Two former Chelsea stars have hailed the impact of Antonio Conte as his side claimed a 4-1 win over Southampton on the opening day of the 2022/23 Premier League season.
Spurs made light work of the Saints and could have scored more with Ryan Sessegnon denied a second goal due to offside and Gavin Bazunu making key saves from Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane.
It sees Spurs pick up where they left off last season as they qualified for the Champions League ahead of rivals Arsenal.
It’s the beginning of Conte’s first full campaign in charge of the club and their pre-season training, which involved some lung-busting runs, had them miles ahead of their opponents.
And, speaking on talkSPORT, former Chelsea star Scott Minto insisted the Italian’s arrival has had a similar transformative effect as Paul Gascoigne’s move to White Hart Lane in 1988.
He said: “I think he’s Spurs’ best signing, probably since Gazza. I think he’s absolutely incredible.
“Credit to Daniel Levy for bringing him in because without him they wouldn’t finish fourth, they wouldn’t have the amount of money they can spend, and they wouldn’t identify the players that they have got.
“He’s talked about the squad depth and now they are ready. I don’t believe they will challenge come the end of the season but I wouldn’t be surprised, come the World Cup, if they are right up there though.”
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And Tony Cascarino, also a former Chelsea star, echoed the comments from Minto.
He told the Weekend Sports Breakfast: “I think that Spurs have made the best signing of a manager for a long time because his demands are the highest level but, with that, physically, his teams will absolutely run you ragged. That is a new proposition.
“Yes teams at Spurs have had fit sides before but this is to another level but I thought yesterday, I know it’s only one game gone but, it shows what Conte is about and what his team will be like this year.”
He added: “Fitness is a big thing in sport and that’s an obvious thing to say but, when they are super level fitness, it’s completely different.
“Spurs’ pre-season, my thoughts yesterday, watching the goals, four or five bodies in the 18-yard box by Spurs every time they got forward, whether it was Emerson Royal, Kulusevski, just loads more. They are a super-fit team now. That’s what Conte brings, apart from his ability to tactically get teams close to spot on.
“He’s got a super-fit team with lots of goals in it.”
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