Antonio Conte’s future: Inside Tottenham’s camp after the Italian outburst at Southampton and what happens next | Football news
Following Antonio Conte’s thunderous rage, in which he accused Tottenham players of being “selfish”, the club’s leadership is digging through the debris and trying to find a way forward based on fundamentalism. practical rather than emotional.
The staff and team were given two days off, a pre-scheduled holiday regardless of the outcome of the game against Southampton. It was the perfect tonic to the head coach’s rage: allowing Conte to calm down, the hierarchy calculating next steps, and helping the players let off steam after an unhappy environment.
With Champions League football underway and just 10 games left, chairman Daniel Levy is trying to solve the equation of whether sticking with or turning away from the Italian is a greater guarantee of entry. top 4.
Conte probably gave himself the answer on Saturday: “Some people think we can fight. Fight for what with this spirit, this attitude, this commitment? What? For you seventh, eighth, tenth place?”
If that’s the head coach’s level of confidence in what this team can achieve under him, do the players want to prove him wrong? Does Levy have the prestige they want?
Even before Conte heavily dressed up the players, some of them contacted Mauricio Pochettino to urge him to return to the club. There has been disillusionment over the lack of identity on the pitch, progressive football and talent development since the Argentine was sacked in November 2019.
Conte’s public rebukes did not subside in the dressing room. While the players accept responsibility for the performance, many argue that Saturday’s head coach’s actions were a case of self-defense. The whole team have known – and have known since January – that Conte will not stay at Tottenham when his contract expires this summer.
As one player’s agent said Sky Sports News: “Every time he speaks, it’s as if he’s doing a favor to the players and Spurs by still being here. He questions their attitude and commitment when it’s clear he’s not even there. want to stay at the club for a long time.”
Conte suggested that the uncertainty surrounding his future was being used as an “alibi” for the players’ side performances.
One rebuttal is that the most financially supported head coach in Tottenham’s history has failed to take a progressive approach that the team and supporters can afford, while conceding many goals. among the top 12 teams.
This season alone, the club have brought in 10 recruits with an aggregate fee in excess of £150m. Was Conte doing his best to extract goods from this group, or was the message just how much better he was than them?
The club’s reaction
The head coach must make it clear that his words are only aimed at the players and not the hierarchy as guidance. Conte, who was compensated by Chelsea after a lengthy legal battle over his sacking, does not want to be accused of giving Tottenham a bad name.
While the club accepted the position – the full record backs up Conte’s stance that his only aim is the team – they were completely unimpressed with the force, impact and timing he pointed to. quote.
There are far more effective ways to wake up players than openly criticizing them, even without taking into account Harry Kane’s contract situation. One of the top thoughts at the club is where they would be this season without the England captain – his influence and impact is more significant than that of the head coach.
Spurs already know Conte wants to leave and they are sensitive to the difficult months he has weathered on an individual level.
They are also wise to their habit of scorching the earth when he leaves – but that usually happens after he has successfully delivered.
Tottenham pay Conte a salary of £15m a year due to his status as a winner – Spurs have fallen behind under him.
A glimpse of north London and the work Mikel Arteta has done on and off the pitch says a lot. Conte may flag Tottenham’s cultural problem, but he’s not invested in actually fixing it.
Does Conte have a point?
Given the history of the ‘Lads, it’s Tottenham’ line and the ‘Spursy’ concept, it’s impossible to completely refute Conte’s point.
But by insisting that his verbal volley was executed only in the direction of the players, Conte’s anger was unfounded. They do not have a recruitment policy and are not responsible for not selling at the right time to make a lot of money, promoting stability. The team does not appoint a head coach or determine the direction of the club.
By forgiving himself and the hierarchy of any blame for the current state of play, Conte’s words become meaningless.
In this context, it should be remembered that Spurs have a head coach who has led them to the Champions League final despite injuries, stadium volatility and zero squad investment. Pochettino regularly places them in the top four, and in the late stages of the domestic league, where they lose mainly to the more resource-rich Chelsea and Manchester United.
Tottenham has an identity and a process that the players and fans believe in and are proud of.
Who, or what, next for the Spurs?
EQUAL Sky Sports News reported, Levy will not be clouded by emotions in choosing Conte’s successor. While the board insists they have not forgotten the reasons for sacking Pochettino, the Argentinian can credit the lack of refreshment he has emphasized since 2016 as the explanation for his ending.
Pochettino remains the undisputed popular and undisputed choice for the club but hiring him back would be an almighty acknowledgment of mistakes from Levy.
Thomas Tuchel and Luis Enrique have been evaluated, but the appointment of another former Chelsea head coach is not seen as favorable, and the experience of the latter outside Spain presents risks.
Roberto De Zerbi is a strong fan but wants to stay at Brighton for at least another season. Sporting’s Ruben Amorim, Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou and Napoli’s Luciano Spalletti have also been contacted.
Tottenham have switched between a process head coach like Pochettino with “certified winners” Mourinho and Conte, with their shortlist suggesting the club are still uncertain which path to take between those two times.
To complicate matters further, the future of director of football Fabio Paratici himself is uncertain. The man tasked with highlighting Conte’s successor is appealing a 30-month ban from Italian football following an investigation into accounting practices at his former club Juventus.
If Paratici’s appeal is unsuccessful, a worldwide suspension could go into effect.
Tottenham are sweating for their head coach, star striker and director of football. Levy has more problems to deal with than Conte, but he is the one to deal with most immediately and there is a growing feeling that the 53-year-old will not take over the position before his contract expires.