunity to work under one of the greatest managers of the last few years. Now is not a time for words, it's time to work.

"He's the kind of manager to help all the club improve. His CV talks for itself. This week is really important for the club."

Antonio Conte has promised to bring "attractive football" to Tottenham in a bid to earn the trust of supporters.

The 52-year-old was appointed by Spurs on an 18-month contract on Tuesday following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.

Conte has enjoyed previous success in English football with Chelsea, whom he guided to the Premier League and FA Cup during his two seasons in charge.

Indeed, of all managers to have taken charge of at least 20 Premier League games, only Pep Guardiola (73 per cent) has a higher winning percentage than Conte (67 per cent).

He also won the Scudetto three seasons running with Juventus and once in his two years with Inter either side of that Stamford Bridge spell and a two-year stint as Italy head coach.

The Italian is now looking to make a similar impact at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in what is his ninth different managerial job at club and international level.

"To be Tottenham manager is a great pleasure, a great honour," he told the club's official website. "Now I want to repay this trust. 

"My coaching philosophy is very simple: to play good football and attractive football for our fans, with passion. To have a stable team, not up and down.

"The fans deserve to have a competitive team with a will to fight. I'll do everything to deserve their support."

He added: "Tottenham are an important club in England and around the world. The stadium and training ground are wonderful. 

"The club and Daniel Levy wanted me strongly. This is a good opportunity, an honour to accept and become the manager.

"I have seen on Tuesday the training ground and I want to start work. I arrive at a top club. 

"These situations push you and increase the desire to do something important for the fans of this club."

Nuno's tenure lasted just 10 Premier League matches – the fewest of any Tottenham boss, one less than Jacques Santini in 2004.

The Portuguese was only appointed after Conte – and reportedly several others – turned down the chance to take over as Jose Mourinho's permanent successor in the close season.

Conte has reiterated that decision was down to timing, having only stepped down as head coach of Scudetto winners Inter at the end of May.

"Honestly there was a call from Tottenham in the summer, but I was very clear," he said. "I had just finished with Inter, two important, very tough seasons.

"Honestly it wasn't the right time to start again another experience. I prefer to wait and enjoy the time with my family. 

"Also, because I think emotionally I was still with the last experience with Inter."

Among other records, in the three-points-per-win era Conte is the only coach to have won 90+ points in a single season with two different sides in Serie A – Juve (2013-14) and Inter (2020-21).

Having enjoyed huge success at both clubs, as well as Tottenham's London rivals Chelsea, Conte is now taking on a different challenge with the Lilywhites.

"All that is the past. I live in the present. I played at Juventus for 13 years and won a lot; then I returned as coach and started the nine titles in a row," he said. 

"It means Juventus dominated. I started that run and I stopped the cycle with Inter. In the last two years with Inter we had the second-best attack and best defence. 

"My past, what I did with previous clubs, is important. I'm proud. For me, the new challenge is Tottenham. I want it to become an important part of my career as a manager."

Conte's first game in charge of Tottenham will be Thursday's Europa Conference League clash with Vitesse, before facing Everton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic is winning plenty of admirers.

The 21-year-old Serbian has netted 10 times in 12 appearances at club level this season.

Vlahovic is currently under contract until June 23, although La Viola want him to sign an extension.

TOP STORY – PSG TO ENTER VLAHOVIC RACE

Paris Saint-Germain will enter the race to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic, claims Le10Sports.

The Parisians are lining up the Serbian striker as a potential successor to Kylian Mbappe should he exit the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, with Real Madrid circling.

Hot property Vlahovic is being pursued by JuventusLiverpool and Tottenham.

ROUND-UP

- Unai Emery will not be the first permanent manager in Newcastle United's new era, BBC Sport journalist and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague understands. The Basque coach is set to stay at Villarreal for now, though his job there is under threat amid a poor start to 2021-22.

- The Sun reports Antonio Conte's arrival at Tottenham has seen Harry Kane abandon any plans he had to quit the club. Kane apparently wished to join Manchester City during the most recent transfer window.

- New Spurs boss Conte wants to sign Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Metro. Conte also has Inter defender Stefan de Vrij in his sights, claims Football Insider.

