Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte is maximising all he has at Spurs & needs support from above

Sean Walsh
Conte remains unbeaten in the Premier League as Spurs boss
Conte remains unbeaten in the Premier League as Spurs boss / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages
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It was a game that seemed destined to slip away from Spurs.

They trailed Leicester City by 2-1 late into the Wednesday night, hit by two sucker-punches in a game where they were quite obviously the better side.

Antonio Conte must have been ready to whip out his latest round of transfer pleas via the media, doubling down on Tuesday's sentiment that Spurs must "do something" this window.

For 95 minutes, his Tottenham team battered down the hatches of Brendan Rodgers' resilient Foxes, who took the to pitch for the first time in the league in 2022 following a string of postponements.

And then Steven Bergwijn struck twice in the very last minutes of stoppage time to hand Spurs a deserved three points. Football isn't always straightforward.

The visitors looked sharper throughout, with Harry Kane - who put in his best performance of the season by far - dictating play, running the offence, scoring and assisting, booting into row Z because no one else would.

Spurs' recent cup fumbles have clouded their immense progress in the league since Conte's appointment, and returned to looking like a team who have been well drilled and properly coached.

Sergio Reguilon and Matt Doherty both impressed in wing-back roles, stretching play, directly and indirectly causing Leicester serious problems. Oliver Skipp played in an advanced role and found real joy picking the hosts apart. Harry Winks was able to freely dictate play from deep in an impressive display watched by England boss Gareth Southgate.

Conte's arrival has no doubt saved Spurs' season, and you would be brave to bet against them not finishing in the top four - a task that looked improbably if not impossible when he first arrived.

But the Italian tactician wants more than this. The fans want more than this. Even the maligned Daniel Levy will want more than this.

Tottenham have succeeded in the last two months at maximising the sum of their parts, but they need a refresh in personnel in order to cement their spot as top-four favourites and begin closing that gap to the Premier League's big three (it's a big three now, not a 'big six').

Levy struck gold with the best managerial appointment in the history of Tottenham Hotspur (at least in terms of how good the coach was when they arrived), but that's only part of his problem solved. Spurs need to start consistently looking like a team who inhabit a billion-pound stadium and Conte has got them moving in the right direction.

Even if Conte were to bring in one of his preferred targets - be that Adama Traore or a Serie A journeyman with 12 caps for Italy - then at least he'll have 'something' to work with for the rest of the season.

Son Heung-min, Eric Dier and Cristian Romero will all be back from injuries soon, while Kane looked a man possessed tonight. Spurs have the highest immediate and realistic upside of their rivals for a top-four place, but some helping hands are needed to avoid all doubt.


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