Tuesday, January 25 2022


The long wait for a trophy looks over

Update: November, 05/2021 - 08:04


Antonio Conte poses with a Spurs kit after he was appointed manager. Photo courtesy of Tottenham Hotspur FC

Paul Kennedy

Tuesday was a momentous day in the history of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and no, I’m not talking about the appointment of their new manager.

As Antonio Conte posed for photographs holding the Spurs strip, football historians noted that November 2, 2021, marked 5,000 days since Tottenham last won a trophy.

If your memory is fading, let me remind you.

It was February 24, 2008. Tottenham beat Chelsea by two goals to one after extra time in the final of the League Cup, which was then known as the Carling Cup.

Didier Drogba put Chelsea one up after 39 minutes before a penalty in the 70th by Dimitar Berbatov drew Spurs level.

In extra time Jonathon Woodgate nodded home the winner, with a little bit of fortune, and Tottenham lifted the trophy.

Before then you have to go all the way back to 1991 for their previous major honour, winning the FA Cup.

Now, 13 years have passed since their Carling Cup win, that’s almost 164 months, and not a single piece of major silverware has entered into the corridors of White Hart Lane.

They came mighty close a few years ago, reaching the final of the Champions League, but lost the game 2-0 to Liverpool.

In the past 5,000 days, Spurs have had nine managers (two as caretaker), and Conte’s appointment makes him the 10th.

And I very much doubt it will be another trophy-less 5,000 days.

Conte is a born winner.

At Chelsea he won the league in his first season in charge and the FA Cup in his second. At Inter Milan he won the Serie A twice.

If I was a Spurs fan now, I would be jumping for joy at the appointment of the Italian. But I do honestly believe some of the Tottenham players may be ever so slightly worried.

Conte strikes me as the type of manager who does not suffer fools. It will be his way, or the highway, and I expect some major player changes over the next few months.

I’ve no idea what the current financial situation the club is in, but I do know they spent a huge amount of money on their new stadium.

That said, I’m sure Conte has been told there’s cash to spend in the January transfer window. Let’s face facts, he wouldn’t have signed if there wasn’t.

Harry Kane, the constant subject of transfer rumours, will no doubt be rejuvenated at the prospect of working with Conte.

And in South Korean Son Heung-min, they have for me, one of the most underrated players in the Premier League.

Conte will win trophies, of that I have no doubt. And he will turn Tottenham into a force to be reckoned with over the next few seasons.

Premier League title? I’m not so sure, but if he is given the time, and money, and allowed to run the club exactly the way he wants to, then expect to see Tottenham back playing Champions League football very regularly. VNS

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