Milan are in the race to sign talented River Plate star Julian Alvarez in the off-season, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Fiorentina have also shown interest in 21-year-old Alvarez, who has four caps for Argentina.

Norwich City are considering a move to replace embattled manager Daniel Farke with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, claims the Daily Mail. The Canaries have only two points from 10 games following their return to the Premier League. Howe has also been linked with the vacant Newcastle job.

Newcastle want to make Inter's Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic their first major signing in January, says The Sun. Brozovic is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lazio are looking to convince Luiz Felipe to ink a new deal with the club amid interest from BarcelonaSevilla and Real Betis, reports CalcioMercato. The Brazilian centre-back's contract expires at the end of this season.

Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic is winning plenty of admirers.

The 21-year-old Serbian has netted 10 times in 12 appearances at club level this season.

Vlahovic is currently under contract until June 23, although La Viola want him to sign an extension.

TOP STORY – PSG TO ENTER VLAHOVIC RACE

Paris Saint-Germain will enter the race to sign Fiorentina's Dusan Vlahovic, claims Le10Sports.

The Parisians are lining up the Serbian striker as a potential successor to Kylian Mbappe should he exit the club when his contract expires at the end of this season, with Real Madrid circling.

Hot property Vlahovic is being pursued by JuventusLiverpool and Tottenham.

ROUND-UP

- Unai Emery will not be the first permanent manager in Newcastle United's new era, BBC Sport journalist and Spanish football expert Guillem Balague understands. The Basque coach is set to stay at Villarreal for now, though his job there is under threat amid a poor start to 2021-22.

- The Sun reports Antonio Conte's arrival at Tottenham has seen Harry Kane abandon any plans he had to quit the club. Kane apparently wished to join Manchester City during the most recent transfer window.

- New Spurs boss Conte wants to sign Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Metro. Conte also has Inter defender Stefan de Vrij in his sights, claims Football Insider.

Milan are in the race to sign talented River Plate star Julian Alvarez in the off-season, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Fiorentina have also shown interest in 21-year-old Alvarez, who has four caps for Argentina.

Norwich City are considering a move to replace embattled manager Daniel Farke with former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe, claims the Daily Mail. The Canaries have only two points from 10 games following their return to the Premier League. Howe has also been linked with the vacant Newcastle job.

Newcastle want to make Inter's Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic their first major signing in January, says The Sun. Brozovic is out of contract at the end of the season.

Lazio are looking to convince Luiz Felipe to ink a new deal with the club amid interest from BarcelonaSevilla and Real Betis, reports CalcioMercato. The Brazilian centre-back's contract expires at the end of this season.

Tottenham have appointed Antonio Conte as their new head coach after acting quickly to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.

Former Chelsea, Juventus, Inter and Italy boss Conte agreed a contract running until summer 2023 to take charge of the London club, Spurs announced on Tuesday.

With Conte having also been linked to Manchester United, Spurs moved quickly to seal his signature after sacking Nuno.

Conte said: "I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.

"Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

"I can't wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach."

 

Tottenham made an unsuccessful attempt to recruit 52-year-old Conte prior to their appointment of Nuno in the close season.

That was part of what became a chaotic process to replace Jose Mourinho on a permanent basis, with Nuno seemingly well down the list of candidates after Ryan Mason had taken interim charge towards the end of the 2020-21 season.

Conte left Inter at the end of last season after his two years in charge climaxed with him winning the club's first Serie A crown for 11 years, ending the dominance of his former club Juventus, with whom he claimed the Scudetto on three occasions as a coach.

He won the Premier League and FA Cup during two years in charge of Chelsea from 2016 to 2018, leaving after his second season ended with a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Conte thanked Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for showing persistence.

New boss Conte said on Spurs' official website: "Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn't yet the right time to return to coaching.

"But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction."

 

Nuno's reign at Spurs ended just 10 league matches and four months into a two-year contract he signed in June. He had previously spent four largely successful years in charge of Wolves.

A 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, when home fans expressed their frustration, proved to be his final game at the helm, with his top-flight total representing the lowest number of Premier League matches in charge for any permanent Tottenham manager in history.

The club are desperate to end a run that has not seen them win a trophy since 2008, after huge investment in an impressive new stadium.

Spurs have been runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League during that 13-year span, as well as losing three times in the EFL Cup final.

