Antonio Conte; The Under appreciated One

Hello and good morning football fans, it’s The Sports Buff here, we need to talk about a football manager, one Antonio Conte. Italian Conte, is one manager who can divide opinion. Many see him as one of the best in the world football, but there is a contingent who see him as divisive as Jose Mourinho.

In regards to that last statement, this Jose being a bad man manager is somewhat of a myth. Yes, his tactics might upset players, but football players of today’s day and age aren’t quite like the colossus characters that were Roy Keane, Patrick Vieira or even Conte.

Social media dancing and the whole social media culture is something that goes hand in hand with many footballers of the modern age. It’s quite ironic that those footballers who tend to be associated with this social media culture (Lingard and Pogba for example) are currently at a career cross roads.

I personally feel that a manager like Jose and Antonio, are winners, their trophy cabinet proves it and today’s modern day footballer is very entitled, one little disagreement and that’s it, they’re on the phone to their agent and want out. They’re too thin skinned. *clears throat Harry Maguire*.

Although this piece is dedicated to the Italian maverick Conte, Mourinho is someone like Conte once was. Jose is arguably more experienced and wiser than that Porto version of The Special One.

So maybe we don’t see the berating of officials and angry behaviour or true emotions of Jose as he is calmer. If you believed, don’t think about taking up poker as you’re too naive.

All too often Jose and Antonio Conte are accused of having poor man management skills , but didn’t former Spurs boss Jose help Kane post the best numbers of his career last season? Also in the case of Conte, he’s fired a Tottenham team that after losing 3-0 to United at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, were seventh and devoid of ideas and confidence.

Players like Diego Costa, would say Conte didn’t treat him well and to a point this is true, but the former Atletico man didn’t cover himself in glory either when he left Chelsea to return to the Spanish capital.

Lucas Moura is a player re-born in a new position. The former PSG wonderkid, was of course set to go to United until the Parisians came in for him, and in those days, he was a very trickery winger/forward.

He needs money to build his teams is one accusation always thrown at him and to a point, I have been guilty of this accusation too. Dejan Kulisevski and Rogrigo Bentancur have been superb and they were good value signings.

Signing players can be the easiest thing, but the fact that Uruguayan Bentancur, who was formerly of Juventus was showing decline in performance, and is now back to top form, is a testament to the 52-year old Conte and his powers of inspiration .

Yes, the former Juve boss is very passionate and fiery, but with Juventus he helped players like Cuadrado turn into prime Cafu (yeah slight over exaggeration), but the point remains he turned the former Chelsea man into a very good player and changed him from winger to wing-back.

That’s the same that can be said of Victor Moses, now of Spartak. Moses, was of course part of that Chelsea team that won the Premier League after finishing 12th the season before. The headlines won’t point out that Antonio Conte was Moses’ manager and he turned the former Liverpool loanee’s career around.

Since Conte has left, Victor Moses has been the same player before the Italian’s arrival and having been a journeyman before, looks to be heading for a journeyman like career now.

Last night’s 3-0 win over Arsenal was superb, of course it was, but the former Genoa boss I feel has finally got rid of the ghost of Pochettino past. Tottenham are a united team again.

Chelsea only now are in a position to challenge for honours and have won the Champions League (last season), several years after Conte left. West London club Chelsea looked not capable of being able to win the Premier League, but Antonio inspired that success, just like he did at Inter.

The former Juve midfielder inspired Romelu Lukaku to the best scoring season of his career, Big Rom has been a shadow of that player this year, but the narrative is, Antonio Conte is too aggressive with players.

It’s the same with Jose, he helped Lingard (bar his time at West Ham) play some of the best football of his career, like he is currently doing with Tammy Abraham and Henrikh Mkhitariyan .

Rumours are circulating that Antonio Conte will be leaving at the end of this season to take over at PSG. If that’s true Neymar and co will be in for a shock as the Paris front-line although brilliant, will realise that they’re not too big to be dropped, look at the example of Diego Costa who helped Chelsea to the Premier League title.

Tottenham Hotspur fans no doubt appreciate him, but football fans (some of them don’t) the Premier League will be a worse place off. England is in danger of being dominated by Liverpool and Manchester City. Conte was changing that, if this is goodbye Arrivederci Antonio!

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