Tottenham manager Antonio Conte gave a damning assessment of Spurs following the club’s 2-0 defeat in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Chelsea.
The Italian endured a miserable return to Stamford Bridge as his calamitous Tottenham side were dominated by the Blues.
Japhet Tanganga gifted possession to the hosts for Kai Havertz’s early opener, before a headed clearance from the defender deflected off Ben Davies for a comical own-goal.
Spurs were lucky to escape west London with hope ahead of the second leg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
And Conte was in no mood to be diplomatic following such an underwhelming display from his team.
“We need to have patience because there is a lot, a lot of a job to do, in many aspects,” said Conte.
“Because in the last few years the level of Tottenham has dropped, and dropped a lot. And now we have to rebuild, and we need to have patience and more time.
“We are working a lot, to try to fight in this league, but in this moment we are in the middle.
“That’s our situation, we are in the middle. Not up, not down, we are in the middle.”
However, Conte himself came in for criticism from former Tottenham striker and talkSPORT host Alan Brazil.
The Spurs boss replaced forwards Lucas Moura and Heung-min Son during the second-half on Wednesday night, leaving Brazil baffled.
“One goal changes everything,” the Scotsman said on the talkSPORT Breakfast.
“When the second leg comes along and it’s 2-1, suddenly you go, ‘Come on! 2-0 and we’re through and we’re going to Wembley’.
“I didn’t understand that one.”
He added: “I’ve said for years Tottenham’s midfield isn’t good enough for a top-class side. Look at Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City – their midfields are buzzing at the moment.
“I thought Chelsea should’ve gone for the jugular.”
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