Conte's tenure will begin when Tottenham play at home to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before they face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Tottenham's managing director of football Fabio Paratici welcomed the appointment, saying: "We are delighted to welcome Antonio to the club. His track record speaks for itself, with vast experience and trophies in both Italy and England.

"I know first-hand the qualities Antonio can bring to us, having worked with him at Juventus, and look forward to seeing his work with our talented group of players."

Tottenham moved quickly after sacking Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday, appointing Antonio Conte as his successor just a day later.

The swift changeover is a huge departure from the shambles Spurs found themselves embroiled in during pre-season when initially hiring Nuno, who was apparently way down their list of candidates to replace Jose Mourinho.

Conte was said to have been Spurs' ideal choice back then but was reluctant to jump straight back into a job after leaving Inter. But now he does find himself in charge at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and he's got plenty of work on his hands.

While their 15 points from 10 Premier League matches is by no means a disaster as they sit ninth in the table, the major concerns relating to Spurs have been the style of play and Harry Kane's form.

With this in mind, Stats Perform delves into the Opta numbers to see what Spurs fans can expect from the Italian.

Undoubted pedigree

It really is a sign of the times – and the Premier League's financial might – that Tottenham are able to sack a coach they never really wanted and bring in the bloke who won Serie A just last season.

Granted, Inter winning the Scudetto was hardly a fairytale story, and they spent a fair amount of money to build the team that got the job done, but you can't deny the fine job Conte did in two years there.

His first season saw them narrowly miss out to Juve by a single point, while they also got to the Europa League final only to lose to Sevilla – that was hardly a disgrace given the Spaniards have never lost a Europa League/UEFA Cup final.

It was clear to see Inter were building to something and in 2020-21 they got their first Serie A title in 11 years, ending the Juve domination that stretched back to 2010-11 and coincidentally began with Conte as coach.

Of course, it could be argued that Conte's return to Italian football was timed perfectly, with Juve slipping as a force and Serie A waiting for another team to take over, but there's no getting away from the fact Inter were dominant for a massive part of the season – they were top from matchday 22 all the way through to the end of the season.

After a 2-1 loss at Sampdoria on January 6, Inter did not lose again before sealing the title, with the 3-2 defeat away to Juve on the penultimate day of the season having no impact on the Nerazzurri's end position.

Conte turned Inter from perennial underachievers to champions, and while money was spent, so many of those brought in improved significantly under his guidance as well.

The system

Conte's tactical tendencies are well-publicised. In fact, there aren't many coaches in world football who are more associated with a specific system than he is with his.

During his last spell in the Premier League, which included one title success, his Chelsea lined up with a back three in all but six of his 78 top-flight matches.

In the long run, Spurs fans can expect such a set-up to lead to greater pressing intensity. While Inter's 294 high turnovers may have only been enough to rank sixth in Serie A (and it would have been the same in the Premier League) last term, that total was still far more than Tottenham (228), the third-lowest in the English top flight.

Among the two sides with even fewer high turnovers than Spurs were Nuno's Wolves (205).

Inter's 12.8 PPDA (opposition passes allowed per defensive action) for 2020-21 was roughly average across Serie A and the Premier League, suggesting Inter didn't necessarily do their most aggressive pressing from the front.

Additionally, it could be argued that Spurs actually have a group of players well-suited to making the most of an intense press. Of course, the Nerazzurri's high turnovers total was much greater, but when it comes to efficiency, Spurs were slightly better in 2020-21.

Spurs' shot-ending high turnovers accounted for 16.2 per cent of their total, while that figure was 15 per cent for Inter. They both scored five goals from such situations.

Granted, this doesn't take into consideration the differing cultural styles between the two leagues, with the Premier League quite open and Serie A traditionally a little tighter, but it suggests Conte's ideals might actually translate rather well to the Spurs squad.

That's not to say we should expect overnight changes. So far this season, Spurs rank 82nd out of the 98 teams in Europe's top five leagues for high turnovers (62) and pressed sequences (124). A drastic change of mentality will take a time.

Whipping up a Harry Kane

What Spurs fans will be most intrigued to see, however, is whether Conte can get Kane back to his best.

The England captain could not find a way out of the club in pre-season, with Manchester City lurking, and while he has not exactly kicked up a fuss in public about being made to stay, his performances haven't helped certain perceptions of him.

