Chelsea & Spurs: The Premier League’s biggest rivalry?
Over the past year or so, the two big Manchester clubs have certainly taken the headlines thanks to huge spending and the managerial rivalry between Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho.
However, there were only two teams in the Premier League title race at the back end of last season.
And, whilst Spurs have been castigated for “putting the pressure on”, there was only one side that got even close to Chelsea.
The Battle of the Bridge
In many ways, we should have been aware of the Tottenham v Chelsea rivalry, which has for so long been a major one in London and England’s top flight.
However, the Battle of the Bridge, at the back end of 2015/2016 may well have signalled what was to come.
For once, it was Chelsea looking to stop Spurs as opposed to the other way round, where the north London side have been in the shadow of the Blues.
Which two teams are likely to challenge for the title this coming season?
Nowadays it is a strong contender for the biggest and most important rivalry in the Premier League.
After all, which two teams are likely to challenge for the title this coming season?
If the end of 2016/2017 is anything to go by, very few of the other contenders can get close to Spurs and Chelsea.
In this backdrop comes comments from Antonio Conte on Spurs, who follows Jose Mourinho, who earlier this week also spoke about Tottenham.
Antonio Conte on Tottenham
Conte hails Harry Kane, suggests the pressure is off at Tottenham and admits he tried to sign Kyle Walker.
The Chelsea boss said: “If [Spurs] don’t win the title, it’s not a tragedy. If they don’t arrive in the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out in the first round of the Champions League, it’s not a tragedy. If they go out after the first game that they play in the Europa League, it’s not a tragedy.
Conte continued: “Maybe for Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Manchester United and – I don’t know – Liverpool, it is a tragedy. You must understand the status of the team. Every team has to understand what their ambitions are. If their ambitions are to fight for the title or win the Champions League, you must buy expensive players. Otherwise you continue to stay in your level. It’s simple. My question is this: What are Tottenham’s expectations?”
“A really good squad if they are able to keep all the players”
The Chelsea manager did not stop there: “Tottenham is a really good squad if they are able to keep all the players. For me, Kane, now, is one of the best strikers in the world. If I had to buy one striker I would go to Kane. He is a complete striker. He is strong physically, with the ball, without the ball, he fights and he’s strong in the air and acrobatic on the right and the left. If you go to buy Kane now it would be at least £100m.”
So, was Conte putting Spurs down, or ramping up the pressure on Mauricio Pochettino’s side?
Perhaps Conte was bigging up Spurs as he is secretly worried about one of the Manchester clubs?
Chelsea and Tottenham fans have reacted on Twitter…
Conte literally cooked the whole Spurs organization im in tears pic.twitter.com/xswktWnHcg
— Jacob🍯 (@Kantelicious) July 26, 2017
Conte – "If they (Spurs) don't win the title, it's not a tragedy. If they don't arrive in the champions league, it's not a tradegy." pic.twitter.com/Pu9JrapTIR
— َ (@HazardEdition) July 26, 2017
Conte's comments scream of a manager and club that are bothered by Spurs. Irritated by what's been built on a budget. He's nervous. #COYS
— Ben Harris (@thisisbenharris) July 27, 2017
The obsession from Conte and Mourinho regarding Spurs and money is obvious. It's frustration that they don't have enough to buy our players
— Jay (@ryantegan) July 27, 2017
When Conte wants you but Levy forces you to stay at a tinpot club and stay trophyless pic.twitter.com/FAdQipFisP
— #CarefreeDaily 🏆 (@CarefreeDaily) July 26, 2017
Conte: "If Chelsea or Arsenal don't win the league, the fans go into meltdown. They are sad men with empty lives, so we must win for them."
— Duncan (@duncan_19) July 27, 2017
"If [Spurs] don't win the title, it's not a tragedy. You must understand the status of the team." Conte speaking the truth about Spurs.
— Brian Fagan (@spiderbrian17) July 27, 2017
Levy claims fees clubs are paying on new talent is unsustainable, Conte replies: "My question is this: What are Tottenham’s expectations?"
— Muhammad Nuhu Alfa (@AlfaSilla6) July 27, 2017
Conte is spot on about the lack of pressure at Tottenham, they have a top team but its not a top club.
— Zane (@WalterTactics) July 26, 2017
Conte's scared of Tottenham
And so he takes a dig
But he's just a baldie bastard
That's why he wears a wig
— Oly 🐓⚽️ (@OlyLister) July 27, 2017