New Spurs head coach Antonio Conte, who has signed an 18-month contract at the club with an option to extend, was appointed on Tuesday following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo; Italian's first game in charge will be Thursday's Europa Conference League game against Vitesse Arnhem
Thursday 4 November 2021 21:04, UK
Antonio Conte will take charge of Tottenham for the first time against Vitesse Arnhem on Thursday after his visa was approved.
New Spurs head coach Conte, who has signed an 18-month contract at the club with an option to extend, was appointed on Tuesday following the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.
The 52-year-old oversaw his first Tottenham training session earlier this week at Hotspur Way but was waiting for his visa to be approved so he could officially take charge of Thursday's visit of Vitesse in the Europa Conference League.
Spurs currently sit third in their group, three points behind leaders Rennes and two points behind their Dutch opponents.
Conte is likely to be without Bryan Gil (hamstring), but Sergio Reguilon, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli are among those hoping to impress from the start.
Former Chelsea boss Conte has taken up his first managerial post since leaving Inter Milan and vowed to bring consistency to Spurs by playing "attractive" football.
He departed Inter by mutual consent in May, just three weeks after leading the club to a first Serie A title in 11 years, adding to the three Italian league titles he claimed with Juventus between 2011 and 2014.
Conte joined Inter after leaving Chelsea, where he became one of just four managers to win the Premier League in his first season in English football. Despite winning the FA Cup in his second season at Stamford Bridge, he was dismissed after a fifth-placed league finish.
The former Italy head coach - initially targeted by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy in the summer - has the second-highest win rate of managers who have taken charge of at least 50 Premier League games, with 51 victories from 76 matches, trailing only Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.
Former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason has been named as part of Conte's coaching staff.
Mason spent six weeks in interim charge last season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho and won four of his seven Premier League games at the helm, securing European football in the shape of the Europa Conference League.
He returned to his previous role as head of development at the club's academy when Nuno Espirito Santo was appointed, but is now back in the first-team environment.
Cristian Stellini has been appointed as Conte's assistant, having previously worked with him at Juventus and Inter Milan, with Gianluca Conte, Costantino Coratti, Gian Piero Ventrone and Stefano Bruno also joining the backroom staff.
Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris says his side have a "great opportunity to work under one of the greatest managers of the last few years" in Conte but demands they make it count.
Given their slump in recent years, the appointment of Conte - regarded as one of the top coaches in the world - is a real coup and has raised expectations that Spurs could challenge for honours as they did under Pochettino.
"He is very ambitious and he believes in all the players in the dressing room," Lloris said. "He will give his best to help the club to improve and to give a proper structure to the team.
"Then as players we need to demand more from each other. We need to show more responsibility for the clubs and fans.
"It is a great opportunity to work under one of the greatest managers of the last few years. Now is not the time for words. It is time to work.
"It is time to believe again in ourselves, our team and in our club. Step by step we will try to improve and reach the level that we should.
"The club showed the right direction. There is a lot of ambition for Tottenham and they try to provide the best towards the players. But the players need to show their responsibility and they need to show their commitment. It is about finding the right connection together."
Follow Tottenham vs Vitesse with our dedicated live blog across Sky Sports' digital platforms.
Matchday 5: November 25 2021
Matchday 6: December 9 2021
February 17 & 24 2022: Knockout round play-offs
March 10 & 17 2022: Round of 16
April 7 & 14 2022: Quarter-finals
April 28 & May 5 2022: Semi-finals
May 25 2022: Final (National Arena, Tirana)
November 4: Tottenham vs Vitesse Arnhem - Europa Conference League, kick-off 8pm
November 7: Everton vs Tottenham - Premier League, kick-off 7pm
November 21: Tottenham vs Leeds - Premier League, kick-off 4.30pm, live on Sky Sports
November 25: NS Mura vs Tottenham - Europa Conference League, kick-off 5.45pm
November 28: Burnley vs Tottenham - Premier League, kick-off 2pm
December 2: Tottenham vs Brentford - Premier League, kick-off 7.30pm