Injuries add to Antonio Conte woes after rant at Spurs players

Davies and Richarlison limped off during 3-3 draw at Southampton that prompted furious tirade from Italian

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte saw his team concede two late goals in their 3-3 draw at Southampton on Saturday. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

The problems are mounting for Antonio Conte at Tottenham Hotspur after his team's capitulation at Southampton on Saturday.

Spurs were leading 3-1 at St Mary's Stadium only for the struggling Saints to score twice in the last 13 minutes and earn a much-needed point in their battle against relegation.

After the match, Conte was brutal in his criticism of Spurs players – who he described as “selfish” – and the club ownership.

And to make matters worse, defender Ben Davies and attacker Richarlison limped off in the first-half with muscles problems, and join the likes of captain Hugo Lloris, Ryan Sessegnon, Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma in the club's already busy medical room.

Spurs could have moved above Manchester United into third in the Premier League with victory on the south coast, but they lost ground in the race for Champions League qualification.

Newcastle are two points behind fourth-placed Spurs and while the gap to Liverpool, Brighton and Brentford stands at seven points, all four clubs have games in hand moving into April.

After the international break, Spurs will face a crucial run of games when they take on Newcastle, Manchester United and Liverpool in consecutive games at the end of April.

Since the turn of the year, they have been knocked out of the FA Cup by second-tier Sheffield United and meekly exited the Champions League at the hands of AC Milan, ending any hopes of winning their first trophy since 2008.

The current ownership group, chaired by Daniel Levy, took over the club in 2001. They have had 11 different managers in that time, including three since the 2019 departure of Mauricio Pochettino.

Conte's contract comes to an end this summer and it would surprise no one if the Italian leaves before the end of the season.

Southampton 3 Spurs 3: Player ratings

After recently criticising the club's supporters for lacking patience, Conte decided on Saturday to publicly criticise his players and club bosses. “The problem is that, for another time we showed that we are not a team,” said the Italian after the match.

“We are 11 players that go into the pitch. I see selfish players, I see players that don't want to help each other and don't put their heart [in].

“Why? Because they are used to it here, they are used to it. They don't play for something important yeah. They don't want to play under pressure, they don't want to play under stress.

“It is easy in this way. Tottenham's story is this. Twenty years there is the owner and they never won something but why? The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stays here. 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 try 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 and also unacceptable for the fans.

“They follow us, pay for their ticket and to see the team another time, to have this type of performance is unacceptable. We have to think a lot about this.”

Updated: March 19, 2023, 1:12 PM