Conte claims his Tottenham players are ‘happy’ to ‘settle for mediocrity’ after post-match explosion

Joe Williams
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte shouts instructions to his players

Antonio Conte thinks some of his Tottenham squad are ‘happy’ to ‘settle for mediocrity’, according to Sky Sports reporter Kaveh Solhekol.

Spurs were criticised over the weekend as they threw a two-goal lead away in the final stages of their matches against Southampton as they went from 3-1 up to 3-3.

Conte gave an explosive post-match press conference in which he criticised the club and his “selfish” players after they chucked away two points in the race to finish fourth.

Tottenham are still fourth but fifth-placed Newcastle United are two points behind with two games in hand on Conte’s side.

A report earlier on Monday suggested a number of the Tottenham squad has now turned on Conte following his post-match outburst and Sky Sports reporter Solhekol has explained Conte’s feelings.

Solhekol told Sky Sports: “Conte has always prided himself on quickly building a winning mentality wherever he has worked, and he is very disappointed that he has not been able to do this at Spurs.

“He believes some players are happy to stay in the comfort zone and settle for mediocrity, no matter who is the coach. He also believes if the culture at a club is not right then the club is never going to be successful.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson claims Conte “isn’t fussed if he gets the sack” but that “the blame lies with the manager because of the way he sets up”.

Merson told Sky Sports: “This has been waiting to happen. It’s not spur of the moment. It’s a build-up and Antonio Conte has exploded. He’s had enough. You’ve got to say the blame lies with the manager because of the way he sets up.

“There are only seven teams in the league who have conceded more goals and they play a back three, with two holding midfielders. That shouldn’t happen. The idea of playing three at the back is to make you more solid.

“If I’m a Tottenham fan I’m thinking we’ve got one of the best strikers in world football in Harry Kane, two wingers in Heung-Min Son and Dejan Kulusevski who were unplayable last season, you have to play to their strengths.

“Those two are shadows of the players they were – that’s got to be down to the manager. Richarlison never gets a game. The plan is flawed. They set up not to lose, rather than setting up to win games of football.

“You can’t have that, what just happened. That rant should happen in the dressing room, not in front of the world. This is what happens in management – emotions run high. He isn’t fussed if he gets the sack so he can say what he wants.”

READ MORE: Will Tottenham learn from Mourinho and Conte to avoid old Messiahs?