After all, he achieved the rare feat of finishing top of the goals and assists charts last season – that hadn't been accomplished since Andy Cole in 1994. His form was one of few positives for Spurs.

Yet in 2021-22, his productivity has dipped significantly. He has gone from scoring 0.7 goals per game to 0.1, with just a solitary strike in nine Premier League matches.

Now, it would be fair to suggest Nuno's tactics haven't helped. Spurs are joint-lowest – with relegation-doomed Norwich City – for shots per game (10.3), and it's difficult to blame that on one player, regardless of how much Kane has dropped off.

Kane has seen his own shooting frequency almost halve to just 2.1 per 90 minutes from 3.9 last season and he's not creating much either, his chances created dropping to 0.8 from 1.4 each game.

But with Conte, there is certainly cause for optimism, at least in terms of getting Kane firing again – assuming his poor form is down to system and not a reaction to not getting a transfer.

Granted, Romelu Lukaku and Kane are very different players, but Conte knew how to get the best out of the Belgian, who scored 47 league goals in 72 games under the Italian at a rate of one every 124.9 minutes (0.7 per 90 minutes).

Only for Steve Clarke at West Brom has Lukaku scored more frequently (one every 117.82 mins) in his career (top five leagues).

Of course, Lukaku wasn't doing it all by himself at Inter – his 3.0 shots per game last season was actually fewer than Lautaro Martinez's 3.8. They were essentially a two-man frontline, perhaps something we can expect to see with Kane and Son Heung-min once again.

Both Lukaku and Martinez averaged more touches (7.3 and 6.7) and shots (2.6 and 3.0) in the box than Kane (5.0 and 2.5) as well, further evidence of how Conte's system enables two central strikers to thrive as an attacking threat.

The relationship between Son and Kane has long been heralded, and last season Martinez and Lukaku linked up for eight goals from 29 overall chances – another tick in the pros column.

There will be those who claim Conte represents a gamble, especially given his rather volatile reputation and how that may not fuse well with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, yet you could argue no manager is a guarantee.

But what is undoubtable is Conte's track record and work ethic as a coach. There's every reason to think this could be a masterstroke for Spurs, but only if he's allowed to do it all his way.

Tottenham have appointed Antonio Conte as their new head coach after acting quickly to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.

Former Chelsea, Juventus, Inter and Italy boss Conte agreed a contract running until summer 2023 to take charge of the London club, Spurs announced on Tuesday.

With Conte having also been linked to Manchester United, Spurs moved quickly to seal his signature after sacking Nuno.

Conte said: "I am extremely happy to return to coaching, and to do so at a Premier League club that has the ambition to be a protagonist again.

"Tottenham Hotspur has state-of-the-art facilities and one of the best stadiums in the world.

"I can't wait to start working to convey to the team and the fans the passion, mentality and determination that have always distinguished me, as a player and as a coach."

 

Tottenham made an unsuccessful attempt to recruit 52-year-old Conte prior to their appointment of Nuno in the close season.

That was part of what became a chaotic process to replace Jose Mourinho on a permanent basis, with Nuno seemingly well down the list of candidates after Ryan Mason had taken interim charge towards the end of the 2020-21 season.

Conte left Inter at the end of last season after his two years in charge climaxed with him winning the club's first Serie A crown for 11 years, ending the dominance of his former club Juventus, with whom he claimed the Scudetto on three occasions as a coach.

He won the Premier League and FA Cup during two years in charge of Chelsea from 2016 to 2018, leaving after his second season ended with a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.

Conte thanked Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy for showing persistence.

New boss Conte said on Spurs' official website: "Last summer our union did not happen because the end of my relationship with Inter was still too recent and emotionally too involved with the end of the season, so I felt that it wasn't yet the right time to return to coaching.

"But the contagious enthusiasm and determination of Daniel Levy in wanting to entrust me with this task had already hit the mark. Now that the opportunity has returned, I have chosen to take it with great conviction."

 

Nuno's reign at Spurs ended just 10 league matches and four months into a two-year contract he signed in June. He had previously spent four largely successful years in charge of Wolves.

A 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, when home fans expressed their frustration, proved to be his final game at the helm, with his top-flight total representing the lowest number of Premier League matches in charge for any permanent Tottenham manager in history.

