Conte believes there are two ways to win Premier League title

Antonio Conte believes there are two ways to win the Premier League title as Tottenham welcome top of the table Arsenal on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s men sit at the summit of the league as the halfway stage of the season approaches with Manchester City second, Newcastle third, Manchester United fourth and Tottenham in fifth, albeit 11 points behind their north London rivals. When asked whether it was difficult to win a league title with a younger team such as Arteta’s outfit, Conte believes it is possible while also pointing to another route after hearing United boss Erik ten Hag this week.
“It’s not difficult if you have time and patience. This process at Arsenal started three and a half years ago with Arteta. It’s normal when you work with the same young players and after four years they develop and become stronger,” he said. “You have two paths you can follow.
“I heard what Ten Hag said about Manchester United. He said it was really important to sign players with experience like Casemiro and Varane because they brought a winning mentality. If you want to accelerate the process it is important to bring experienced players, winners, who know how to win.
“But you have another way, which is you need to have time and patience to develop young players. In our squad we have eight or nine young players, who for sure have a brilliant future, but we have to continue to work, with Gil, Pape Sarr, Skippy, Sessegnon, Spence, Tanganga, Emerson is 23-years-old. We are talking about many young players.
“Arsenal is doing a good job but, don’t forget, I remember the problems they had at the start of last season. They had a lot of criticism. When I talk about time and patience it’s not an alibi, it’s a situation I know. One way is to wait to develop these young players to become stronger players.”
On everyone can expect from his Tottenham side in the second half of the season, Conte added: “My expectation is to try to improve and have a second part of the season and do our best. Until now, we did well because to stay in this position and go to next round of the Champions League and fight for the FA Cup, we are doing a good job.
“We have to continue and have the ambition to improve our level. When I speak to my players I always say if you want to try to improve everyone needs to have the target to improve and reach another level. If we can do it we will see a team that is going to grow. For sure, we have only one way to do it, to work.
“The only thing I ask is to keep fingers crossed and don’t have injuries because we don’t have a squad so deep to face many injuries. This is the only situation I am a bit worried bout. Otherwise, if I stay with the squad, all the players available, I think we can take the right satisfaction for us.”
Manchester City will play before Arsenal this weekend as they travel to Manchester United in the lunchtime kick-off on Saturday. If they can win at Old Trafford then the Gunners will have just a two-point lead at the top of the table going into Sunday’s game and Conte admits the pressure is a different thing at the summit.
“When you are at the top of the league the perception of your opponents change totally. You are in that moment the best team in the league,” he explained. “For this reason, everybody wants to try to beat you. For sure, Arsenal has to face this situation of being favourites to win the league at this moment because they are top of the table. They have to show they are good to face this type of situation.
“In the last 10 years it was always the same, between City, Chelsea and Liverpool. Maybe Leicester. Now Arsenal have a great opportunity. They are working for many years in a project. They are doing very well. They sent away a lot of players, and bring in many players and they spend money to do it. I think they are doing very well.
“Now they have to show they can stay there until the end of the season because I’m sure Manchester City doesn’t agree and will feel the real possibility to win again, especially because Liverpool already lost a lot of points. The same for Chelsea and United. I think it is a battle between Arsenal and Manchester City.”
Arsenal have come under fire for putting pressure on the officials this season and received a charge of ‘failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion’ during the 3-0 FA Cup win at Oxford on Monday night after being denied a penalty. Conte was asked whether such moments show that the Gunners are starting to feel the pressure themselves.
“Honestly, in England it’s difficult to see this type of situation – to put pressure or try to create an intimidating atmosphere around the referee,” said the Italian. “The referee has to be free to make the best decisions. I always respect the referee’s decision. I am really upset when the VAR made a mistake, but with the referee’s decisions … they can be positive or negative for you but we are human and we can make mistakes.
“I don’t like to put pressure on the referee or to create an intimidating atmosphere around them. We have to show respect and never forget that it’s a game of football.”
One thing Conte has no doubt about is that if Spurs get a penalty in Sunday’s North London Derby then Harry Kane will take it despite his high-profile miss in the World Cup quarter-final against France.
“When you speak about Harry, you have to know we are talking about a world-class striker and in his mind, I think he overcame the situation that he missed the penalty,” he said. “But he has to be in this way because when you are a champion, you know that you take an important responsibility.
“Sometimes you have to pay some negative situations like the penalty that he missed with the national team, but he has a big, big personality to know that he is a player that is going to continue to score, to take penalties. He has already overcome the negative situation.”
(Football London)
Share the Post:

Related Posts