The reason that Manchester United didn’t pursue Antonio Conte
Tottenham set to announce Antonio Conte
A 3-0 defeat at the hands of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United proved too much fo the Tottenham hierarchy to take, and they announced that they had parted ways with Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday morning.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) November 1, 2021
In many ways set up to fail, Nuno, eighth choice in their managerial search, brought his defensive style of football to a club that had already demanded attacking football from one coach, and the attempted in between that the Portuguese found was neither strong defensively, or impressive going forwards.
24 hours later, and the club are set to replace Nuno with their initial first choice in the summer, Antonio Conte, with the deal expected to be made official later today.
Today’s announcement day for Antonio Conte as new Tottenham manager. Contract until June 2023 to be signed this morning, official pics and meeting with the squad together with Fabio Paratici. ⚪️🇮🇹 #THFC
Spurs are ready for the new era with the Italian manager.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 2, 2021
But it could have been so very different.
Why Manchester United didn’t opt for Conte
As recently as last week, it was thought that Antonio Conte was ready to step into a vacancy at Old Trafford, something only strengthened by the fact that Liverpool humiliated the Red Devils 5-0 on their own turf. Now, however, he is off the table, with seemingly little resistance put up by the United hierarchy.
As per Laurie Whitwell at the Athletic, this is because there was a fear that Conte would become a proverbial bull in the china shop at Old Trafford, and would disrupt the harmony that the club are trying to foster. As per the report:
“Those who know United executives believe he would be judged too confrontational for the corporate structure of acquiescence that permeates the club.”
Tottenham Hotspur’s shiny new stadium has many sliding doors + there was another on Saturday.
Conte wanted #MUFC job + defeat for Solskjaer would have tested resolve of board to stand by him.
Instead Solskjaer is steadied + Conte is heading to #THFC.https://t.co/ST9NrReP7c
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) November 2, 2021
Instead, it seems as though Manchester United are happy to stick by the unimpressive if likeable club legend that currently occupies the dugout, irrespective of the trophy haul that the Norwegian continues not to return.
With Antonio Conte set to head to Tottenham, which 4 managers could Manchester United replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with?
Tottenham fans rejoice: Final development in Antonio Conte pursuit confirmed