June 7, 2023

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Conte asked to be fired. But Levy does not have a clear strategy – this is Tottenham’s big problem

“You yourself are funny, right?” The question of the journalist Valery Karpin became viral – she herself laughed when she asked it

“You yourself are funny, right?” The question of the journalist Valery Karpin became viral – she herself laughed when she asked it

Antonio Conte is no longer Tottenham manager. The team will finish the season with Conte’s assistant Christian Stellini, his assistant will be Ryan Mason .

That this is the end, it became clear after a noisy press conference . Tottenham lost a two-goal lead against Premier League outsiders Southampton. The angry Italian went over everyone: the players especially got it, but the club also got it: “For 20 years under this leadership (businessman Daniel Levy – Sports.ru), the club has not won anything – why? Is it only the club’s fault or every coach who worked here? I saw what kind of people led the team. You are trying to denigrate the coaches and hush up something else.”

Conte said that everyone should take responsibility. “We didn’t look like a team,” was another of Conte’s words from the press conference, but this “we” was just a bridge to accuse the players of selfishness. Conte spoke about the club in the third person and did not associate himself with the club (“They did not win”, “If Tottenham wants to change something”).

This is especially significant against the backdrop of recent words of Antonio himself. Responding to Richarlison’s attack , Conte said: “I tell the players that if we want to build something important and win a trophy, we have to say ‘we’ and not ‘I’ – otherwise you only think of yourself.”

At a press conference, they tried to mitigate the effect of Conte’s speech: Alistair Gold, a journalist for football.london, said that Antonio explained the sharp comments to the management, assuring that they were directed at the players in the first place. 

The players did not appreciate the impulse. Christian Romero was the first to react, writing on Instagram about unity with partners: “I love the players in my team, I love them and the club, and time and working together will show where we will end up.”

Pierre-Emile Heibjerg then spoke. The Dane stressed that he understands the disappointment of the coach. But he wished that the coach was more specific in the requirements: “To build a successful team, you need 11 people who are committed to the project and the culture of the club. But I think he [Conte] needs to talk more about his feelings before you, as a player, can appreciate everything. Fortunately, it is not for me to judge [whether Conte is right]. If he sees it that way, then he needs to be more precise so that the player can take it into account.”

Although Matt Doherty, who worked with Conte for a year and left Tottenham in the winter, said: “I hope Tottenham support him and he stays as long as possible, he is one of the best managers of all time.”

Some fans probably appreciated Conte’s attack. There have been claims to the management and players for a long time, they cannot be called groundless – the declared ambitions and actions sometimes do not correspond to each other, the coaches could be supported better, and the squad is not good enough to fight for trophies (but I want to). 

True, he is not so bad that the team looked as inexpressive as in recent months. In any case, Conte’s reaction is an indicator that everything is very bad inside.