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Was Conte 'selfish?' And does Levy have 'no choice?' - fans have their say

Published on: 20 March 2023

'I see selfish players' - Conte furious after Spurs let lead slip at Southampton

Was it always destined to come to this?

Antonio Conte is an emotional, demanding manager - but his extraordinary comments after his side squandered a 3-1 lead in a draw at Southampton turned up the temperature at Tottenham.

The Italian boss called his players "selfish" and criticised the club's hierarchy, sparking widespread debate. But what will it end up meaning for Spurs?

We asked our Tottenham fan writer for his view and also sifted through hundreds of messages sent to BBC Sport by fans reacting to Conte's outburst.

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'Conte covering his own shortcomings'

John Wenham, Lilywhite Roseexternal-link and BBC Sport Spurs fan writer

While watching Conte's rant it seemed he had been holding a lot back and could no longer do so. I personally felt he was covering his own shortcomings. Some of the points he raised are valid and appreciated by sections of the support but ultimately Spurs have gone backwards this season. They play a style of football that is turgid and boring and I cannot think of a single player he has improved.

If these players are as he describes, why keep picking them without rest or rotation?

He is an elite manager - his CV sets that out - but surely he knew what he was signing up for working under ENIC. Despite being the ninth-richest club in world football, Spurs do not operate in a way akin to Chelsea.

They have tried two 'win-now' managers in Conte and Jose Mourinho yet they were 90 minutes away from winning the biggest trophy in club football under a project manager in Mauricio Pochettino. While the current ownership remains, a boss in Pochettino's vein appears the more suitable option.

Conte's behaviour can also be viewed as selfish. He has attempted to protect his own reputation while throwing the players under the bus. Yes, many of them need replacing but it is he that insists upon playing a style without a creative player in the squad, and a rigid formation with three at the back.

While it could be seen as a last roll of the dice to get the players motivated for the final 10 games of the season, reports are emerging that many of them want Conte gone as he crossed the line with this latest outburst. He was always going to go at the end of the season anyway but it now feels it could be far sooner.

Your views - is Conte 'spot on' or 'toxic now'?

Junior: Thank goodness, Levy has been called out! We could change managers every 18 months for the next 10 years and the outcome will be same. It requires a total overhaul of the football club from the first team down. A plan would help!

Emiliano: I think Conte's comments are spot on. This club will never change until the current owners go. To them we are a business trying to rake in as much money as possible and happen to have a football team. The stadium was not for the team but for all the other events. It's not Conte who should go but the owners - and most of the squad who are rubbish.

David: Conte is absolutely correct and the problem at Spurs lies at the top. Unfortunately, the truth hurts. Spurs do not have a club ethic. That is because Levy isn't interested in such a thing.

Stef: Conte needs to point the finger at himself as well. The players are obviously better than the results - losing to Sheffield United, Wolves, and drawing against Southampton. He is the one who is supposed to bring the best out of them. Instead he's starting to sound like Mourinho, talking about past achievements and blaming everyone else.

Lee: If I was employing Conte, it would be P45 time straight after those comments. He's toxic now.

Gareth: After Conte's post-match rant, I believe that Levy has no choice but to sack him. Conte is being paid by Levy a considerable amount of money to be Spurs manager, and to publicly undermine the guy paying your salary is poor form. Conte knew the situation at Spurs and our problems in achieving success, which he was meant to remedy.

Mark: Conte is a disgrace - does he think his tactics are blameless? How can the players respond to him after he criticised them? And what gives Conte the right to criticise the club? What an arrogant man. He's truly overrated and he's panicking because he's got no answer.

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