Gary Neville says Antonio Conte is ‘perfect match for Spurs’ who ‘will get top four’ this season


Gary Neville believes that Tottenham will still finish inside the top four this season, despite Antonio Conte’s suffering a 2-1 defeat at home to Liverpool on Sunday.

Spurs have won just one of their last four league games but still sit fourth in the Premier League standings, three points clear of Manchester United who also lost today.

Despite recent blips in form, the Italian manager has improved things at Tottenham after he took over from Nuno Espirito Santo in 2021, guiding the Lilywhites to a fourth place finish that season.

But while things aren’t currently going the 53-year-old’s way, with losses to Manchester United, Newcastle and Liverpool seeing Spurs drop behind the Magpies to fourth in the table, Gary Neville was still confident the Italian can turn things around and get them a Champions League berth this season.

‘He does get results, Neville said to Sky Sports following the match. ‘I think they will still get top four.

‘There will always be the undercurrent with Conte and football not being what you want to see because some of the brands are outstanding and it is more rigid and less flexible, you won’t get that here but he will get results.’

Jurgen Klopp and Conte came head-to-head today for the first time since the German took a swipe at his counterpart last season, saying the Italian’s ‘rigid’ style of football ‘was not for him’ after Spurs stopped the Reds from winning the league with a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

But the Merseyside club enacted their revenge today, with Mohamed Salah grabbing a brace of goals, neatly dinking his second major over Hugo Lloris, to move Liverpool up to eighth in the league standings.

Away from the pitch, much speculation has been bubbling around Conte’s future at the club, with the former Juventus manager’s contract set to expire at the end of the season.

Many clubs have been sniffing at his availability, including his former club Juve, but Neville believes Conte ‘will not leave London until he has won silver wear’ with Spurs, suggesting he is ‘currently in the perfect place to achieve that’.

Neville said: ‘I think Antonio Conte will get Tottenham a trophy. He’s the type of manager who won’t leave until he does win a trophy. Conte will bring Tottenham success.

‘He’s a great addition, a great asset to the Premier League. He’s the only manager I’ve seen almost have the measure of Chelsea when he went there. He’s the only one who has left Chelsea almost on his terms. He’s smart, intelligent, Daniel Levy will have to keep him happy.

‘This club, this stadium, with this money in this league, where else could Conte get this in Europe? Conte and Spurs need each other. Levy needs Champions League football and Conte needs a great club that gets him the exposure and success he wants. At this moment they are perfect for each other.’

After a successful summer transfer window, it is clear that the former Italy manager has turned things around at the London club, bringing in some top quality talent like Richarlison, Christian Romero and Ivan Perisic.

And during the post-match analysis, Graham Souness urged patience with the Tottenham boss, as while his side seem to be struggling at the moment, they are on the right track.

‘I would be patient with Antonio Conte, Spurs are on the right road with him,’ the former Liverpool man said. ‘What’s happened this year is their struggles have been compounded by how Arsenal have started the season.

‘If Arsenal aren’t flying like they are then there is no discontent to the level we’re seeing at Tottenham.’

Jamie Redknapp meanwhile blamed their dips in form on some of the ‘unfortunate injuries’ they have sustained to key players like Son Heung-min and Richarlison.

‘They have been unfortunate with injuries,’ Redknapp said. ‘Son, Richarlison, Romero, Dejan Kulusevski, there was a spark when he came on.

‘When spurs finished above arsenal they thought they would kick on but their nearest rivals have gone to another level.

‘But it’s a long season, it could all change. Even from Liverpool’s point of view it could change.’


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