Antonio Conte sack latest: Daniel Levy going soft as massive decision is reached by Tottenham
Antonio Conte has been asked to explain his extraordinary rant to the Tottenham board in the wake of their 3-3 draw at Southampton – with Daniel Levy and Co reaching a major decision over whether to sack the Italian.
Leading 3-1 at St Mary’s, Spurs somehow managed to throw away their lead with James Ward-Prowse tucking away a last-minute penalty. And while Tottenham remain fourth in the Premier League, the dropped points may well prove costly in the run-in.
Indeed, they only have a two-point advantage over Newcastle in fifth, with the Geordies having two matches in hand. Liverpool are seven points adrift of Spurs, but have also played two fewer games.
Conte appeared to completely lose the plot in the wake of Saturday’s draw. And in an extraordinary rant, he ridiculed the club, the board and their players following the setback.
The Italian said: “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?
“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?
“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, excuses. Try to protect them every time.”
Understandably, the comments have not gone down well at all.
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Tottenham board reach Conte sack decision
And that rant has led to calls that Conte needs to be sacked with immediate effect. Those calls are being led by Jamie Carragher, who is urging Levy to put Conte out of his misery.
And with those demands reaching fever pitch, there are reports that Tottenham are already considering replacements.
Some suggest they could turn to Roberto De Zerbi, while there are also some clamouring for the return of Mauricio Pochettino.
Meanwhile, other suggestions claim Ryan Mason could be drafted in as a caretaker until the end of the season.
Either way, seeing Conte depart would not come as a huge surprise.
His deal is due to expire this summer anyway. And noises of late have suggested there are no plans to extend that deal.
However, as per Sky Sports, Conte has met with the Spurs board to explain his comments.
And the Italian has reportedly said his comments were not intended as a criticism of the board. In actual fact, he has explained that it is the players who were the subject of his anger. And he thinks they need to be more answerable to certain failures. Furthermore, he thinks the manager (himself) and the board should not be held accountable.
As a result, Sky Sports claim Levy and Co have accepted his explanation and now have NO plans to end his reign early. They intend to stick with the former Chelsea and Inter boss until the end of the season and see where they end up.
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Conte comments ‘lost in translation’
As such, it has been concluded that firing him now will be detrimental, rather than helpful, to their top-four push.
Regardless of where Spurs end up, there will be some who will be surprised to see Conte still in his job. And accusations that Levy is going soft are bound to ring true.
But this might be a classic case of Conte getting his words in a muddle and not clearly getting his message across.
Or, perhaps he has had time to calm down and now regrets what he has said. Either way, and if that is the case, the club, or indeed Conte would be wise to issue a statement clarifying such matters.
Regardless, Conte’s time at Tottenham will likely end when the final whistle goes against Leeds at Elland Road on May 28.
Spurs return to action after the international break with a match at Everton on Monday 3 April.
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