It may certainly raise eyebrows of many, as Manchester City star Rodri has named Tottenham Hotspur as surprise challengers to their Premier League title. While the Premier League championship has been a matter of two, between City and Liverpool for the last five years, a change in the guard is well on the horizons. Liverpool are reeling in 8th place, collecting just 2 wins from 6 games so far.
As a result, it is the perfect time for teams such as Tottenham and Arsenal who have beefed up their squads in the summer market, to find their lost glory. While title bid could be termed a shot too far, both the North London clubs are looking in good form, with Arsenal sitting atop of the table and Spur level on points with City in third. However, Rodri feels it is the Spurs’ boss Antonio Conte who can lead them to their maiden Premier League title.
Rodri believes the ‘Conte’ factor could benefit Tottenham in challenging City
Rodri has been plying his trade in the English top flight with Pep Guardiola’s City for three years now, winning two league titles alongside other trophies. City are now tipped to complete a three-peat of Premier League titles this season, after their stunning summer business saw them acquire the likes of Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Julian Alvarez, Manuel Akanji, Sergio Gomez and Stefan Ortega.
However, the 26-year-old feels as usual the race to clinch the league title won’t be easy this year. Liverpool may have been in poor form, but Tottenham have been rejuvenated under Antonio Conte. The ‘Italian Stallion’ steered Spurs to a fourth-place finish last season, pipping Arsenal who were better positioned to lay claim. Conte as a result was rewarded with a boosting budget to spend in the summer, as he signed Richarlison, Ivan Perisic, Yves Bissouma, Djed Spence, Clement Lenglet and Fraser Forster.
Tottenham now sit third in the table, sharing a similar record to that of defending champions Manchester City by picking 5 wins and 2 draws from 7 games. Conte’s attack of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Dejan Kulusevski and Richarlison is firing on all cylinders as well, netting 10 goals and providing 7 assists combined. Rodri feels Spurs have enough firepower and the right coach to lead them towards a title challenge. The midfielder, who on international duty with Spain for Nations League games told Gazzetta dello Sport:
“They [Tottenham] have put together a great squad and they have a manager who has very clear ideas and who knows how to convey them perfectly. They know what they have to do and they do it with great precision. I see Spurs as candidates for the title. [Antonio] Conte’s career speaks for itself.”
One thing Rodri has pointed out here is undisputed, and that is Conte’s career which definitely speaks for itself. The 53-year-old has won six league titles in his managerial career so far, which includes a Premier League triumph with Chelsea. He guided the Blues to the league title in 2016/17 season, despite picking just 3 wins from first six games. While it can still be argued that ‘it was Chelsea and this is Tottenham’, Conte’s abilities are not to be doubted in any way.