Tottenham to part ways with Antonio Conte

·3-min read
Antonio Conte - Tottenham to part ways with Antonio Conte - PA/Andrew Matthews
Antonio Conte - Tottenham to part ways with Antonio Conte - PA/Andrew Matthews

Tottenham Hotspur are expected to agree Antonio Conte’s departure from the club this week.

Conte has flown back to Italy after the head coach criticised the Tottenham players following the 3-3 draw with Southampton in which Spurs threw away a 3-1 lead.

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There was still no confirmation of his exit on Monday as Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy deliberated over his next move, but the situation is rated as pretty much irretrievable by a variety of sources involved.

Levy is understood to have been seeking the opinion of some of his closest confidants over the current situation and did not immediately react to Conte’s comments on Sunday.

Sources believe the most likely scenario will be that Conte’s departure will be agreed this week, with Ryan Mason most likely be put in temporary charge until the end of the season in time for Tottenham’s next game against Everton on April 3.

The other option for Levy is to use the international break to try to immediately hire an out-of-work manager such as Luis Enrqiue, Thomas Tuchel or Mauricio Pochettino but convincing any of those three men to take over before the summer could be difficult.

Conte spoke with Levy after hitting out at the mentality of the players and reiterated the fact his criticism was for the squad and not aimed at the Spurs chairman or the club.

But Conte will not back down from his comments on the squad and insiders believe that makes it almost impossible for him to return to the Tottenham job for the remainder of the season.

Tottenham are fourth in the Premier League table, although Newcastle United and Liverpool have two games in hand on them, and Levy must decide whether he thinks the club will be best placed to try to qualify for the Champions League with or without Conte in charge.

With most of the club’s players on international duty, Levy has some time to deliberate over his next move.

Following the draw at Southampton, in which Tottenham squandered a 3-1 lead, Conte said: “I think it’s better to go into the problem, we are not a team. We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, players that don’t want to help each other and don’t put their heart [into it]. This season compared to last, now we are worse in this aspect. When you are not a team you cannot improve.”

He added: “They don’t play for something important, yeah. 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, 20 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. Until now I try to hide the situation but now, no, because I repeat I don’t want to see what I have seen today.

“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. They can change the manager, a lot of managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”