Tottenham got off to the best possible start to the 2022-23 Premier League season, beating Southampton 4-1 and maintaining their outstanding record since Antonio Conte took over as manager.
Southampton took the lead on the opening day at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, perhaps causing some more pessimistic Spurs fans to worry.
But they needn’t have. Conte’s side came storming back with goals from Ryan Sessegnon, Eric Dier and Dejan Kulusevski, as well as an own goal from Mohammed Salisu, to seal a comfortable victory.
Having rejected the Spurs job in the summer of 2021, Conte eventually arrived in November after the sacking of Nuno Espirito Santo.
Spurs were ninth in the league at the time, but Conte turned things around, leading Tottenham to a fourth-place finish and Champions League qualification.
The Italian has managed to convince Daniel Levy to back him with significant funds in the transfer window too, stirring hopes that they can perform even better this season.
Rodrigo Bentancur and Dujan Kulusevski arrived during the January transfer window and were crucial in securing a place at European football’s top table.
And in the summer, Conte has added Richarlison, Yves Bissouma, Clement Lenglet, Djed Spence, Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster to the ranks.
None of those players started against Southampton, but they could all have big roles to play as the season wears on and will add all-important depth to the squad.
Former Spurs ‘keeper Brad Friedel has even predicted that Tottenham could win the Premier League this season. In an interview with Boyle Sports, Friedel said: “Under Antonio Conte, you’d be foolish to rule out Tottenham for the title.
“He’s been at the club a while now and spent some quality time with his players so they could be a dark horse. He doesn’t settle for second best.
“Antonio Conte is a winner. He’s done great business in the transfer window, but it’ll be tough.
“Arsenal and Manchester United have both improved. However, you can’t take Tottenham out of the question when you have a winner like Conte.
“When a club has a manager like Antonio Conte and players that are used to winning they can do special things in a season.
“Tottenham definitely have an outside chance of winning the Premier League, for sure.”
We’ve taken a look at how the Premier League table would look if it began when Conte was appointed by Tottenham. Note: all teams have played 29 league games and only those who have been in the league in both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns are included.
1. Manchester City – 76 points
2. Liverpool – 71 points
3. Tottenham – 59 points
4. Arsenal – 55 points
5. Chelsea – 52 points
6. Newcastle United – 48 points
7. Manchester United – 41 points
8. Leicester City – 39 points
9. Brighton – 38 points
10. Crystal Palace – 36 points (GD +3)
11. West Ham – 36 points (GD -2)
12. Aston Villa – 35 points (GD +1)
13. Wolves – 35 points (GD -7)
14. Brentford – 35 points (GD -8)
15. Leeds – 31 points
16. Southampton – 29 points
17. Everton – 25 points