The club are desperate to end a run that has not seen them win a trophy since 2008, after huge investment in an impressive new stadium.

Spurs have been runners-up in the Premier League and Champions League during that 13-year span, as well as losing three times in the EFL Cup final.

Conte's tenure will begin when Tottenham play at home to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before they face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo's replacement at Tottenham will be no surprise.

Antonio Conte had been rumoured as the top choice.

The ex-Inter man looks set to make it official on Tuesday, barring any late hitches.

 

TOP STORY – CONTE SET FOR SPURS MOVE

With Nuno Espirito Santo officially out, Antonio Conte is set to step in at Tottenham.

According to widespread reports, Conte has agreed a contract through June 2023 and the move will be finalised on Tuesday.

The 52-year-old left Inter by mutual consent after last season.

The Sun claims Spurs will give Conte £150million to spend on new players.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Paul Pogba prefers Paris Saint-Germain over Real Madrid or Juventus once he makes his expected departure from Manchester United, Fichajes reports.

- PSG are eyeing Karim Adeyemi as a potential replacement should Kylian Mbappe leave, Sky Sport in Germany reports. The 19-year-old Red Bull Salzburg striker also has drawn interest from Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

- Real Madrid's Marco Asensio will be in demand in January, with El Nacional reporting Liverpool, Arsenal, Juventus, Milan and Dortmund all have offers ready.

- Arsenal are eyeing Torino striker Andrea Belotti, says Calciomercato.

- Villarreal's Unai Emery is the new favourite to take over as Newcastle United manager, says the Mirror.

Ramon Vega says Tottenham’s under-achieving players must take more responsibility after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked as head coach on Monday.

Nuno’s four-month tenure ended following the 3-0 home defeat to Manchester United on Saturday, with Antonio Conte a strong favourite to replace the former Wolves boss.

Tottenham did not register a shot on target in an abject display against United and Nuno departed with the London club eighth in the table, with five wins and as many defeats from his 10 Premier League games in charge.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Spurs defender Vega made clear his feelings that players have not been showing the right attitude, while also questioning why the club did not try harder to bring Conte in before appointing Nuno.

"The players here have to take responsibility with the way they are playing," Vega said.

"I'm a little bit unhappy with how the players are really showing their attitude and willingness to play for the club.

"It's irrelevant if it's Nuno or any other manager there. You're playing for the club, you get paid by the club and you need to show some commitment and that's not what I've seen from these players so far.

"My understanding at the moment is that Antonio Conte is the frontrunner to be appointed. But my question is why was he not given what he wanted in the summer instead of wasting time and potentially [damaging the] reputation of a very good manager, because Nuno is a very good manager but he did not have the time or the chance to really improve the team.

"So, why suddenly now does Conte have the facilities that Tottenham can give him and not in the summer?"

Nuno’s 10 Premier League games at the helm is the lowest tally of any permanent Tottenham manager, one fewer than Jacques Santini's 11 in 2004.

Vega also pointed to the transfer saga surrounding Harry Kane, who was strongly linked with a move to Manchester City, suggesting that it has played a role in Tottenham's stuttering start to the season.

"The Harry Kane scenario, this is exactly the reason why we are here now today," the former Switzerland international added.

"There's no doubt the dressing room went apart and there was unhappiness and I think that when the players don't click together or are not playing as a team you will see that on the pitch.

"From my point of view the Kane saga was a disaster for the club. But there is a responsibility as a player - how he actually acted at that time he didn't act professionally. At the same time you have to play him now, there's not even a question mark."

Jamie Redknapp believes Antonio Conte would be a "brilliant" appointment for Tottenham, but hopes the Italian will not use Spurs' interest to prompt Manchester United into action.

Tottenham sacked Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday, his reign ending four months into a two-year contract he signed to take over as head coach following four successful years in charge of Wolves.

A 3-0 home defeat to United, where home fans had expressed their frustration, proved to be Nuno's final game at the helm.

Spurs have reportedly offered former Inter and Chelsea boss Conte, who they had previously pursued unsuccessfully before hiring Nuno, an 18-month contract.

Ex-Spurs midfielder Redknapp is convinced Conte is of the required quality for Spurs but hopes his possible appointment will not spur United into action.

