'Very difficult': Antonio Conte makes claim about Chelsea's substitutes after Tottenham's final game of the season
Tottenham manager Antonio Conte claims his side need a strong substitutes bench next season to mirror Premier League rivals such as Chelsea.
Spurs got over the line yesterday for a top-four finish in the Premier League by winning on the final day, which meant they finished only three points adrift of third-placed Chelsea.
Conte, who took charge as Spurs boss last November, has made quite the impact in north London to get his side Champions League qualification at the expense of rivals Arsenal.
All eyes will be on how far he can take his group moving into next year, though.
Antonio Conte on substitutes
Conte spoke immediately after the final game of the season yesterday about the new rules being implemented by the Premier League next season, which will allow for teams to make up to five substitutions in a match. Incidentally, these changes can be made during three different occasions.
He suggested the depth of the Spurs squad still needs to catch up with rivals Chelsea, Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United.
“We need to improve a lot. Next season the league will be very difficult for all the teams. With five subs you can change a game. If the bench is strong like a top team, like City, Chelsea, United and Liverpool, you need to improve a lot your squad in quality aspect and numerical aspect. You have to face in England three national competitions and one in the Champions League,” Conte said.
Chelsea’s unused substitutes in yesterday’s win against Watford included Jorginho, Romelu Lukaku and Christian Pulisic to highlight the size of the current group.
In fairness, the Blues will need to be busy in the transfer market to have the same kind of depth in their squad as Man City and Liverpool.
The problem for manager Thomas Tuchel is that no transfer activity can begin until the takeover is finalised and signed.
Conte’s attempting to give a nudge to the Spurs hierarchy that he needs helping competing for trophies next year, but Chelsea boss Tuchel will surely have a similar train of thought.
Antonio Rudiger’s imminent Stamford Bridge exit threatens to wreck the Chelsea defence. Therefore, everything’s far from plain sailing right now at the Bridge.