Antonio Conte hopes to change trajectory of Tottenham
Antonio Conte takes Tottenham back to his former employers Chelsea on Sunday for what will already be something of a litmus test for both London clubs so early in the Premier League season.
Spurs had a dominant 4-1 home win against Southampton in their opening match and, on the back of some impressive new signings, the hopes and expectations are high in north London.
Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea started their campaign with a 1-0 win at Everton. The west Londoners, now controlled by an investment group led by LA Dodgers part-owner Todd Boehly following the departure of Russian Roman Abramovich, have a strong record against Spurs to live up to.
Chelsea are unbeaten in seven games against Tottenham, conceding only one goal in that run, while the visitors have won just one of their previous 37 away matches against Chelsea in all competitions.
Spurs’ Harry Kane has also failed to score in any of his past five appearances against Chelsea, who beat Spurs four times last season including a Premier League double.
Conte, who managed the Blues from 2016 to 2018 and took them to the 2016-17 league title as well as the 2018 FA Cup, will be looking to change the trajectory.
He said the game will be a good way to mark their progress. “When I arrived in Tottenham, I say we want to try to write a good story for this club,” the Italian said.
“I know very well it will be more difficult than other clubs for many reasons but I think we have started to go on the right path.
“For sure on Sunday it will be a difficult game but we want to play this game, I want to play this game and my players want to play this game.
“This game will be important to make the right evaluation about our improvement. It will be very important to us whether we win, lose or draw and then we have to be good to make the right evaluation.”
Conte said Romelu Lukaku can still be a success in the Premier League suggesting his old player needed more love at Chelsea.
It was at San Siro under Conte’s management where Lukaku showed himself to be among the best in his position and his old boss believes the 29-year-old can still flourish in England.
"I think Romelu lived two years in Milan and he was the king. For this reason I think he wanted to go back to Milan, but for sure the signing was a good signing for Chelsea. Then you know very well there are players who need time to make an impact.”