Conte has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford, where incumbent Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was under huge pressure going into the Spurs victory.

"Conte would be a brilliant signing for them," Redknapp said to Sky Sports.

"I’m sure a lot of Tottenham fans would be delighted with Conte – he is a first-class manager and a serial winner, he did an incredible job with Chelsea and Inter Milan, so he knows the game inside out. 

"Spurs need to be careful Conte does not play them off with Manchester United and maybe force United's hand, so it will be an interesting few days."

He added: "I do not understand why after four months you could get him, but you could not four months ago.

"There was a problem with the transfer budget and he could not agree with what Daniel Levy wanted to do with the club.

"When you have a manager like Conte, you have to give him the licence to get the players in that he wants and to play the system he wants, you can't interfere, he does things his way.

"He has worked with Tottenham's director of football [Fabio Paratici] before at Juventus, so that is important as that has to work. They have to pull in the same direction, otherwise it can be a disaster.

"Right now, on the field Tottenham are the laughing stock of football, off field they are the envy of everyone because of the stadium and the training ground, but they are making a lot of mistakes in that boardroom."

Nuno's 10 Premier League games at the helm is the lowest tally of any permanent Tottenham manager.

Redknapp has sympathy for the Portuguese boss, adding: "Four months – what chance have you got to build a squad, or a team? 

"I get the frustration at the weekend of the Tottenham fans and their right to voice their opinions, but this has been going on for a while now.

"Mauricio Pochettino found it hard to get a tune out of this team, Jose Mourinho has and now Nuno has found it difficult.

"It is a talented squad, but there is something missing there and from Nuno's point of view, he inherited the Harry Kane situation, which is really difficult for any manager.

"You have your star player wants to leave and does not want to be at the club and you have to somehow deal with that.

"That is hard trying to bring a squad together and can cause an enormous amount of problems.

"Nothing surprises me at Tottenham, Levy does not mess around and I'm sure he knows he needs to get this next one right."

Tottenham are at home to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday before they face Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Tottenham are once again on the hunt for a new head coach following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday.

For many, Nuno's fate had been sealed as soon as he took the job at the end of June, as it was widely reported that Spurs had failed to land a host of other coaches before turning to the man who had done a fine job turning Wolves into Premier League mainstays.

He lasted just four months at the helm, with his pragmatic approach not appreciated by the Spurs support – but Saturday's comprehensive 3-0 home defeat by a Manchester United side in the midst of a crisis of its own was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The fans made their feelings as Nuno's decision to substitute Lucas Moura with Steven Bergwijn was widely greeted with chants of "you don't know what you're doing", and the full-time whistle was met with thunderous jeers.

Speculation on Sunday suggested chairman Daniel Levy had opened emergency talks with other decision-makers at the club, and Nuno was gone the following morning.

Now, Stats Perform looks at who might be next in at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium…

 

Antonio Conte

Former Chelsea boss Conte will likely be most Tottenham fans' ideal replacement for Nuno. For starters, he is a free agent having left Inter after winning Serie A last season – breaking Juventus' nine-year grip in the process and ending the Nerazzurri's long wait for a league title.

The first three of those nine consecutive league titles for Juventus were won by Conte himself, who took a Bianconeri side that had not won the Scudetto since their revoked success in 2005 and established an era of dominance, going undefeated in the league in his first season (2011-12) and setting the Serie A points record (102) in his third.

His achievements in Italy are coupled with experience and success in England, winning the Premier League with Chelsea in 2017 (racking up an impressive 93 points) and claiming an FA Cup the year after.

Conte does have a reputation for being a volatile coach, and this may not lend itself to a long-term relationship with Levy, but his track record is almost unparalleled in terms of coaches currently available, and let's not forget that he turned Jose Mourinho's sloppy seconds at Chelsea into a side that was often sensational.

If Spurs act fast, they could potentially get him before the pressure is cranked up on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer again.

 

Zinedine Zidane

Another free agent – and a particularly glamorous option – is Zinedine Zidane. The Frenchman's second stint as Real Madrid boss came to an end in May and he remains available.

Zidane won the Champions League three times in a row in his first spell as Los Blancos head coach and also claimed two LaLiga titles over his five years in the role.

