Is Antonio Conte's Tottenham squad really that much worse than the one he inherited at Chelsea?

Antonio Conte, Tottenham
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Antonio Conte can specialise in withering putdowns. It can be an issue that he directs some of them at his own side. He responded to his first defeat to English opposition as Tottenham manager by branding Spurs a mid-table team. Or, as he put it: “We are a team in the middle. Because in the last few years the level of Tottenham has dropped, and dropped a lot.”

Tottenham were sixth when he spoke, two points off the top four. Conte’s definition of mid-table may be harsher than many another’s, even if, 20 points off the top and 23 from the bottom, Spurs are mathematically close to a halfway between Manchester City and Norwich. But he could certainly argue he took over one mid-table Premier League team: Chelsea.

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