Antonio Conte could lead Tottenham Hotspur to challenge for a trophy next season, provided he gets the right support, says Jamie O’Hara.
The Italian took over at the north London club in November after Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked and propelled them to fourth place.
Tottenham snatched the coveted Champions League final spot from rivals Arsenal, with the Gunners losing their four-point advantage in the final three games of the season.
Conte’s side crushed their rivals 3-0 at Tottenham Stadium, destabilizing Mikel Arteta’s side.
And following Spurs’ 5-0 win over Norwich City on the final day, Champions League football has been officially confirmed for Tottenham.
“To finish in the top four means that next season you will be playing for the most important trophy in Europe,” Conte explained after his team’s victory.
“And you know very well that the best players and the best coaches want to play for this trophy.
“It’s a good step for us to have ambition and to fight.”
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And it was the Italian’s impact that led talkSPORT O’Hara to believe his side’s manager is key for Tottenham to continue next season.
“It’s hard because [Ryan] Sessegnon, who was completely on the sidelines, was not next to me. O’Hara started Monday’s talkSPORT breakfast, the morning after his team secured the top four.
“I feel like Conte is getting the most out of every player he has,” he told Breakhast, pointing out that Ryan Sessegnon went from pariah to first-team contender under the boss.
“But if you look at the players he brought in like Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski, if you add a few more of that quality, I think we could win a trophy next season, really.”
Tottenham are currently rumored to be in the race to sign Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City alongside rivals Arsenal, with the player confirming at ESPN Monday that his future remains “uncertain” as he seeks to join a new club.
And when asked by co-host Laura Woods what competition Spurs could go all the way in if they sign quality players like Jesus, O’Hara kept his feet on the ground.
“Well it’s not going to be the Premier League, let’s not get carried away,” he added.
“But, I think we could fight for an FA Cup, a Carabao Cup. I think that’s where we have to start and be realistic, solidify another top four position.
“Now I look at the team and I look at the players, they seem a lot happier than they have been in the past. The fans are absolutely behind everything Conte does and he is an absolute class act.
Although it’s clicked for the Italian and his new team now, there were some hairy moments following his appointment.
Spurs weathered a rough patch in February, losing four out of five games – including a 1-0 loss to relegated Burnley, now relegated.
It’s something O’Hara says he acknowledges in his assessment of Conte’s appointment, but said every manager, no matter how good, needs time to make it work.
“It takes time. You look at Jurgen Klopp and what he did at Liverpool, it takes time,” O’Hara said.
“I think with Conte we have to make sure he’s happy and we have to make sure we give him everything he needs in terms of players and support, making him feel like he’s the man in charge and I hope he can have a long reign.
“Normally he goes there after a few seasons, he falls out with people and moves on.
“I think if you can really let him really build a team with the quality players he’s brought in with a director of football that he really gets on with, I think he can build something special – everything. is there for Tottenham now.
“We have the manager, we have the players, we have the stadium, we have the facilities, we have Champions League football.
“We are now ahead of Arsenal and we have to make sure we stay there.”
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