Tottenham are MILES behind Chelsea and Manchester City, says Carragher

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Kishan Vaghela For Mailonline  

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Jamie Carragher insists Tottenham remain ‘miles behind’ last season’s Premier League top four despite appointing Antonio Conte as their new boss.

The Italian’s tenure got off to a winning start on Thursday after Spurs sealed a dramatic 3-2 win against Vitesse Arnhem in the Europa Conference League.

The former JuventusChelsea and Inter Milan boss – who has won nine trophies in his managerial career – signed an 18-month deal to replace Nuno Espirito Santo at the Spurs helm with an understood pro-rata salary of around £13million.

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The length of the deal has drawn comparisons with the contract Blues boss Thomas Tuchel signed when replacing Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge in January, before the German’s stay was extended by two years in July following their Champions League triumph.

But writing in his column for the Daily Telegraph, former England centre-back Carragher believes their situations are completely different because of the contrasting status of the two clubs.

The ex-Liverpool defender therefore insists Spurs – currently on a 13-year trophy drought – are still far inferior to his former club, Premier League champions Manchester City, European champions Chelsea and Manchester United, who beat them 3-0 at home in the Premier League last weekend.

‘Many will argue such a deal [for Conte] is no different to what Chelsea gave Thomas Tuchel when he became their coach, rapidly extending his terms when he won the Champions League after six months,’ Carragher wrote.

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‘The flaw in that claim – as Conte will realise quicker than anyone – is Spurs are not Chelsea.

Video: Antonio Conte speaks after Tottenham beat Vitesse 3-2 (Evening Standard)

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Antonio Conte speaks after Tottenham beat Vitesse 3-2

‘There is no point expecting the Italian to have the same instant impact as he did at Stamford Bridge, where the foundations were in place and he could use his coaching skills to get a tune from top class players.

‘Spurs are miles behind Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, all of whom have settled sides and world-class managers. As we saw last weekend, Manchester United are far superior to Spurs, too.

‘Conte will not tolerate that for long. He will seek to radically change the mentality at the club, initially working out if he can do so with the players he has inherited or by gradually reconfiguring the squad. Everything we have seen for the last three years says it must be the latter.’

Former Blues boss Conte won the 2016-17 Premier League title and the FA Cup the following season in his two years in west London.

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Spurs meanwhile extended their trophy drought to 5,000 days on the day Conte was appointed as boss, with their last triumph coming under Juande Ramos in the League Cup final in 2008.

Tottenham have been in three League Cup finals since but have lost to Manchester United in 2009, Chelsea in 2015 and most recently Man City last season. They were also defeated 2-0 by Liverpool in the 2019 Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.

But they will face West Ham in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup next month and are strong contenders in the Conference League, while the FA Cup is also set to get underway in January.

However, Conte admitted he had plenty of work to do with his team after seeing his side nearly throw away a three-goal lead against Vitesse, while also having Cristian Romero sent off.

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‘It was a crazy game. Usually I don’t like these types of games. Crazy game means anything can happen,’ said Conte after the game.

‘But at the same time I think we should win and we won. We were winning 3-0 and then we conceded two goals that we can avoid. Then after the red card we were in trouble. But to win was gold for these players. It will improve their confidence.’

‘I think they need to work a lot, the problem is we need to find the time to work,’ added the 52-year-old. But for sure we have to improve. This was a positive evening though. But in my mind there is a lot of room for improvement.’

The Italian’s first Premier League game in charge sees them travel to Goodison Park on Sunday to take on an underperforming Everton side.

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