Teddy Sheringham Exclusive: "Champions League Achievable Under Conte"
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Teddy Sheringham Exclusive: "Champions League Achievable Under Conte"

Former Tottenham star Teddy Sheringham believes that Champions League football could be on the horizon – now Antonio Conte is in the dugout. The North Londoners pulled off a coup by appointing the serial winner as their new head coach last week, raising expectations that he will usher in a period of success at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Conte may have kicked off his reign with an uninspiring 0-0 draw at Everton, but Sheringham is confident things will improve under the former Chelsea, Italy, Juventus and Inter Milan boss.


Champions League Achievable

Speaking exclusively to Genting, he said:

“Yeah (he can deliver Champions League football). There’s so much of the season to go. 

“There’s just over a quarter of the season gone – it’s a great opportunity. 

“It’s good timing to change the manager if you’re not happy with him, and there’s plenty of time for the new one to come in and change things.”

Pochettino Achievements

The challenge for Conte is to eclipse former manager Mauricio Pochettino’s achievements, after the Argentine coach took Tottenham to the Champions League final in 2019.

However, Sheringham acknowledged that this will be a tough task for the 52-year-old tactician:

 “I think that (winning the Champions League) is a long shot right at this minute,” he explained.

“I think he (Conte) would have been given assurances that he can have the type of player that he would want to be able to try to do that. 

“Nothing is guaranteed. If you’re given the tools to produce your best moments, then that’s all you can ask for. 

“If Conte is coming into Tottenham, I would think (Daniel) Levy has given him assurances that there is the money to go and get one, two, three players over the next six months in the two transfer periods and have a real go. 

“He’s a winner and wants to do that.”

Mentality Change Needed

Ending Spurs’ run of three Premier League games without victory will be top of Conte’s agenda, before the former Italy international can dream of continental glory.

And Sheringham – who racked up 124 goals across two spells at White Hart Lane – thinks changing the players’ mentality will be key to turning things around:

“Getting their mentality right (is Conte’s biggest challenge), because everybody’s under-performing,” he said. 

“It doesn’t take a lot, but you can also rub people up the wrong way in things that you do as well, and make them even worse than what they are. 

“The players have got to respond and they need to up their game by the 30%, 40% that they’ve been missing this year, and if everybody’s pulling in the same direction, then you’ve got a chance.  

“First and foremost, he’s got to get the players that he’s got there performing to the best of their ability.”

New Recruits Required In January

Regardless of how Tottenham’s new manager can improve his current set of players, reinforcements are still likely to be needed in the upcoming January transfer window.

But bolstering the squad with top quality additions could be difficult in mid-season, according to Sheringham.

He said: “Top players don’t become available, especially midway through the season if teams are challenging for big honours. 

“I think it’s very tough. Without naming names, he’s got to go in for top players. 

“If those players become available and a Tottenham manager says, ‘OK, I want that top player’ or ‘Becoming a top player, we’ll give you £200,000 a week’ – all of a sudden now you’ve got Newcastle to contend with and want to build and buy a new squad.

“They’ll say, ‘Straight on top of you, we’ll gazump you, we’ll give you £300,000 a week’ and money talks, so these players are going to be hard to come by now. 

“There’s another club that are going to be coming for all these top players.”




V: 1.22.1 All rights reserved. August 2021