Sunday, January 29, 2023

Conte insists he is committed to Tottenham and suggests post-Villa comments were misunderstood

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Jan 2023

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Antonio Conte stressed his commitment to Tottenham and suggested his comments following the defeat to Aston Villa may have been misunderstood.

The Italian has repeatedly stated his desire for more money to spend in the transfer market, claiming after Spurs’ 2-0 home defeat to Villa on Sunday that he needs two players in the £50-70million bracket “every season” to compete in the Premier League.

After a bright start to the season, Spurs have wobbled of late, conceding at least twice in each of their last seven league games, and have conceded first in all of those games.

Ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Crystal Palace, Conte dampened speculation he is considering his future at the club, reiterating his desire to build foundations.

“I am happy but I always say to you I am happy. I want to stay here,” he told reporters. “I am enjoying my time in Tottenham, I am enjoying my work in Tottenham. I always say this and I am happy, but it doesn’t mean I cannot tell you what we are doing. We are trying to create a base foundation.

“Maybe from the start of my experience here I am repeating always the same thing. It is difficult for me every day to repeat the same thing and for [the media] not to understand. It is difficult. I am happy to stay here because I am at a modern club, I have a good relationship with the players and I have a good relationship with the club.

“Sometimes I go home and think I have to study much more English because I am not good at transferring my thoughts to you.”

After scoring 23 goals in 35 Premier League games last season to win the golden boot jointly with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min has managed just three in 15 league appearances this season, but Conte said he has no doubts about the South Korean’s quality.

“Son for sure is struggling to find the best form and after the [facial] injury he had against Marseille [in the Champions League] he struggled a bit,” he said.

“Also the World Cup he didn’t score but we are talking about a player that if we put him in discussion, we are in trouble because Sonny and [Harry] Kane are the two most important players, with [Hugo] Lloris. If we have doubts about them, we are in trouble.”

Conte spoke further about the impact of the World Cup on his team, which led to a mid-season break as it took place in Qatar in November and December.

“Many, many people have already forgotten the difficulty of the World Cup,” he added. “We said this season will be really, really difficult. The players come back really tired. For sure we have to analyse this aspect and find the best solution.

“For some players the World Cup could have had an impact. I have to find the best solution for the team. The players who worked here worked very well. Some are in a good physical conditions, others who should work they instead have to play.

“Don’t forget what’s happening in this season. We have already forgotten we are playing with the players that have just finished the World Cup. It takes from you [both] mental and physical energy. The coach, the manager, has to manage the situation.”

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