Antonio Conte says Manchester United's squad should be competing for the Premier League title
Amid a truly terrible season, Manchester United look unable to even claim a fourth placed finish as it stands.
This has led to many questions over the quality of the squad, and which players deserve to stick around. This United side are quite clearly not as good as we thought or hoped.
Not, according to Antonio Conte. The Italian was briefly linked with the United job by The Guardian in October, only to end up at Tottenham instead.
This coming weekend Conte’s Tottenham visit Old Trafford in a crucial Premier League clash which could see the loser’s top four hopes finally end.
Call it mind games, Conte believes Manchester United already have the squad to be competing for titles.
United should be challenging
Speaking to Tottenham’s club media after their 5-0 win over Everton, Conte said: “There is no excuse to drop focus or attention. We know very well we have to go very strong, because we are going to play against a really good team, a good squad.
“In my opinion the squad that they have they have to compete to win the league and every trophy that they have to play, United.”
Conte has a strong managerial record with title wins in England and Italy, although he is clearly up against it to repeat this with a limited Tottenham side.
It’s no secret his preference was to take over at United, but the club felt he was too ‘short term’ an appointment. In the meantime United have a stopgap, interim boss Ralf Rangnick, and hope to hire the long term manager of choice this coming summer.
This stretch has been a difficult one for United fans to endure, and perhaps it did not have to be this way.
Could Conte have turned United’s fortunes around? Or would he have flamed out and left United stuck with him and his frustrations?
Perhaps these comments are even a late pitch for the job, for United to reconsider him this summer?
One thing is certain, that he would not have accepted not being given any money to spend in the January transfer window. He was insistent Tottenham get deals done, with Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur signed, and these two players have helped.
His Spurs side are still wildly unpredictable as their loss to Middlesbrough showed, but they have enough about them to cause United real problems this coming weekend.