THERE is a growing sense that it will be difficult for Antonio Conte to continue as Tottenham head coach following his outburst after Saturday’s 3-3 draw at Southampton.
Conte did not speak out on Saturday because he wants Tottenham to sack him. Instead, his comments reflect what he has felt for a long time, and he did not intend to attack the players or the board.
The Italian’s contract is up at the end of this season, but there is a sense he could depart the club much sooner.
Conte has always prided himself on quickly building a winning mentality wherever he has worked, and he is very disappointed that he has not been able to do this at Spurs.
He believes some players are happy to stay in the comfort zone and settle for mediocrity, no matter who is the coach. He also believes if the culture at a club is not right then the club is never going to be successful.
Last season Tottenham finished strongly to overtake Arsenal and this season was supposed to be one where they built on that. That has not happened, and instead Arsenal players have learned and developed, whereas Spurs have settled for mediocrity.
On the other hand, Tottenham went backwards. There has been no improvement in mentality, attitude and hunger. New players have brought problems or complaints, and the players’ attitude has always been an issue at Spurs.
Tottenham do not play again for a fortnight and that has given chairman Daniel Levy a short period of time to decide whether he should take any action against Conte.
Players and staff are currently on a pre-scheduled two days off and will report back to the training ground on Tuesday, which would have been the case regardless of the result.
There has been no public reaction from the players in response to Conte’s comments as yet, with Cristian Romero and Pedro Porro the only players to have posted on social media since the outburst.
Conte’s Spurs contract expires this summer, and Sky Sports’ Gary Neville said he would “keep him right where he is and make him do his job”.
Sky Sports News reported earlier this month that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is under huge pressure to reappoint Mauricio Pochettino as Spurs boss, with several players and staff pleading with the Argentine to return and reinvigorate the club.
Tottenham’s collapse at St Mary’s capped off a miserable March in which they were dumped out of both the FA Cup and the Champions League to leave them trophyless since 2008.
Sky Sports News has been told Mauricio Pochettino will assess all his options in the summer.
Pochettino is ready to return to management, but is waiting for the right opportunity. He has had several approaches in the last eight months – none of which he felt were right.
Pochettino has been approached by Real Madrid twice before – but was under contract at Tottenham and PSG when the approaches were made.
Tottenham approached Pochettino in the summer of 2021 — his contract at PSG meant he couldn’t talk to them. — SuperSport