Tottenham Hotspur was quick to part ways with manager Antonio Conte following the club’s disappointing draw with Southampton, which left the north London outfit out of the race for a top-four finish this season. Although it was Conte’s public comments after the match that led the board to let him go, his poor record in knock-out tournaments like the Champions League was also a deciding factor.
Conte’s record in the Champions League was not impressive, with just one quarter-final appearance in the competition during his managerial career. On six occasions, his team featured in the Champions League, but they went out at the group stages on three of those occasions and the Round of 16 twice. It has now been over ten years since the Italian coach last won a knock-out game in Europe’s top-flight competition, a statistic that is sure to raise concerns among Spurs fans.
Conte arrived at Tottenham with the hopes of revitalizing the club after finishing seventh in the previous season. The Italian tactician came with some impressive credentials and a reputation for being a winner. However, after just 18 months in charge, he has failed to make Tottenham into a top-three team in the Premier League, with the club currently in sixth place.
While Conte’s record in the league was not entirely terrible, it was his inability to win knock-out tournaments that ultimately cost him the Tottenham job. The club’s record in the FA Cup, League Cup, and Champions League under Conte was disappointing, with just one win in four in the League Cup and an early exit from FA Cup in the hands of Middlesbrough and Sheffield United.
Mauricio Pochettino, who managed Tottenham for five years before departing in 2019, had a much better record in knock-out tournaments, leading the club to a Champions League final in 2019. During his tenure, Pochettino achieved an average of 1.84 points per game, which is higher than Conte’s average of 1.78 points per game in all competitions.
In conclusion, while Antonio Conte had some impressive results and achievements during his time at Tottenham, his inability to win knock-out tournaments was ultimately his undoing. His record in the Champions League and other competitions fell way below the standards required for a top-class manager. With the North London outfit struggling to maintain their position in the top four, the club’s board would need to make the right managerial appointment that can help Spurs cement their place among the elite teams in the Premier League once again.