“It weakens team” – Antonio bemoans Tottenham’s transfer philosophy(The Pochettino’s philosophy)

sportcruz.com  > Untold stories >  “It weakens team” – Antonio bemoans Tottenham’s transfer philosophy(The Pochettino’s philosophy)

Antonio Conte has raised concern about Tottenham difficult January transfer window but understands the club’s priority is to find and develop young players.

Tottenham missed out on Conte’s choice Amrabat, Adama Traore and Luis Diaz, and only brought in Juventus pair Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur on Deadline Day.

Conte, who has won league titles in his three previous club jobs at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan, raised concerns about Spurs January window in his interview with Sky Sports Italy, where he claimed the January transfer window made his side ‘worse’

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte unveils as Tottenham Hotspur manager (Getty Images)

Antonio Conte replaced Nuno Espirito Santo as Spurs boss at the start of November and  his recent woeful run makes Tottenham currently lie in eighth place – seven points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with three games in hand.

“We lost four players in January. Four important players for Tottenham, and we brought in only two. So, even just in terms of numbers, rather than reinforce the squad, we on paper weakened it,” 

Then precise choices were made for many reasons, but I certainly never expected that in January four players who I still considered important would change their shirts for a thousand reasons. This shows the difficulty”

“It is inevitable that in January it is very difficult to get two players like Bentancur and Kulusevski to sign who, I repeat, are the ideal prospects for Tottenham,” he said.

“Tottenham is looking for young players, players to be developed, not ready players. The vision, the philosophy of the club is this.

“It is inevitable that if you want to grow faster and if you want to be more quickly you need players with a lot of experience, because they also lead to an increase in experience in your team.

“But then again, the vision of the club I realised is this and will continue to be this. For this reason it will take a lot of patience and I continue to explain it to the whole environment and to the fans.”

Antonio Conte on his team confidence. 

Tottenham poor performances in the last few days led to consecutive defeats against Southampton and Wolves.

In his press conference, he ripped into his team lack of winning mentality.

“You can not buy the winning mentality. The winning mentality you get it day-by-day. Winning mentality means that when you play, you are ready to kill. This is the difference.

“We are working very hard with the players, and there is a great community, but it is not enough. It is not enough.

In his interview with the Sky Italy,the head coach suggested mistakes are being made due to a lack of confidence among his current squad.

“It is always difficult to make comparisons, but surely when you take the job in a team that hasn’t won for a long time it is inevitable that you will lack confidence,” said Conte.

“The confidence is down and many times, at the first obstacle, you throw yourself down and many times the negativity increases even more. Sometimes you grant goals that you struggle to accept.

“This has been happening to us in the last period. This is part of a process of a team that has to grow a lot to try to be competitive.”

What’s Conte’s Philosophy?

“It is inevitable that if you want to grow faster and if you want to be more quickly you need players with a lot of experience, because they also lead to an increase in experience in your team.

Conte’s is always known for his ruthless approach in the transfer window and his team always built on experience and versatility.

Conte notably complained about a lack of spending power at the end of his time in Turin. Per Ian Herbert of The Independent, the Italian said: “You cannot eat at a €100 restaurant with just €10 in your pocket, can you?”

Conte brought in over 30 players during his three seasons at Juventus, but the most expensive of those was Kwadwo Asamoah for £16.2 million, according to Transfermarkt.

He was also able to sign the likes of Carlos Tevez, Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal for the Bianconeri, though the latter two were relatively unknown quantities at the time, with Pogba departing Manchester United for free as a teenager and Vidal arriving from Bayer Leverkusen.

Also, Conte broke records at both Chelsea & Inter for the amount of money spent in one season with £234.5m spent in his second campaign at Chelsea and £172m used on new signings in his first year at Inter.

Conte’s performance warrants more backing from the club, who will need to be prepared to spend if they’re to seriously compete with their rivals in the coming years.


As soon as Conte was appointed as Chelsea manager in 2016 he went about filling his squad with hard-working, versatile talents.

The 52-year-old was well-backed in his first window at Stamford Bridge, and the club reaped the benefits.

Antonio Conte and John Terry with Premier League Trophy (Getty Images)

He signed Michy Batshuayi from Marseille for £35m before making three top signings.N’Golo Kante of Leicester City (£32m), David Luiz from PSG (£31m) and wingback Marcos Alonso of Fiorentina (£20m) all joined the Blues and were influential in the club’s title success that season.

Despite the avalanche of defenders, the Italian then still went further to add Antonio Rudiger from AS Roma for a reported fees of £31M and has since become a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge and one of the best defenders in the league.

