‘The situation CANNOT change. Believe me!’ Inside the best bits from Antonio Conte’s 1000-word rant5 min read
Antonio Conte pulled no punches with his furious assessment of Tottenham‘s performance following their lacklustre draw against Southampton on Saturday.
Spurs squandered a 3-1 lead and shared the points with the Saints, who are fighting to avoid Premier League relegation.
Here, Sportsmail looks at the best bits from the Italian manager’s blistering ten-minute rant…
A tough penalty decision to take but at 3-1 up with 15 minutes to go, should your team be drawing that match?
The penalty, for me, it was not a penalty. If we are going to discuss the penalty it means we don’t want to see other situations. The worst situation is what was happening on the pitch. What has been happening in the last few months, what is happening in my second season.
It’s the right moment to speak because, after this performance, this is unacceptable. We are winning 3-1, in control of the game and you are able to concede two goals and to risk, because also Fraser made a fantastic save in one situation. It’s much better to go into the problem. The problem is we showed that we are not a team. We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, I see players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart.
Antonio Conte didn’t hold back in his brutal assessment of Spurs and their recent history
The Italian manager cut an embittered figure in the press room after the full-time whistle
Before today I prefer to hide this situation and to try to speak to improve the spirit, the situation, with a lot of situations. The tactical or technical aspect, this is one situation. The most important thing if you want to become a strong team, if you want to become competitive, if you want to win, is the desire, the fire that you need to have in your eyes, in your heart, and you have to show this in every moment. In every moment.
If I have to compare last season and this season, we have to improve, but now we are worse in this aspect. When you are not a team, anything can happen, in any moment.
Today is the last situation. Don’t forget that in FA Cup we lost to Sheffield United, who played with young players. With a strong team, we were dropped from the FA Cup.
A lot of situations, I repeat, not going to improve. And I am not speaking about tactical aspect or technical aspect.
[It’s] about being a team, being a team, being a team. It is the most important thing. To understand that we play for the badge. We have to play to make our fans proud of us. We have to play to show desire. The fire in your eyes to win: if you have this, for sure, you don’t go out in FA Cup. Today, you win.
We have to play to make our fans proud, we have to play to show desire. Here we’re used to it for a long time. The club has the responsibility for the transfer market, every coach that stayed here has the responsibility. And the players? The players? Where are the players?
In my experience, I can tell you that if you want to be competitive, if you want to fight, you have to improve this aspect. And this aspect, I can tell you, in this moment is really, really low. And I see only 11 players that play for themselves.
But does your future, the uncertainty….
You are finding an alibi, another alibi. 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. Excuse. Try to protect them every time. Bah. Come on, come on, come on. We are professional. The club pay us a lot of money. The players receive money, me receive money, you understand?
Not to find excuse or not show spirit or a sense of belonging or a sense of responsibility because we are showing this. For me this is unacceptable because this is the first time in my career to see a situation like this. Until now I wasn’t able to change, not just to change, but compared to last season, the situation went to become worse.
Why is it happening?
Why? Because they are used to it here, they are used to it. They don’t play for something important. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress. It is easy in this way.
Tottenham’s story is this. 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. I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench. You risk to disrupt the figure of the manager and to protect the other situation in every moment.
The manager’s comments will be unlikely to raise morale during a patchy season
The club’s hierarchy, including chairman Daniel Levy, also found themselves in the firing line
Until now I try to hide the situation but now, no, because I repeat I don’t want to see what I’ve seen today because this is unacceptable and also unacceptable for the fans. They follow us, pay the ticket and to see the team another time to have this type of performance is unacceptable. We have to think a lot about this.
You saw the fire last week. What has changed?
I said that I want to see the fire in their eyes, in their hearts. I want to see the right spirit. Ok. Not only in the training session, on the pitch. Because here you have to make the difference. And until now I try to hide the situation but now, there are 10 games to go and some people think we can fight. Fight for what with his spirit, this attitude? What? For seventh, eighth, 10th place? I am not used to this position. I’m really upset and everyone has to take their 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 the manager, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.