Dubai: Tottenham Hotspur are currently in fourth place in the English Premier League and on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League, but the team is in turmoil due to the public outburst of their former manager Antonio Conte against his players.
Despite being a squad worth millions of pounds, Conte believed that the team was a lost cause and that he could not change the culture of the dressing room. However, there were several reasons behind his outburst, which led him to give up on the team.
Firstly, he had experienced personal losses, with the passing of close friends Gianluca Vialli, Gian Piero Ventrone, and Sinisa Mihajlovic. Additionally, he underwent surgery two months ago to remove his gallbladder, which can affect one’s mental and physical well-being. Furthermore, his wife and daughter were still living in Italy while he toiled away in London which added to his personal struggles. All these events led to Conte’s reduced resistance levels, and this is what I believe caused his outburst after the 3-3 draw against Southampton, a match his side was winning 3-1. He was a pressure cooker and he exploded.
Moreover, he did not like the collective attitude of the players, and this added to his frustration. He believed that big players are those who bring out the best in others and are not just focused on their own game. Good senior professionals are also crucial to a manager’s success. However, Tottenham seems to lack these senior players who can help the manager in the dressing room and hold their teammates accountable. Captain Harry Kane is their top scorer but there is a growing feeling he lacks the leadership skills to control the dressing room. Son Heung-min said he was sorry to see Conte leave the club and said he feels responsible for the Italian’s exit after failing to replicate his excellent form from the previous campaign.
Players these days live in a bubble, unaware of the difficulties of the outside world. They are the pampered and may not want to upset their comfortable lifestyle by confronting their teammates. This lack of accountability can frustrate the best coaches. Conte felt his players were not doing enough to win.
Tottenham’s failure to win trophies despite having all the resources and infrastructure is disappointing. They have tried two serial winners in Jose Mourinho and Conte, but it is time to adopt a long-term plan instead of looking for immediate fixes. The club should follow Arsenal’s blueprint of supporting and sticking with their chosen manager, even during difficult times.
Although there is still much to play for this season, Tottenham needs to adopt a long-term plan to achieve success. They are being linked with several top-class coaches such as Zinedine Zidane and Mauricio Pochettino and with just 10 games remaining they will need to get a new man in and fast. Otherwise they will see fourth spot and their Champions League dreams disappear.