Tiemoue Bakayako (£36m) Olivier Giroud from Arsenal (£15m), Emerson (£15m), creative midfielder Ross Barkley (£15m), Premier League winner Danny Drinkwater (£34m) and Italian wingback Davide Zappacosta (£22m, Torino) were all signed.

Even though, not all proved to be a success at the club, however, most of them were star-studded who contributed a lot to the EPL title winning of 2016 with the likes of N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and Antonio Rudiger still enjoying successful careers at Stamford Bridge.


Despite spending just two years at Inter, Conte didn’t hesitate to bring in a new wave of talents to the squad as he maked it clear that he wouldn’t be able to achieve those goals without being well-backed in the transfer markets.

One of his first pieces of business at the helm was signing experienced defender Diego Godin on a free transfer, a smart acquisition, before making Matteo Politano’s loan move permanent (£19million) and splashing the cash on Valentino Lazaro (£20m). The pair provided depth but hardly made an impact for the club.

Antonio Conte lifts the Serie A trophy (Getty Images)

When Inter lifted the Serie A trophy last season, credit must go to the manager for how well he reinvented the club.

Inter’s best business under Conte then ensued as they acquired the services of Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella on loan to buy deals, whilst also signing Cristiano Biraghi and Alexis Sanchez on loan.

Romelu Lukaku was the marquee signing of the window, joining from Manchester United for £66m in a move that revived his career. The Belgian has since joined Chelsea for £97.5m having scored 64 goals for Inter in 95 appearances – firing Inter to the Serie A title in the process.

In 2019/20 the January transfer window, Conte’s business was cheap but effective. He signed Ashley Young from United for a mere £1m and Victor Moses on loan, who provided cover in the wingback roles. Christian Eriksen was also purchased from Tottenham for £24m, who played a rotational but key role in the title success.

During Conte’s second summer in charge, the manager did not spend great amounts but invested wisely.

Barella’s (£29m) and Sensi’s (£22m) moves were made permanent, and Arturo Vidal and Sanchez both joined the club on a free transfer. Matteo Darmian also join.

He came to Inter and demanded the club sign the players who he wanted. He got players like Christian Eriksen, Arturo Vidal and Ashley Young… and it worked.

He won the league title- Inter’s first in over 10 years whilst breaking Juventus dominance in the process.

Conte’s Tottenham target who failed to materialize.

When Antonio Conte took over the reign of Tottenham head coach in November, According to the reports, he would like to bring in three major signing he needed at the club : Wing – backs, Central defender and Central Midfielder / winger.

Stefan de Vrij

The Dutch international is well known to Conte having been a mainstay in his Serie A-winning side at Inter.

Antonio Conte shakes hands with his player Stefan De Vrij (Getty Images)

At 29, De Vrij is in the prime of his career as a centre-back. However, the latest report from Sport Witness suggests Inter may have dropped the ball.

Hutton has told Football Insider that De Vrij would be a “good addition” for Spurs:

“He is what they need. Conte, a back-three is his style.

“He knows how to get the best out of these players and what formation to play. A back-three, you have to be strong.

“I think he’d be a good addition. Decent age, good experience, it’s within the value I think is fair. I mean, some people may say it’s a little bit high for a 29-year-old but you’re getting a wealth of experience and a strong defender.


Romano has claimed that Amrabat is the top choice midfield target for Fabio Paratici and Antonio Conte, but only once Spurs complete some outgoings, such as Ndombele.

Having fallen out with new manager, Conte sees this as a good opportunity to secure a player who is perfect for his ideas and perfect for the Premier League.

However, none of these transfers rumours materialize as it failed to center on the youth – The Tottenham’s (Pochettino) philosophy.

Hence, probably why Bentancur is signed instead of Amrabat and the signing of Vrij would have hinded the development of the likes of Christian Romero, Davison Sanchez, Eric Dier, Japhett Tanganga and Co

What’s Pochettino’s Philosophy?

Pochettino’s philosophy is building his team around the youth, which he had been carrying since the beginning was again made evident.

After guiding Southampton to their best-ever point tally in the Premier League a season before, the Argentine agreed to become Tottenham Hotspur head coach.

Becoming their tenth manager over the course of 12 years, the Argentine took no time in outrightly getting rid of the deadwood.The likes of Soldado, Kaboul, Paulinho, Sandro, Dawson and others were relinquished in place of the arrivals of Heung-min Son, Toby Alderweireld, Eric Dier, Kieran Trippier, Dele Alli and Co

Pochettino admitted that Spurs cannot compete with their wealthier Premier League rivals in the transfer market but he hopes they can emulate Barca’s success at developing youth.

