Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has debunked reports that he has plans to dump the club at the end of the season.
The Italian, who joined in November following Nuno Espirito Santo’s sacking, has always been vague about his future, often refusing to confirm he would be at the club beyond the summer.
But there has been a change in Conte’s tone in recent weeks and it is looking more and more likely he is prepared to stick around for the long term.
“From the moment I came into the club – and in every club I worked in in the past – I go totally with my heart, mind and head,” he said. “Totally – 100% and more. This is my characteristic. I’m a passionate person. I think I showed this passion.
“I think to see me afterwards sometimes on TV, it’s not simple to see me in this way. I’m very passionate, I’m this way. I like to go totally into the club where I work.
“I know that only in this way I’m able to give everything. And also, to find the way to receive everything from my players, my club and the fans. Because if I’m the first person to give 200%, then for sure I can ask for this [in return].”
Conte’s Managerial Style
As a manager, Conte is known for using the 3–5–2 formation (or in certain cases, its more defensive variant, 5–3–2), fielding two wingbacks in lieu of wingers, with two out-and-out strikers backed by an attacking box-to-box midfielder in a three-man midfield, in front of a three-man defensive line.
During his time as head coach of Juventus, he won three consecutive Serie A titles using the 3–5–2 formation, which also soon began to be employed by several other Serie A clubs. In his time at Bari, he was noted for his unorthodox 4–2–4 formation, a modification of the classic 4–4–2, in which the outside midfielders act as attacking wingers.
Some commentators have also observed that, although Conte’s teams are capable of playing a short passing possession game, in which the ball is played out from the back on the ground, they are mainly known for their direct style of attacking play, as well as their ability to utilise long balls and score from counter-attacks with few touches; however, Conte has rejected claims that his teams prefer to sit back and play on the counter-attack.
Defensive solidity has been highlighted as a hallmark of his sides, as well as the effective use of high and aggressive pressing in order to put pressure on opponents and win back the ball quickly. Conte’s teams have also been described as possessing notable virtues such as pace, athleticism, high work-rates, versatility and tactical intelligence.