MATT BARLOW: Conte's message is clear… NONE of this is his fault

MATT BARLOW: Antonio Conte’s message to his next employer is clear… NONE of this is his fault. His volcanic eruption at Southampton was a beleaguered man that was finally at the end of his tether

  • The Italian manager’s post-match rant was a release of long pent-up frustration
  • Tottenham’s inconsistent season has been a rollercoaster for team and fans alike
  • Inside the best bits from the Spurs head coach’s 1000-word rant 

Even for a manager with such a volcanic reputation as Antonio Conte, it was an astonishing tirade, fuelled by something more than the pure disappointment of a stoppage-time equaliser.

This was a wild release of pent-up frustration by a beleaguered man at the end of his tether and close to the end of his contract.

Maybe that is the Tottenham factor. Perhaps it should carry a health warning. This has been a stressful and emotional season for Conte on different levels and it is about to finish with his winning run at an end.

Was it as simple as that? An outburst aimed at his players to go with the one aimed at fans after they booed the team off against AC Milan. One to summon chairman Daniel Levy to the negotiating table to talk severance and a way to call time on his adventures in north London.

Would they be better off with someone else steering them through the closing phase of the season? Would he prefer to retreat to Turin for some rest and recuperation after his recent operation? A ‘come-and-sack-me plea’ quipped one wag in the press room.

Antonio Conte’s outburst was the wild release of a man at the end of his tether, and close to the end his contract

The Italian manager is usually not a quitter, and prefers to use these public blasts tactically

Perhaps, although that would be a change of tactics for Conte. He is not usually a quitter. He prefers to use these public blasts tactically. He did it last season, after poor performances away at Mura and Burnley. He values the technique to shake up his players, to focus minds, although he will not see many of them for some time as they go off on international duty.

It could be his call to arms for the final push. Who is up for this? Moreover, it will carry messages intended for his next employers, whoever they might be. To ensure they have heard the trophyless time at Tottenham was not his fault because it is a club conditioned to fail, because the fans, the players and those who write about their (lack of) progress hold each other in this cycle of doom and not even he could change this.

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