Looking back on famous Antonio Conte rants after his Tottenham tirade

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is expected to part ways with his current club this week following an outburst in the post-match press conference after Spurs’ 3-3 draw with Southampton in the Premier League.

The Scudetto-winning manager with Inter and Juventus took the reins at Spurs last season but has soon found it difficult to instil conformity amongst his players. Tottenham saw a fallout within themselves in their last match before the International break as they permitted Southampton to organise a comeback and Saints’ midfielder James Ward-Prowse inflicted the final blow in added time to send the visitors’ top-four hopes in jeopardy. 

“I’m not used to seeing this type of situation, I see a lot of selfish players. And I don’t see a team” were the words of Antonio Conte as he started his post-match briefing. The Italian manager directly accused the ‘selfish’ players in his team of Spurs’ recent subpar form. The outburst was coming sooner or later and it found its way after Spurs’ failed to hold onto a three-goal lead. 

The North London clubs’ chairman Daniel Levy is alarmed by Conte’s comments and thinks that his continuation as the manager may have a negative impact on the team. After the case of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, and now for Antonio Conte at Tottenham, whenever someone has criticised their own team, even if it’s constructive, they have faced the sack. 

However, this is not the first time Conte has been the centre of talk regarding open criticism. Likened to Jose Mourinho, the Italian too becomes a bit animated when things don’t happen as he expects them to. This is not something new and Conte’s tirades have been with him since he stepped into the world of football. 

The first of his open outbursts go as long back in the last day of the 2006/07 Serie B season. He was the manager of Arezzo and Spezia’s victory over Juventus meant that Conte’s side got relegated to the Serie C on the last day. The Italian didn’t hold back to express his thoughts to the media before he received the sack. He said in a sarcastic mood: “Relegation like this hurts, but it makes me understand things that I already knew about football. Everyone is good at talking and now it seems that the bad guys are out. That football is clean. In fact, we are all happy: long live this clean football!”

Again, on 5th May 2014, as the manager of Juventus, after winning the Scudetto with the Bianconeri by beating Atalanta, an unexpected outburst from him came as Conte criticised the Juve board for not fulfilling certain promises made to him. He didn’t approve of his team’s performances in the Champions League and openly said: “You can’t sit at a table in a 100-euro restaurant with 10 euros in your pocket. In Europe there are teams that are economically unattainable and it will be very hard for me to see an Italian team in the Champions League final in the years to come”. Following this event, Conte was replaced by Massimiliano Allegri as the manager of Juventus for the 2014/15 season.

While the Italian has proved himself to be an accomplished manager and is known for his tactics to churn out results from dire situations, he often goes out of his way and loses patience when he sees a breach of unity among his players with the board not helping the situation. This is not something only Conte faces, in fact, it is a recurrent issue faced by managers at different clubs and for high-profile teams, where managers are appointed to reach certain achievements, they are bound to feel frustrated. Antonio Conte is known for his imposing figure in the dressing room and this is partly the reason why Real Madrid didn’t appoint him last season as Carlo Ancelotti took the reins at the Santiago Bernabeu. 

The Scudetto and Premier League winner has been fearless in his job since the very first day and even if he leaves Spurs, controversy won’t ever depart him. A return to Italy or somewhere else, Antonio Conte won’t change and it will be interesting to see where he takes on his new stride. 


Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN



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