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Several Tottenham players are rooting for Antonio Conte’s dismissal after he threw them under the bus in an incredible diatribe following the side’s Premier League draw with relegation threatened Southampton.
After his team’s 3-3 tie with Southampton, Antonio Conte unleashed an incredible 10-minute tirade on his players.
Saturday, Tottenham led relegation-threatened Saints 3-1 before conceding twice, including a penalty in the 93rd minute, to throw away two points.
In his post-match press conference, Conte lashed out at the players and the club’s hierarchy in response to the outcome. He accused the players of lacking “fight” and “desire” and of seeking “excuses” and also brought up the club’s transfer policy in a critical manner.
Tottenham Dressing Room Turns on Conte
Several players, according to The Sun newspaper, want chairman Daniel Levy to fire Conte during the international break.
There is now little doubt that Conte will not be the club’s manager next season, and it is believed that Spurs are merely prolonging the inevitable by allowing the club to drift.
The £15 million-per-year contract of Antonio Conte expires at the end of June, but Levy might hire an interim manager until the end of the season.
Tottenham are fourth in the Premier League standings, two points ahead of Newcastle, who have two games in hand, with ten games remaining till May 28.
Conte has returned to Italy, and Spurs are not scheduled to play again until April 3, when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton in the Premier League. The hiatus allows Levy and the club’s leadership to consider their next moves.
Conte’s Incredible Post-Match Rant
The Italian seems unconcerned with repercussions when he ranting to Saints fans on Saturday. In addition to criticizing his players, he also lamented the club’s track record in the transfer market.
“The club has the responsibility for the transfer market, every coach that stayed here has the responsibility,” Conte said, “And the players? The players? Where are the players?”
“Twenty years there is the owner and they never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stay here?” the Italian added.
“You are finding an alibi, another alibi,” Conte stated, “You try to find an excuse for the players. OK, continue to do this, to find an excuse for the players. You do only this! You do only this.”
“Excuses for the players. ‘But the players, maybe, my future, then we lost confidence, they lost spirit, they lost being a team’. Excuses. Excuses. Excuses. Try to protect them every time.”
Sky Sports reports that Conte later stressed to the Tottenham board that his remarks were not intended as criticism of the club’s leadership. We will soon see if his explanation was accepted, as Spurs are under pressure to take action.
If Spurs are to fire Conte, they are now presented with the perfect opportunity to do so as the Premier League pauses for a two week international break.
Recent reports have linked former manager Mauricio Pochettino with a return to managing the club while other reports have indicated that the club hierarchy might replace Conte with Ryan Mason as interim manager until the end of the season.
However, with Champions League football on the line, the club will have to make a decision based on their best chances of making Europe’s elite for another season.