Does this look like the end? A sigh, a shrug, the hassle of going home, and the surrender that your instincts were right from the start. Tottenham Hotspur outside Champions League. Antonio Conte probably just took charge of the last European fixture at Spurs. Still, both of these facts will be met with the shortest nods of indifference, as everyone now knows that we have been on this path for some time. like Cristian Romero‘s self-harming second yellow card was inevitable.
That’s what supporting Tottenham has been like over the last few weeks and if there’s anything positive to be taken from this pathetic debut Milan, this tangled spell can finally come to an end now. The illusion that Conte could be persuaded to stay after this season was shattered by the general understanding that he would leave at the end of his contract. Now, after how meekly delivered the Spurs’ last chance to win a trophy under Italy, it might be better for all sides to part ways immediately.
Still, it’s a little depressing to stop and think that what the Spurs worked hard to achieve last season was due to their first revival under Conte, their victory over Arsenal, and the promise that came with a team looking out for him. Being on a walk is depressing to compare your vitality Harry Kane and Son Heung-min and this collection of gray, washed bodies that have been dragging their feet in dampness until now.
Tottenham could now go and do what they did. They will play Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Everton in their next three matches. Their season has been bolstered by these wins, and it might still be possible to get a fourth place if they can get one last run together. But the question is for what? This match against Milan was the biggest of the season. That’s what mattered. away to Sheffield United In the fifth round of the FA Cup last weekthat was important.
those two defeats now spell the end For Conte, whose return to the touchline is at least a glimmer of hope, as is the fact that Milan are only ahead of the first game.
And there Conte is back in place. After struggling with the loss of three close friends over the past year, she had disobeyed doctor’s orders to return to work early after undergoing gallbladder surgery. There’s no doubt that he gave his life to the Spurs in this way, but he said everything that his return to the touchline wasn’t even greeted by a choir named after him.
Still, it was hard to stay away from Conte. Despite the rumors, he was totally committed to his job: he was pointing, walking, directing Ivan Perisic as if he were on a tightrope, barking in the fourth referee’s ear. After four games, it took just 22 minutes for Conte to be booked after his reaction to Clement Lenglet’s yellow card in the middle of the first half. However, this seemed exaggerated; Was it a performance from the start?
And the feeling from Tottenham fans was that they were no longer interested in watching. Relationships are built on trust, and with the trust eroded here, Conte has a fair case of losing him too if Conte has to convince Spurs fans that they should keep him.
How else could you explain the feeling of indifference that hung like a fine mist in the cold of London, even with this tie hanging at the end? That was for the Champions League quarter-finals, but the bar here was so low that the idea of just drawing and not letting Milan double their advantage seemed good.
Tottenham has been around repeating the same patterns for too long. Romero is shown the yellow card after he went in for a challenge he could never win. The son was a shadow, a lot of space left for Dejan Kulusevski, often created by Kane, but very lacking in self-confidence. As Pedro Porro came out of the bench and stopped at the start of a free kick, there was a brief crack of excitement at the idea of something new: he was shot straight into the wall.
Everything Tottenham has done has been helped by Milan, which has ended without trepidation. The thin, misty rain dancing above the surface should have led to a fast-paced competition played on sharp margins, but the way it played like a group stage fixture was a testament to the level of both teams. One of the few things the Spurs did right was foul Rafael Leao on the turn. Without the perfect Portuguese in full flight, Stefano Pioli’s side offered little.
Still, the one Tottenham knocked out, both with barely a groan. The scoreboard summarized; The fact that they lost 1-0 in the second game at home and only drew 0-0 reflects that something is badly missing. There was some anger at the end of the match, just in time, and the awkward replacement of Kulusevski by defender Davinson Sanchez: a boob, but lacking the energy to hold him for long. That energy may now, finally, be gone.