‘This is the story of Tottenham’ | Who is to blame for Spurs’ problems? | Soccer News

It was meant to be a season where Spurs built on the progress they made last season, but it was a disappointing campaign and the final low point was losing a 3-1 lead at Southampton on Saturday.

The disappointing 3-3 draw at St Mary’s seemed like the final straw for Conte and he didn’t hold back in his post-match press conference. But who is really to blame for what went wrong this season?

Here, Sky Sports News journalist Michael Bridge dissects this question from three different angles – Conte, the board and the fans.

Antonio Conte

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte leaves the pitch at the end of his side’s draw with Southampton

Conte pretty much got it all out of his chest in front of the media on Saturday. We’ve seen it before, of course. Conte used to speak his mind to journalists when he was manager of Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Italy.

We got a glimpse of what was to come when he questioned whether he was the right person for the job after the 1-0 defeat at Burnley in February last year. He later admitted that those comments were meant to challenge the players, but Saturday was more personal.

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Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte said the club must take responsibility for the current situation and felt their players did not want to play under pressure.

The big question is what the hierarchy of the club will think of his remarks. Conte has always told reporters he has been honest with the board, telling them what needs to be done for the club to take that next big step.

It was clear on Saturday that he was frustrated that his players often seemed to get a bye when it came to criticism in the media, but questioning their commitment could be a dangerous game despite many fans of the Spurs believe there are players at the club who are simply not good enough.

Conte may point to injury issues as part of the reason for what went wrong this season. Serious injuries to Hugo Lloris and more importantly Rodrigo Bentancur haven’t helped, but every manager has to put up with missing players.

He can also point to the fact that last season’s Golden Boot winner Heung-min Son has scored just six times this season.

Harry Kane is always going to get you goals, but Conte knows that a successful team can’t rely on just one key player, no matter how good.

Any review of Conte’s performance this season must recognize that the campaign has been very difficult for him on a personal level. He lost three close friends and underwent gallbladder surgery.

Only he seems to know if he will sign a new contract, but it seems extremely unlikely at the moment.

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The Mirror’s John Cross says Tottenham players will find it hard to respect Antonio Conte following his extraordinary outburst after the draw at Southampton.


Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy in the stands before the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton.  Picture date: Saturday March 18, 2023.
Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy in the stands at St Mary’s

Daniel Levy is a big fan of Conte. At the staff Christmas party, his name was mentioned throughout his speech.

It was all so positive, but it seems like a long time ago now.

The board have always been aware that Conte doesn’t like working with long contracts and the mutual opinion was that they would discuss an extension during this season, a season that held so much promise.

Spurs were the third favorites for the title last summer and they deserved to be after such a promising end to last season – three straight wins, including beating Arsenal 3-0. Levy has every right to look forward to the next season knowing he had one of football’s most respected and successful coaches in his dugout.

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Clinton Morrison and Danny Cowley assess the impact Antonio Conte’s scathing criticism of his squad will have on Tottenham players.

Sure, Levy and the board have been criticized over transfer spending and politics, but they would say they backed Conte. Richarlison arrived for big money from Everton, Yves Bissouma was a key player at Brighton and Conte wanted Ivan Perisic, but even so, arguably the most successful signing of last summer was the goalkeeper replacing Fraser Forster.

Despite all the money spent, the defense seems sorely lacking in quality and when first-choice centre-back targets were unavailable last summer, Clement Lenglet was loaned out and he failed to convince.

Fans often blame the club’s management for Spurs winning just one major trophy during Levy’s time, but former managers – plus Conte – are also to blame, particularly when it comes to the questionable selection of the team in the semi-finals and major finals.

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Jamie Redknapp and Karen Carney discuss Antonio Conte’s outburst after Tottenham’s 3-3 draw with Southampton in the Premier League.

The fans

Just when Spurs fans thought they were heading for a two-week relaxation during the international break, it’s all dark and dark again. The club that was famous for the glory game is playing the blame game again.

It’s amazing to think Spurs were seconds away from entering the Premier League’s third break, but dismal game management when 3-1 up and a controversial penalty changed all that.

Many fans now believe that finishing in the top four would not be enough to make up for a disappointing and disheartening campaign. You don’t get a trophy for finishing fourth and last month’s FA Cup defeat at Sheffield United was one of the defining 90 minutes of the season.

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Tottenham players expect it will be ‘only a matter of time’ before Antonio Conte leaves the club following his post-match rant at the weekend.

Some Spurs supporters believe Conte was right to speak out on Saturday. They say his criticism of the players and the board was long overdue. However, there are also many fans who believe that Conte is paid more than enough to accept responsibility, change formation and get the best out of the team.

One issue all supporters can agree on is that Conte’s contract which ends this summer has played a big part in the uncertainty hanging over the club.

How can we hope to build when the manager has no intention of committing his future to the club? How can you work on summer transfers when nobody knows if Conte is staying or leaving?

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Southampton’s 3-3 draw with Tottenham in the Premier League.

Spurs fans used to scoff at Mikel Arteta’s ‘trust the process’ mantra at the start of his tenure as Arsenal manager, now they envy that same process.

On the day Beyoncé is due to play at what was once called White Hart Lane, Arsenal could parade the Premier League trophy down the road.

Ten months ago Spurs beat Arsenal 3-0 at home. It’s a very distant memory now.

As North London’s red half goes from strength to strength, Daniel Levy & Co must draw up contingency plans for a new rebuild – and their 13th manager in 20 years.

Tottenham’s next six matches…

Tottenham Hotspur's Clement Lenglet reacts to a missed chance during the Premier League match at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton.  Picture date: Saturday March 18, 2023.
Clement Lenglet reacts to a missed chance in the 3-3 draw with Southampton

April 3: Everton (A) – Premier League, kick-off 8 p.m. (live on sky sports)

April 8: Brighton (H) – Premier League, kick off 3pm

April 15: Bournemouth (H) – Premier League, kick off 3pm

April 23: Newcastle (A) – Premier:League, kick-off 2 p.m. (live on sky sports)

April 27: Man Utd (H) – Premier League, kick-off 8:15 p.m.

April 30: liverpool (A) – Premier League, kick-off 4:30 p.m. (live on sky sports)

Antonio Conte special: Hear the incredible explosion in full, plus Jamie Redknapp on why his position at Spurs is untenable

“Tottenham’s story is this. In 20 years there is this owner, and they have never won anything – but why?

Hear every moment of Antonio Conte’s extraordinary post-match blowout after Spurs lost a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 at Southampton in a special edition of Essential Football.

Are the inflammatory remarks of the Tottenham boss enough to see him ousted from his post? Former Spurs midfielder Jamie Redknapp says sky sports why he thinks they might be.

Sky Sports

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