Has Antonio Conte had his brain scrambled? But in a good method?

In March 1988, syndicated cartoonist Berke Breathed took one in every of his main characters from his wildly common American caricature Bloom County and fully modified his persona. Steve Dallas, an irascible, misogynistic, athiest women man and all-around scumbag, was in one strip kidnapped by aliens and had his brain and persona fully inverted.

The course of, which Breathed referred to as “Gephardtization,” was a mid-Nineteen Eighties electoral political gag which we can’t get into (the aliens’ unique plan was to exchange Steve’s brain with that of Elvis Presley till he threatened to sue, it was the ’80s, you kinda had to be there) however the finish outcome was a Steve Dallas who returned to earth fully modified — progressive, variety, considerate, caring, feminist — the exact opposite of the overgrown frat boy he was as much as that time. He even acquired a perm! Dallas stayed with his persona flip-flopped in the strip for greater than a yr earlier than dramatically reverting to his previous self close to the tip of Bloom County’s run.

I considered Bloom County and ol’ Steve Dallas tonight after studying the most recent quotes from Antonio Conte. Conte had a lot to say in press convention feedback that have been embargoed till early Saturday morning in the UK press. He talked about participant growth each at Spurs and elsewhere, and the way a supervisor can construct an excellent membership.

Conte was requested about how troublesome it’s to win issues with a younger and unproven crew, with the reporter referring to the success of Tottenham’s opponent this weekend, Arsenal. Conte’s solutions are good! Impressive, insightful, thought-provoking. But they certain do not sound like Antonio Conte.

“It’s not troublesome when you have time and endurance. This course of at Arsenal began three and a half years in the past with Arteta. It’s regular while you work with the identical younger gamers and after 4 years they develop and develop into stronger,

“You have two paths you may observe. I heard what [Erik] Ten Hag stated about Manchester United. He stated it was actually vital to signal gamers with expertise like Casemiro and Varane as a result of they introduced a successful mentality. If you need to speed up the method, it is very important carry skilled gamers, winners, who know how one can win.

“But you might have one other method, which is you must have time and endurance to develop younger gamers. In our squad we’ve got eight or 9 younger gamers, who for certain have a sensible future, however we’ve got to proceed to work, with Gil, Pape Sarr, Skippy, Sessegnon, Spence, Tanganga, Emerson is 23-years-old. We are speaking about many younger gamers.

“Arsenal is doing a good job however, remember, I bear in mind the issues they had in the beginning of final season. They had a lot of criticism. When I speak about time and endurance it is not an alibi, it is a scenario I do know. One method is to attend to develop these younger gamers to develop into stronger gamers.”

Wait, did he… did he simply… I imply, when he was at.. however…

What.

This doesn’t sound just like the Antonio Conte we thought we signed after he left Inter Milan in a match of brimstone and pique. THAT Antonio Conte was an exacting lunatic who demanded skilled gamers on excessive wages who may rework a membership immediately into one who may play the best way he needed and likewise compete for honors. Developing younger gamers? Preaching time and endurance? Who IS this man and what did they do to Antonio Conte?

It definitely looks like a new leaf, proper? Not that the previous Conte has been fully expunged — he nonetheless hasn’t signed an extension to his preliminary contract which expires this summer season, one thing that hangs over the top of each potential switch deal this month, in addition to the way forward for Harry Kane.

But that is a very completely different Antonio Conte to the one we thought we had. It even makes him sound like he desires to remain round… previous this season? Maybe even longer?

“My expectation is to attempt to enhance and have a second a part of the season and do our greatest. Until now, we did nicely as a result of to remain in this place and go to the following spherical of the Champions League and combat for the FA Cup, we’re doing a good job.

“We must proceed and have the ambition to enhance our degree. When I converse to my gamers I all the time say if you wish to attempt to enhance everybody must have the objective to enhance and attain one other degree. If we are able to do it, we’ll see a crew that’s going to develop. For certain, we’ve got just one strategy to do it, to work.

“The solely factor I ask is to maintain fingers crossed and haven’t got accidents as a result of we do not have a squad so deep to face many accidents. This is the one scenario I’m a bit apprehensive about. Otherwise, if I stick with the squad, all of the gamers can be found, I believe we are able to take the precise satisfaction for us.”

Maybe it took a actual problem — and Spurs are definitely proving to be a problem — this season for this facet of Conte’s persona to come back out. Maybe he is discovered that with this crew, this season, this mission, he cannot do issues the best way he normally does and get away with it. Maybe Daniel Levy and Tottenham have discovered a strategy to unlock the kinder, gentler facet of Conte, and Spurs now have the long-term mission supervisor they have been trying to find since Mauricio Pochettino left the membership.

Or perhaps he acquired kidnapped by aliens and had his brain scrambled. Who is aware of. All I do know is… I kinda prefer it!

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