Jamie O’Hara, a former Tottenham midfielder, has stated that Antonio Conte should take some of the responsibility for Tottenham’s recent poor performances. Tottenham had a 3-1 lead against relegation-threatened Southampton with 15 minutes to play in their Premier League encounter, but they collapsed to draw the game 3-3 late on. Conte launched a sensational attack on his players to the media post-match, saying they are ‘selfish’ and don’t ‘want to play under pressure’. He then flew into chairman Daniel Levy and owner Joe Lewis, saying: “20 years there is the owner and they never won something. Why?”.
O’Hara agreed with much of what Conte said about the players’ mentality, but he couldn’t stomach the Italian shifting all the blame away from himself. He stated that Daniel Levy doesn’t pick the team, Daniel Levy doesn’t instil a mentality to the players, Daniel Levy doesn’t rest Harry Kane in an FA Cup match, and Daniel Levy doesn’t play a 3-4-3 formation. O’Hara thinks that Conte deserves some of the blame for Tottenham’s recent poor performances.
Spurs will end the season trophyless again, exiting the Carabao Cup earlier and later the FA Cup to Championship side Sheffield United with Harry Kane on the bench. They then followed that up by exiting the Champions League at the hands of a much less fancied AC Milan, and their top four hopes are under threat. Despite Conte placing the blame solely on his players and employers, O’Hara thinks he hasn’t covered himself in glory.
“He rested Harry Kane in an FA Cup game, we lost that game, the performance was pathetic,” O’Hara explained. “He dug the players out after that and I have no problem with that because it was pathetic. Then you go and lose against AC Milan, another pathetic performance, but they are his tactics as well. Yes, the players haven’t been good enough, they haven’t stepped up and some have gone missing but he’s to blame as well, these are his tactics and it’s diabolical football to watch.”
Fellow talkSPORT host Simon Jordan later added his thoughts, slamming Conte’s press conference meltdown. “I’m all for ballsy managers pushing the envelope,” he said. “This is a world-class lack of self-awareness. This team, your team, loses to Sheffield United, Wolves, knocked out by average Milan, average against poor Forest and draw against Southampton. That’s nothing to do with you…”