Glenn Hoddle and Peter Crouch doubt Tottenham Hotspur have enough to finish the term in the Premier League top-four unless Daniel Levy backs Antonio Conte to spend in January.
Levy appointed Conte the second Spurs manager in four-months after firing Nuno Espirito Santo following Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United. The result left the north Londoners ninth in the table and five-points adrift of the Champions League positions after 10 games.
Tottenham will hope to start to close their deficit at Everton on Sunday before entering the international break. Conte’s Spurs will travel to Goodison Park with some momentum after beating Vitesse in the Europa Conference League on Thursday.
Hoddle and Crouch issued their verdicts on Tottenham’s Premier League top-four chances while breaking down Conte’s win over Vitesse for BT Sport (5/11, 22:23). Noting they did not see enough against Vites to suggest they have enough for a Champions League spot.
Hoddle and Crouch issue top-four verdicts
Hoddle and Crouch believe Levy must back Conte in the transfer market for Tottenham to return to Europe’s elite competition. With former Spurs striker Crouch also reflecting on why Conte now took the job, having turned down replacing Jose Mourinho this summer.
“This is what I worry about,” Crouch said. “He turned it down before the season started and must have been given assurances that he will be able to spend in January and next summer. Because if you look at the top-four at the moment, I don’t think this squad is capable of getting in there and he will have to add to it and improve the current team.”
Hoddle responded: “This is the conundrum for an owner or Chairman. As soon as results go bad, it’s like ‘let’s get rid of him’. There’s no chance to plan anything for a longer-term.
“If Tottenham are to turn this around, I agree with Peter, that squad is not good enough to get in the top-four this season. So, what’s going to happen? You might win a cup of some sort. But it’s about [building] a project going forward and that takes time.”
Will Tottenham back Conte in January transfer window?
Reports by The Sun claim Levy is ready to back Conte in the transfer window with a £150m budget. The Italian also has a number of players he wants at Tottenham to improve the squad Hoddle and Crouch question.
AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, Inter defender Stefan de Vrij and Fiorentina centre-forward Dusan Vlahovic are among those reportedly wanted. With a new striker likely needed, with Spurs producing the second-least productive top-flight unit under Nuno.
Only Norwich City (3) have scored fewer goals in the Premier League this season than Tottenham (9) managed under Nuno. An area Conte will want to improve while in charge.