‘I see selfish players who go into the pitch... we showed we are not a team’



dmg media (UK)


Premier League

owners and various managers — including serial winners like himself and Jose Mourinho — had taken the blame but that the players had always been excused. ‘You are finding an alibi, another alibi,’ Conte shot back when asked if uncertainty around his own future was part of the problem. ‘You try to find an excuse for the players. OK, continue to do this, to find an excuse for the players. You do only this! ‘Excuses for the players. Maybe, it’s my future, then we “lost confidence”, they “lost spirit”, they “lost being a team”. Excuses. Excuses. Excuse. Try to protect them every time. Bah. Come on, come on, come on. We are professional. ‘The club pay us a lot of money. The players receive money. I receive money and not to find excuses and not show spirit or a sense of responsibility. This is unacceptable because, for me, this is the first time in my career to see a situation like this. ‘Until now I wasn’t able to change it and compared to last season the situation has become worse.’ Tottenham led 3-1 with 16 minutes remaining. Pedro Porro opened the scoring and Harry Kane put them 2-1 up after an equaliser by Che Adams. But Theo Walcott reduced the deficit and James Ward-Prowse scored a disputed penalty in the last minute. The manager did not address his players in the dressing room but strode directly into his media duties. ‘For me, it’s not a penalty and then we stop,’ said Conte. ‘The worst is what happened on the pitch, and what’s happening in the last few months. ‘It is the right moment to speak because this performance for me it’s unacceptable. The problem is that we showed we are not a team. We are 11 players that go onto the pitch and I see selfish players, players that don’t want to help each other, don’t show heart. Most important if want if you want be strong and competitive is the desire, the fire in your eyes, in your heart and you have to show this in every moment. Instead, if I have to compare to last season, now we are worse in this aspect. ‘I’m not talking about tactics or technical aspects. To be a team is the most important. To understand play for the badge, to make our fans proud. We have to show desire. The fire in your eyes to win. ‘Conte’s contract will expire at the end of the season. He is not expected to extend his deal and, after this, may have talked himself into a summit meeting with Levy, who was at St Mary’s. ‘Maybe in the other games something can change but here we are used to it for a long time,’ added Conte. ‘The club has the responsibility for the transfer market and every coach here has the responsibility… and the players? ‘Where are the players? In my experience, if you want to be competitive and fight, you have to improve this. And this is really low in this aspect. I see only 11 who play for themselves.’