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If you were to ask people outside of the United Kingdom who was the biggest Premier League team, they would probably name one of Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea or Manchester United. Over the past few years, these are the teams who have either won the most titles, or regularly finished near the top of the table.
One side who would possibly be named too are Tottenham Hotspur. They are known to people around the world because of some of the top players they’ve had to represent them through the years, such as Gareth Bale, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane. However, while they really were pushing for the title a few seasons ago under Mauricio Pochettino, and even made it to the Champions League final in 2019, they have since fallen away.
As they were moving into a brand new stadium that cost well over $1 billion, they had to save money wherever possible, which meant that few signings were made, whilst the players they had were allowed to get older without being adequately replaced.
Certain players like Eriksen decided to leave, leaving those who remained, such as Kane, unhappy with the club. Despite his best efforts to move away from Spurs, and the betting odds suggesting he was going to join Manchester City, Kane ended up staying in North London, for the time being at least.
Pochettino was fired, and serial winner Jose Mourinho was brought in to replace him. Mourinho used to be a favourite with people who placed bets on soccer, as he was so good at winning games, meaning the odds were always in his favour, no matter the opposition. However, he is no longer the manager he once was, and his sides would often lose to sides far inferior to them, which really upset the oddsmakers. As Tottenham manager, the sports betting stats were rarely in his favour, as soon enough the only time people were placing bets on him was for him to lose his job. He eventually did, in April 2021.
Conte keeps them waiting
It was at this point that Tottenham and their owner Daniel Levy tried to sign Antonio Conte, the former Inter Milan, Chelsea and Italy manager. He knocked them back, preferring to stay out of a job to assess his options. Instead, Nuno Espírito Santo took over (who was way down the betting odds list to begin with), hoping to get Tottenham back to winning ways. Despite 3 early victories, including against the champions Manchester City, soon results started to go against Nuno, and it was only 3 months into the 2021/22 season when he was fired.
Clearly Conte had been approached again to take over at White Hart Lane, as it was only the next day when he was unveiled. His first task was to make them hard to beat again, and to try and get them back up the table. This task was made all the more difficult, due to an injury to star defender Cristian Romero.
Romero struggled so far in the Premier League
Tottenham fans were excited when Romero joined them on loan early this year, as they knew of his pedigree from his playing days at Genoa and Atalanta. He has also appeared for the Argentine national team, so is clearly proven at the top level. Despite some strong early performances in a white shirt, Romero also found life in the Premier League difficult, as it looked like he was struggling to adjust to the pace of the game.
He was also in the news for all the wrong reasons, as whilst on international duty, officials stormed the pitch during a Brazil v Argentina match, declaring that Romero was amongst a number of players who lied about how they entered the country. He was then forced to miss a number of matches for Spurs, which certainly angered the fans.
To make matters worse, he has now picked up a serious-looking injury, which Conte believes will keep him out until at least the new year. This could affect how people bet on Tottenham, as with him not in the side they could well concede more goals than usual.
How will Conte react?
It is quite the headache for the new manager, who was looking to make Romero the key part of his defence. Now, he will be forced to change things around, and bring in other players who might have otherwise spent more time on the bench.
As Conte likes to play with 3 central defenders, it means that he has had to play Ben Davies, who looked to be on his way out of the club during the summer transfer window. While this worked against Brentford in their most recent fixture, you’d expect Tottenham to have more difficulty against some of the bigger sides in the Premier League, where they won’t be the favourites in the betting markets.
Conte will be hoping that Romero is back before too long, so he can finally start to work with the Argentine defender.