Following their loss to AC Milan in both legs of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 ties, Tottenham’s season has officially come to an end. Shortly after the game, Coach Antonio Conte spoke out about his future with the team.
In the second leg, played at Tottenham Stadium, the team had the task of winning against AC Milan to progress. This was because they had lost the first leg to the Italian representatives by a single goal.
However, after 90 minutes of play, all that was seen in Antonio Conte’s squad was an utter disappointment. Throughout the game, Tottenham only managed two shots on target.
They had a few notable chances from the individual efforts of Harry Kane and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, while defender Cristian Romero was sent off in the 77th minute after receiving two yellow cards in a rather silly manner. The Spurs would have lost the game if Milan had been sharper in front of the goal.
In their last three games, Tottenham has been knocked out of the FA Cup by Sheffield United, lost to Wolverhampton in the Premier League, leaving Liverpool just three points behind, and now eliminated from the Champions League.
Kane has tried to shoulder the goal-scoring burden, while Son Heung Min and Richarlison have been out of form. But he cannot do much more to lift Tottenham out of their current slump.
Antonio Conte is currently under a lot of pressure. The Italian coach, after achieving top 4 last season, was backed to bring in several players. However, Tottenham’s style of play has clearly regressed and they have only recently returned to the top 4 due to the decline of Newcastle.
Besides, Conte is said to be struggling psychologically after some important people in his life passed away. And Conte missed some games to have surgery to remove his gallbladder. Will he be sacked football manager this Premier League season?
After the game, Tottenham’s head coach, Conte, even affirmed that he could be fired immediately after this disappointing match:
“I still have a contract with Tottenham until the end of the season. Then we will know whether I will still be here or not. However, I am afraid that I could be fired by the team right after this match against AC Milan. Yes, my contract runs until June, but I may be forced to end this deal early.” – The former Chelsea manager hesitantly revealed.
However, the 53-year-old strategist also showed great pride in what Spurs have achieved this season, which is a significant improvement over last season:
“Overall, we have made progress this year after working hard. We set higher standards. I have been here for 14 months, don’t forget that last year we were eliminated in the Conference League group stage. And now we are in the Champions League round of 16.
And you know what, we have to face the reigning Italian champions. AC Milan, who won last season, while we went straight from 9th to 4th place. That’s a big difference in position between the two sides.” – Conte affirmed.
Conte’s response clearly will not satisfy Tottenham fans and also shows that the club is at a crossroads. They are still in the top 4, but the style of play is very poor.
And even people say that assistant coach Cristian Stellini does a better job than the head coach whenever he temporarily replaces Conte. But changing coaches in the middle of the season also comes with risks as Liverpool is rising strongly to reclaim their spot in the Champions League group.
Conte’s contract will expire on June 30th and Tottenham has the option to extend it for another year. In January, Sky Sports Italy reported that Tottenham had offered a new deal, but the 53-year-old coach has not responded and only wants to make a decision about his future at the end of the season. Conte has stated that he has a good relationship with chairman Daniel Levy and Tottenham also understands their own thoughts.