Ex-Tottenham man insists Conte was right to criticise players; ten-game ban for Mitrovic is ‘ridiculous’

·3-min read
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte watches his side Credit: Alamy
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte watches his side Credit: Alamy

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara reckons Antonio Conte was right to call out his players but needs to take “some responsibility” for their “diabolical” football.

Spurs threw away a two-goal lead on Saturday as Southampton came 3-1 down to draw 3-3 with Theo Walcott and James Ward-Prowse scoring a goal each in the final 13 minutes.

That result means their lead on fifth-placed Newcastle United in the race for the top four is now just two points with the Magpies having two games in hand.

Tottenham boss launched into a rant about his “selfish” players and insisted that they must start to “give satisfaction” to their supporters.

Reacting to Conte’s post-match comments, O’Hara told talkSPORT: “Some of these players ain’t good enough.

“Some of these players need to leave the football club, they ain’t good enough to play for Tottenham. They’ve been there too long and they’ve let down too many managers.

“But as a manager, you’ve also got to take some responsibility for some of the football you’ve played this season, it’s been diabolical.

“Some of the first half performances have been some of the worst football I’ve seen at Tottenham in years. So, he also has to take some of the responsibility for that.”

Aleksandar Mitrovic was sent off on Sunday for grabbing referee Chris Kavanagh during five minutes of madness which cost Fulham their chance of reaching the FA Cup semi-finals.

Fulham were leading Manchester United 1-0 in the last eight at Old Trafford with a little over 20 minutes to go when Willian blocked a goalbound Jadon Sancho shot on the line with his arm.

Kavanagh initially signalled for a corner but was sent by VAR Neil Swarbrick to the screen, where he dismissed a protesting Marco Silva.

After the inevitable penalty decision and a red card for Willian, Fulham’s goalscorer Mitrovic raged at Kavanagh and tried to pull him back by the arm – with only 40 seconds separating the three dismissals.

United punished Fulham’s meltdown as Bruno Fernandes scored from the penalty spot two minutes before Marcel Sabitzer’s first United goal completed the turnaround, with Fernandes rounding off a 3-1 win in stoppage time.

Former referee Keith Hackett and ex-footballer Dean Saunders have called for Mitrovic to be banned for longer but O’Hara thinks a suggested ten-match ban would be “ridiculous”.

O’Hara added: “Mitrovic has lost his rag. Yes, what he’s done was wrong, don’t touch the referee, we all know that.

“”To talk about ten games is ridiculous. He’s got himself sent off, he’s made himself look a fool, he’s going to get fined by his club. The whole world is coming down on him.

“But to talk about ten games is just outrageous. He’s got a three game ban, Fulham are going to lose him for some massive games and he’s had a great season.

“Don’t you think he’s disappointed walking off the pitch? We all lose our rag. They are professional footballers and they are always on the edge. Every football player playing in the Premier League, in FA Cup matches, are always on the edge.”

READ MORE: Will Tottenham learn from Mourinho and Conte to avoid old Messiahs?


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