Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara believes Antonio Conte has to take his share of the blame after the Spurs manager’s explosive comments.
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?”
talkSPORT host O’Hara was at Spurs during their last trophy win in 2008, and agreed with much of what Conte said about the players’ mentality.
However, he couldn’t stomach the Italian shifting all the blame away from himself.
He began: “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 much, Daniel Levy doesn’t play a 3-4-3 formation.
“I don’t disagree with criticism of Levy and I’ve said it before about taking the club forward, he hasn’t helped, he hasn’t brought in the best players, but the comments of Conte…
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“I don’t disagree with the comments about passion, the desire to win, the mentality of the players, but it’s how he said it, where he’s said it, and the timing of it.
“I can’t get behind a manager slaughtering his team when an international break is coming up and he’s basically saying to Levy ‘I beg you to sack me’.”
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…”