Antonio Conte believes the anticipation for Tottenham is justified given their transfer activity and he wants fans to dream big ahead of the start of a new season.
Spurs entertain Southampton in Saturday’s Premier League opener, which will feature several signings after the club enjoyed one of their strongest and most stable summers in a long time.
Ivan Perisic’s arrival in May got the ball rolling before Fraser Forster, Yves Bissouma, Richarlison and Djed Spence followed, while Clement Lenglet was also loaned from Barcelona. The feeling is Tottenham aren’t done there and it raised expectations.
While it seems an unlikely goal to upset Manchester City and Liverpool’s Apple Cart, Conte sent a message to fans on the eve of their first game.
He said: “I have to be realistic, but I’m a dreamer. We must be dreamers because when you are a dreamer, this combined with work can bring something incredible into your life.
“In the past this has happened a lot, but at the same time you have to be realistic and see the reality.
“It’s good for our fans to be excited because when they see that we’re going in the right direction with a good vision, that the club is fully involved in this project and this process, they have to be excited for those reasons be. And the players and I will go together.”
Parallels can be drawn between Conte’s feelings and the view of the late Bill Nicholson, Tottenham manager when they were last English champions in 1961.
Nicholson memorably recalled, “It is better to fail with high goals than to succeed with low goals. At Spurs we aim very high so that even failure has an echo of glory.”
Glorious failure has been synonymous with Tottenham almost since the Nicholson era, but many fans believe Conte can at least end the club’s trophy drought that dates back to 2008.
“Certainly the fans are rightly excited. I’m excited because I’m happy and living this time with joy,” emphasized the Italian.
“We are on the right path and have chosen a path. If we walk this path well, we can reach an important level in the future.
“If, after just seven months, I start talking about winning the Premier League and the Champions League and this or that trophy, that would be pretentious and arrogant, but in my experience we have started on a good path and we need to continue on that path.
“It takes time and patience for the team and the club to grow and be competitive every season and fight to win something, but we have to fight to do our best to win something and then we’ll see.”
What Conte and the rest of his rival Premier League managers have to deal with this season is a six-and-a-half week hiatus from competition over the winter months.
The World Cup in Qatar begins on November 21st and lasts until December 18th, leaving a real sense of the unknown when top-flight domestic football resumes on Boxing Day.
He added: “This will be the first time we face this situation and we don’t know how best to manage the two parts of the season.
“My opinion – and what I’ve asked of my athletic trainer – is to work very well and prepare for those four months and focus on those four months. The most important thing is to get good results and not try to think about the future.
“It will be very important to go step by step, game by game, then you start the Champions League and you have to be ready to overcome your group and then we’ll see. A lot of strange things can happen.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/tottenham-antonio-conte-southampton-b2139340.html Antonio Conte teases big plans for Tottenham: ‘We must be dreamers’