Tottenham’s preference emerges after ruthless Conte rant

Tottenham manager Antoni Conte reviews Southampton draw

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Tottenham’s preference has been for Antonio Conte to see out the season, according to reports. However, right now, it’s unclear if the Italian will last that long. The 53-year-old is currently in the spotlight after brutally criticising his players and the board following Spurs’ 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.

Conte caused controversy with his actions, with the Italian refusing to hold back after late goals from Theo Walcott and James Ward-Prowse pegged his side back.

Yet while there’s a clamour from some fans for him to go, it’s unclear what will happen in the coming days.

The Athletic do say, however, that Tottenham’s preference has always been for Conte to stay until the end of the season.

They want a strong finish to the campaign and then an ‘amicable parting’ in which ‘everyone saves face’.

Tottenham also want a smooth transition when it comes to a potential replacement, too, unlike in 2021.

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That year, Spurs acted questionably as they sought a replacement for Jose Mourinho – who had been sacked before a Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

After a frantic scramble they ended up hiring Nuno Espirito Santo, who joined after leaving Wolves.

But with Nuno struggling he ultimately lost his job – with Conte then brought in as an A-list replacement.

Conte, in his rant, slammed Spurs and accused his players of being ‘selfish’ – while also appearing to take aim at owner Daniel Levy, too.

“The problem is we have shown we are not a team,” Conte told BBC’s Match of the Day.

“We are 11 players. I see selfish players. I see players that don’t want to help each other, don’t play with heart.”

He then added: “They’re used to it here. Don’t play for something important.

“They don’t want to play under pressure. They don’t want to play under stress. Tottenham’s story is this. 20 years there is the owner and they never won something. Why?

“The fault is only for the club or for every manager that stays here? And 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 tried to hide the situation but now no because, I repeat, I don’t want to see what I have seen today, because this is unacceptable.

“Also for the respect for the fans. They follow us, pay the tickets. And to see the team, another time, to have this type of performance, for me, I repeat, this is unacceptable.”

Former Tottenham star Jamie O’Hara, meanwhile, has slammed Conte and claimed the Italian was ‘begging to be sacked’.

“Daniel Levy doesn’t pick the team, Daniel Levy doesn’t instil a mentality to the players, Daniel Levy doesn’t rest Harry Kane in an FA Cup much, Daniel Levy doesn’t play a 3-4-3 formation,” he said.

“I don’t disagree with criticism of Levy and I’ve said it before about taking the club forward, he hasn’t helped, he hasn’t brought in the best players, but the comments of Conte…

“I don’t disagree with the comments about passion, the desire to win, the mentality of the players, but it’s how he said it, where he’s said it, and the timing of it.

“I can’t get behind a manager slaughtering his team when an international break is coming up and he’s basically saying to Levy ‘I beg you to sack me’.”

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