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Exploring THAT Conte Interview…

Most managers lose the dressing room, but at Tottenham, it looks like the dressing room has lost the manager. After Tottenham’s 3-3 draw on the road to St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday, Antonio Conte had pretty much had enough.

The Italian spoke willingly to the press – making it the easiest shift of their lives, before storming out knowing he has just burnt bridges with the Tottenham board, the staff, the players, and half of their divided fanbase.

Was he trying to defend himself? Is he trying to take everyone down with him? It’s such a rarity that something happens like this, nobody knows. Is Antonio Conte the most media-trained man in the press room, or the most media-untrained?

Some Spurs fans know that Tottenham have had successful managers, such as Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho, and the believe that Antonio Conte is just the next manager to fail at the club due to a deeper-rooted problem.

Others think that Antonio Conte is a disgrace and can’t come back from this. It’s not uncommon for him to throw his toys out of the pram after a couple of years at a club – ideally for a big pay-out after he’s collected the trophies for his CV.

But that’s the thing, Conte wins. He hasn’t won here. These words can be taken back, but they can’t be unsaid. How could any fan or player believe that he wants long-term success for Tottenham when he hasn’t signed a contract yet?

Does this outpouring of passion boil down to his love for the club? Or is it just a classic move by a man with a plan, to get out of Tottenham Hotspur?

To put it simply, Antonio Conte sounded defeated in his press conference after his team’s 3-3 draw to relegation-threatened Southampton. He didn’t want to talk about the game at all, just the poor attitude of his squad.

Some thought that he was the man to change Tottenham and to take them to the next level, winning trophies. Now it is completely the opposite. He has given up on his team, on his relationship with Daniel Levy and the whole idea that Tottenham Hotspur can change under his management.

Spurs have been knocked out of the Champions League and the FA Cup. Finishing the Premier League season in a top four spot is the only goal still achievable – but Conte still lacks the confidence his club could do that.

From an almost ten-minute rant, he spoke about the belief of the players, this seasons failure and the board. Here is what he said about each…

Conte speaking on the belief and attitude of the team: “The problem is that for another time we showed that we are not a team, we are 11 players that go onto the pitch,

“I see selfish players, I see players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart,

“Before today I prefer to hide this situation and to try to speak, to try to improve the spirit, the situation, with the words,

“Not only the club, the manager and the staff. The players must be involved in this situation because it is time to change this situation if Tottenham want to change,

“The most important thing if you want to become a strong team, if you want to become competitive, if you want to fight to win, is the desire, the fire that you need to have in your eyes, in your heart, and you have to show this in every moment,

When you are not a team, anything can happen, in any moment. Today is the last situation,”

He told the media that Tottenham have got worse since the season before: “If I have to compare last season and this season, we have to improve, but now we are worse in this aspect,

“Don’t forget that in FA Cup we lost to Sheffield United, who played with young players,

“Being a team is the most important thing. To understand that we play for the badge. We have to play to make our fans proud of us. We have to pay to show desire,

“And the players? The players? Where are the players? In my experience, if you want to be competitive, if you want to fight, you have to improve this aspect

“You are finding an alibi, another alibi. You try to find an excuse for the players,

"There are 10 games to go, and some people think we can fight. Fight for what with this spirit, this attitude, this commitment? What? For seventh, eighth, 10th place?”

The coach, who has won trophies at four clubs, explained why it’s harder at Tottenham: “Because they are used to it here, they are used to it,

“They don’t play for something important. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress. It is easy in this way,

“I am not used to this position. I’m really upset and everyone has to take their responsibility,

“Tottenham’s story is this: 20 years the owner is here, and they never won something but why?

“I’ve seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench,

“If they want to continue in this way, they can change the manager, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”

So where does this leave Conte? Can he come back from this?

The view of the majority is that Conte isn’t in the dugout next season at Spurs. This was a ‘come and sack me’ plea which defends his reputation and gives Tottenham some harsh, home-hitting truths.

It’s only a matter of time now before he goes, and it’s likely that he could go during the upcoming international break. News outlets are reporting that the players are unhappy with Conte’s outburst, and it’s fair enough, because he’s crossed a line.

There is certainly truth in what he’s saying, but everybody knows that Tottenham haven’t won trophies, it was Conte’s job to fix that.

The manager came into Tottenham as a huge appointment, with silverware on his CV from numerous clubs including Bari, Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Take Manchester United as a classic example. They’ve tried winners, such as Mourinho. Ten Hag is the manager now and he’s came into the club with a plan. He’s not created his ‘final’ team or won the league yet, but he’s laid out his plans, inspired a team and started building.

Look at the signing of Casemiro, he is a proven winner who possesses fantastic ability. He’s setting the level for the rest of the team to follow. The level Ten Hag wants is being shown in glimpses already.

Whilst some Spurs fans have been unhappy with the club for a while and enjoy the brutally honest opinion of Conte with no excuses or cliches; there is no doubt that the coach has gone the wrong way about it.

If Conte really cared about his future and the success of Tottenham, he would sign a new contract and lay out his plans. He should ideally say: “I am here for the foreseeable future, I am the man to take this club forward, this is what we need, and this is how we’re going to do it.”

He hasn’t done that. If Conte really believed his rant, and wanted to change Tottenham, he would’ve signed a new contract and put his money where his mouth is. He hasn’t done this. He’s simply ranted before an international break and thrown everybody under the bus.

The reality is, he hasn’t inspired the team, but got them playing in fear. He has made no effort to change the system when it is clear that the midfield two isn’t working. He has talked about players such as Djed Spence as a ‘club signing’ and he’s not committed to the club long term. How can any player in the dressing room expect to see long term success under a manager who is not on a long-term contract?

Daniel Levy should watch Conte’s rant and think: Mauricio Pochettino.

He is a man who loves the club and has given Tottenham the most ‘success’ in recent years. Spurs aren’t a club who can win trophies this season and clearly have a ceiling despite being a big club with a lot of money, so build something.

Instead, this time around, trust in Pochettino. Back him up financially, because he has proved that he can give Tottenham players and fans belief and optimism for the future.

Conte’s culture just doesn’t fit. He’s too used to getting his own way fast and winning quickly. Pochettino is your man for a long-term project – and that’s who Tottenham should replace him with. He wouldn’t throw a team under the bus in the way that Conte has.

Will Conte be managing Spurs next season?

  • Yes

  • No


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