“It’s very important for us to continue, only we need time,” Pochettino told a news conference.

“There are a lot of examples and the best one, we are all agreed, was Barcelona. They have a lot of good players from the academy, who are among the best players in the world. It is a good example for us.

“Maybe it is very different, as we have a different philosophy in the way that we work, and we create our own philosophy — that is very important. But we continue to believe in our young talent.

“As we bring young talent from the academy, we keep our identity. Tottenham is different to another club and it is for that we need to continue to bring players from the academy.”

It is true that we have a lot of younger players, but they have a very strong mentality and they are hungry,’ Pochettino said.

“Now we have good examples like Cameron [Carter-Vickers], Harry Winks, Marcus Edwards, Josh Onomah, Luke Amos, William Miller, Kazaiah Sterling… Why not believe that one day they are all in the first team and maybe we will get big success with them?

‘Sometimes you have a lot of older, experienced players who have won a lot of titles (but now they are) without hunger. It is always important to have balance.

We need to have senior players who are hungry and young ones that push a lot and want to win the title.’

’We started to build a team one year ago and the team has started to play how we want in the last six or seven months.

‘This is a new and different project and there are a lot of more experienced teams in the Premier League

“This is our dream. Always we need some experienced players that can help the young ones. That is important always. We have great potential in the academy. The club have unbelievable facilities and maybe in two years [will] be in the new stadium. All we have ahead is great and we are all excited for the future here.”

The younger player needs faith in them and you need to translate the feeling that you believe in them. They need to believe that you believe because, if not, it’s nothing.”It’s a process.

If trophies are a synonym to success, Pochettino is indeed a failure. But the fact that he worked through his team without signing a single player in 2018 and reaching the Champions League Final is no cakewalk.

Pochettino’s progress at Tottenham can be understood through the fact that he led his team to a fifth, third and a second-place finish in his first three seasons.

Before Pochettino, Spurs’ average finish in the Premier League lied between 6-10. Their best-ever finish in the pre-Pochettino era was fourth which they had only achieved twice.

Four years onto the Argentine’s Tottenham tenure, Kane – who wasn’t afforded the deserved playing time during his loan spells – became a Premier League and World Cup Golden Boot winner. Alli went from playing in League One to becoming a two-time PFA Young Player of the Year. Son also one of  the Epl best winger in the past decade.

The methods of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Pochettino may have varied but all three managers played intensive games. The more players they had at their disposal, the easier it was to sustain, and more likely it was to end in silverware.

However, if Tottenham are to put themselves among the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, Antonio Conte will know the quality of his squad must improve.

It is, therefore, no coincidence that both Guardiola and Klopp have enjoyed remarkable success in the interim having been backed to the hilt in the transfer market, whereas Pochettino left Tottenham without a single trophy on his name

What lies for Antonio Conte at Tottenham? 

Former Tottenham’s manager Redknapp believes Conte could decide to leave for a different challenge if he deems the Spurs setup to be destined for failure.

“When you go to Chelsea you always have a chance to win things, and if you go to Milan or Juventus, you can do great jobs there.

“But I don’t think he will stick around if he does not see any progression.

“I think he will want to be up there, looking to win something, and if he isn’t, then I think he will become disillusioned very quickly.”

The former Spurs manager says the Italian may not hang around if the club doesn’t find a place among the elite.

Our verdict

When someone like Conte, who has been a serial winner as a manager and player at various clubs, tells you the level of your outfit in comparison, you listen even if you don’t like what you are hearing.

You need that foundation to build on moving forward and Conte knows what he’s doing

The 52-year-old has done this at every workplace he’s been in. He’s not shy in coming forward and that is what makes the marriage between Antonio Conte and Tottenham Hotspur such a strange one.

The Spurs chairman Levy is renowned for keeping the chequebook firmly shut until he deems a move is truly worth doing and has never been the type to splash the club’s cash in reckless fashion, however It is hard to believe Conte would have taken the Spurs job without some sort of guarantees.

In essence, Levy has set himself up with the appointment of the former Inter, Chelsea and Juventus boss and must be ready to bear the responsibilities that come with it.

For Levy, to appoint Conte you raise not only the expectations of the fans but also the expectations of what you must do as a club to help him achieve what he has repeatedly shown he can.

The past has shown that he will not remain quiet if he does not get that backing, whatever was initially discussed.