Shebby’s confident Conte has the goods to turn Tottenham around

It has been a roller-coaster ride for Tottenham, winning its first three games that earned Nuno Espirito Santo the Manager of the Month award for August.

But it has been downhill from there, with the Portuguese sacked earlier this week, after five defeats from the following seven English Premier League matches.

Antonio Conte is now in charge, and former Malaysian footballer Serbegeth Singh is over the moon that the Italian is the boss of his favourite team.

Serbegeth, better known as Shebby, shares his hopes for Tottenham with Twentytwo13, and how he nearly ended up supporting Norwich.

What are your thoughts on Conte?

Serbegeth: He is the only choice. I do not think there are any better managers out there at the moment. We have got some fantastic players, but since (Mauricio) Pochettino left (in 2019), they are not playing as well as they can.

Jose Mourinho destroyed a lot of the spirit at the club, and Conte will bring it back. He is what we need, someone with a strong personality. Conte has got b***s to do what is right. He will command the respect of the dressing room and improve the individual players into a cohesive unit. Having won the Premier League with Chelsea (2017), there is no doubt he is the right choice.

Where do you think Tottenham will end up this season?

Serbegeth: Champions League football is the minimum because there is a good squad of players. We now have a strong-willed manager and are only five points off the pace, with 28 games left. It is no big deal.

Look who is above us fighting for fourth place – Brighton, West Ham, Wolves – no disrespect to them, but we are definitely better.

There is also Manchester United and Arsenal. On our day, we are also better than them. So, why not Champions League? Conte will achieve it.

Do you think it was the right time to get rid of Nuno?

Serbegeth: The defeats to Arsenal (3-1) and Manchester United (3-0) were hard to take. These were teams who were not at their peak. Arsenal lost three consecutive games, while the Red Devils were smashed 5-0 by Liverpool. Yet, they defeated Spurs convincingly.

I was happy when Nuno was appointed, because he is a good coach, as we saw with Wolves. But it was always going to be tough to clean up Mourinho’s mess. I am a little sad to see Nuno go, but I love who the manager is now.

You mentioned Tottenham has a good squad, but the transfer window opens in January. Whom would you like Spurs to sign?

Serbegeth: If we can get Nicolo Barella, that will be awesome. We are not strong in central midfield. We need someone who is aggressive and a good organiser.

It will be interesting because there are not too many out there. If Conte can get Dele Alli playing well again, that would be a bonus.

Alli was one of the players Mourinho destroyed. Alli has not reached his peak. He is only 25, and I believe Conte can turn him around.

What are your thoughts on Harry Kane’s performances?

Serbegeth: People forget Kane played at Euro 2020 and only had a short rest before he was back in action. He is still playing his way through, and not sulking, because Spurs refused to sell him to Manchester City.

If he wanted to leave, he would have left before the season started. I do not see him going anywhere in January.

Conte is technically adept and transformed (Romelu) Lukaku from a bungling striker to a proper centre forward. Can you imagine what he can do with a world-class talent like Kane?

It will not be too long before Kane is back scoring loads of goals.

Why and when did you start supporting Tottenham?

Serbegeth: It was in 1973. I watched the League Cup final between a team in white and another in yellow. I am sure it was a delayed telecast as back in the day, we did not get extensive football coverage.

Tottenham beat Norwich (1-0), and so I ended up supporting them. Can you imagine what life would have been like as a Norwich fan? Spurs have always produced exciting teams and players.

Winning or losing is part of the game, but we need to feel happy with the team we support, and Spurs have provided plenty of great memories.

FIXTURES (Malaysian time)

SATURDAY
Southampton vs Aston Villa (4am)
Manchester United vs Manchester City (8.30pm)
Chelsea vs Burnley (11pm)
Crystal Palace vs Wolves (11pm)
Brentford vs Norwich (11pm)

SUNDAY
Brighton vs Newcastle (1.30am)
Everton vs Tottenham (10pm)
Leeds vs Leicester (10pm)
Arsenal vs Watford (10pm)

MONDAY
West Ham vs Liverpool (12.30am)