Antonio Conte has claimed that he has been fully committed to Tottenham Hotspur since the day he walked through the door.
The Tottenham head coach has sent a few mixed messages to the media during his six months in charge of the club.
His future has been called into question over recent weeks, with the Italian being mooted as a potential target for Paris Saint-Germain (Le Parisien).
A couple of weeks ago, Conte refused to commit his future to Tottenham despite being asked multiple times, remarking instead that he will have to meet with the club’s hierarchy at the end of the season (Football.London).
However, the 52-year-old has now explained that he has always given 100 per cent to the club, which is why he can demand the same of the players.
Conte told The Independent: “From the moment I came into the club – and in every club I worked in in the past – I go totally with my heart, mind and head. Totally. 100 per cent and more. This is my characteristic. I’m a passionate person.
“I think I showed this passion. I think to see me afterwards sometimes on TV, it’s not simple to see me in this way. I’m very passionate, I’m this way. I like to go totally into the club where I work.
“I know that only in this way I’m able to give everything. And also, to find the way to receive everything from my players, my club and the fans.
“Because if I’m the first person to give 200 per cent, then for sure I can ask for this [in return].”
Spurs will welcome Burnley to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday, with the North Londoners looking to put things right following their loss in the reverse fixture back in February.
It was after Tottenham’s 1-0 loss at Turf Moor that Conte produced his infamous outburst, where he suggested that he might not be the right man to help the club turn their results around (Football.London).
The Spurs head coach has now explained that he was trying to send a message to his players with his comments after the loss to Burnley.
He said about that outburst: “I think honestly there are moments that if you want to change the situation, address the situation in the way you’re used to addressing, sometimes you have to go strong.
“I understand very well that I took a risk because a lot of people didn’t understand. I read that it only took two months for Tottenham to make Conte crazy! I remember very well I was the crazy one.
“Sometimes coaches have a strategy and the strategy is the stick or the carrot. At the time, all the environment needed the stick. Myself was the first person because I hit myself. And then the others.
“Because before saying something wrong about the players or the situation, the first to take the blame has to be the manager. The manager has to address the situation. At the time I thought it was right to go strong to try to change the situation. At the time, in my opinion, no one could think with two games to go Tottenham could fight for the Champions League.
“Instead, now, we are there and from that step, we improved a lot. Also, there are moments when everyone has to take responsibility. The manager is the first, then the players, the club and all the employees of Tottenham. Because we win and we lose together.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Conte certainly took a risk by saying what he did publicly after the 1-0 loss to Burnley. Things could have gone quite pear-shaped if the players had failed to take the Italian’s comments on board in the right manner.
With hindsight, Conte’s words seem to have the desired effect of galvanising the squad. So, the 52-year-old certainly deserves credit for his actions.
However, I do not completely believe that his outburst was purely strategic. There was clearly an element of Conte being extremely upset and not being to hold back his emotions after four defeats in five matches.
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