The 49-year-old is the record holder for most consecutive LaLiga away wins (13) and the longest unbeaten run in Spanish football (40 games). Spurs would surely see him as a massive upgrade on Nuno, but the problem is Zidane does not appear to be easily coaxed.

When it looked as though Solskjaer was doomed last week, reports suggested Zidane wasn't interested – are Spurs able to offer a lure that United can't?

Brendan Rodgers

Less decorated than the previous two names, sure, but Rodgers has a wealth of experience in the English game and has done an admirable job in his current post as Leicester City head coach, guiding the Foxes to their first-ever FA Cup success last season as well as successive fifth-placed Premier League finishes.

He also claimed back-to-back domestic trebles in his two-and-a-half seasons with Celtic and, let's not forget, previously turned Liverpool from mere European hopefuls into title challengers – coming within two points of winning the Premier League in his second season on Merseyside.

Rodgers was tipped for the Spurs job when Mourinho left but was apparently committed to Leicester. However, recent reports have suggested he could be tempted by a new project.

He would also offer fans the kind of attractive football they crave.

Erik ten Hag

Ten Hag has impressed with Ajax, winning two Eredivisie titles and embarking on a memorable run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-19, knocking Madrid and Juventus out before coincidentally going out to Spurs on away goals.

Ajax have been effective but also entertaining under Ten Hag, which would undoubtedly be a big attraction for Spurs fans who have grown weary after the best part of two years watching teams managed by Mourinho and Nuno.

It remains to be seen if the Dutchman – who has also been linked with Newcastle United – would be willing to leave mid-season, but it won't be long until a major European club comes for him. Spurs would do well to get to the front of the queue while they have the chance.

 

Sergio Conceicao

This would not be the first time that Conceicao has replaced his former team-mate Nuno – he took over from him at Porto in 2017 and has been in charge ever since.

A fiery character, this Porto team is in many ways built in his image: they are aggressive, direct and robust. It is not a style that pleases everyone, as Pep Guardiola criticised Conceicao's defensive approach before and after a Champions League match last year, but he has been effective.

Under Conceicao, Porto have not finished outside of the top two in the Primeira Liga, winning two titles and finishing second to Benfica and Sporting CP.

Since Bobby Robson left Porto in 1996, only Vitor Pereira (78.3) and another former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas (90) have boasted better win percentages in the league than Conceicao (77.4), yet the incumbent's 146 matches is 56 more than the other two combined.

Paulo Fonseca

Highly regarded football coaches are probably Portugal's second biggest export behind Port wine – Fonseca is another who has been linked with numerous Premier League clubs in recent times.

Much like Conte, Ten Hag and Rodgers, Fonseca was also apparently an option for Spurs before Nuno, with negotiations reportedly ending due to tax problems.

Who is to say if that will be an issue again, but Spurs managing director of football Fabio Paratici is said to be an admirer, with Fonseca also still available after he left Roma at the end of last season.

He is known for his attack-minded football, which again will be a tick for supporters.

Nuno Espirito Santo's future as Tottenham manager is in doubt after a slow start.

The Portuguese only took over in June but his side are eighth in the Premier League with five losses already.

Spurs were humbled 3-0 at home by under-pressure Manchester United on Saturday.

Supporters made their feelings known at full-time as boos rung out around Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

TOP STORY – SPURS READY TO REPLACE NUNO

Tuttomercato claims that Tottenham are working on a deal to have ex-Inter boss Antonio Conte replace Nuno Espirito Santo as manager.

Football Insider also reports that Spurs will sack Nuno this week, with Ryan Mason to be installed as their interim boss again.

The Standard claims that Porto head coach Sergio Conceicao is also under consideration for the job.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Le Parisien reports that Paris Saint-Germain could sensationally walk away from their contract with off-season signing Sergio Ramos, who is yet to debut for the club due to ongoing injury issues from his time at Real Madrid. PSG are said to believe they were misled about his injury status.

- Barcelona are interested in a loan deal for Manchester United's wantaway Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, reports Sport.

- Real Madrid are considering moves for Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger, claims Marca.

- Theo Hernandez will ignore Manchester City 's advances and pen a new deal with Milan, reports Calciomercato.

- Tuttosport reports hot property Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic wants to join Juventus amid interest from Tottenham, among others.

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