Antonio Conte: Tottenham Hotspur manager launches extraordinary rant, criticizing ‘selfish’ players and club culture
Tottenham Hotspur were involved in a dramatic 3-3 draw with Southampton in the Premier League on Saturday.
However, the drama did not end after the final whistle as Tottenham manager Antonio Conte gave a damning analysis of his side’s performance – Spurs lost a 3-1 lead – and club culture.
Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, according to Roy Keane, once gave his players a pre-match team speech before a game against Spurs, saying simply: “Guys, this is Tottenham.”
Those three words were Ferguson’s way of writing that Spurs had a shaky streak, although Conte used a few more words in his extraordinary 10-minute rant.
“We are 11 players entering the field. I see selfish players, I see players who don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart into it,” Conte said.
“Why? Because they’re used to it here, they’re used to it. They don’t play for something big. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress,” Conte added.
“It’s easy like that. Tottenham’s story is as follows. Twenty years ago the owner and they have never won anything but why? The fault is only with the club, or with each manager who stays here. I saw the managers Tottenham had on the bench.”
Spurs have won one trophy in the past 20 years – the League Cup final in 2008 – and also reached the Champions League final in 2019, before losing 2-0 to Liverpool. However, the club last won an English league title more than half a century ago.
Conte’s contract with Spurs expires at the end of the season but Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher has tweeted that the Italian ‘wants to be sacked during this international break’ as the Premier League comes to a halt until April 1 while the Euro 2024 qualifiers are played.
“His argument about Spurs not winning for a long time is correct, but you don’t talk about your own club like that. Especially when you earn fortunes thanks to them! tweeted Carragher.
“Arsenal’s improvement this season after finishing above them last season kills a lot of their arguments,” added Carragher.
Earlier this month, Spurs were knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United and the Champions League by AC Milan.
Saturday’s draw keeps Spurs in contention for a Champions League spot next season, but a win against Southampton would have made it easier for the London side to qualify for Europe’s top footballing competition.
“I only see 11 players playing for themselves,” continued Conte, who previously coached Italy as well as Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
“There are 10 games left and some people think we can fight. Fight for what with this spirit, this attitude, this commitment? What? For seventh, eighth, 10th place? I’m not used to this post.
“I am really upset and everyone must take responsibility. Not only the club, the manager and the staff, the players have to be involved in this situation because it is time to change this situation if Tottenham want to change.
“If they want to continue in this way, they can change managers, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”
Conte’s tirade did not go down well with a number of core Spurs fans.
“Conte is not interested in working to change the culture,” Martin Cloake tweeted. “Yesterday’s rant was the self-interest of a narcissist whose anti-soccer tactics haven’t made the most of what we have. That doesn’t mean there isn’t blame. elsewhere, but he is also guilty.
A victory at Southampton would have lifted Spurs to third place in the Premier League table. The draw put them on 49 points, two more than fifth-placed Newcastle United, despite having played two games more.
“Not good enough.. the game should be over,” admitted Tottenham winger Dejan Kulusevski in an interview with the club’s website. “It’s entirely our fault, we were very disappointed in ourselves and that’s not enough. It’s like a loss. »