Ledley King has claimed that Antonio Conte had a tough season both on and off the pitch and suggested that the Italian was left frustrated that Tottenham could not build on their impressive finish to last season.
There was plenty of optimism at Spurs last summer ahead of Conte’s first full season in charge.
Not only had the Lilywhites gone on an excellent run towards the end of last season to clinch the final Champions League qualification spot but the squad had also been reinforced with a number of new faces.
However, Tottenham struggled to deliver competent 90-minute displays right from the start of the season and the results eventually caught up to them, falling off a cliff when the campaign restarted following the break for the World Cup.
Antonio Conte produced a fiery rant before eventually being sacked by the club in March, accusing all the players of being selfish and pointing out that Spurs have been used to failure for the last two decades (Sky Sports).
When it was put to Ledley King that the Italian was pointing the finger at the Tottenham hierarchy, the Spurs legend said on Kammy and Ben’s Proper Football Podcast: “He did. And I think it’s difficult.
“I don’t know what his remit was at the beginning of the season. I’m guessing it wouldn’t have been to win the league. We know how tough that is.
“But, to be fair to the manager, he had a tough year…lost a couple of close friends. He had his own health issues. So, I just think he’d had a very, very tough year. A lot of frustrations with the inconsistency of the team.
“But, the team was where they probably deserved to be at that point, which was still in and around the top four.
“But, I’m guessing it would have been to keep building, to build on last season, which would have been frustrating because if you look at the performances last season and this season, you wouldn’t say that we’ve built on that.
“And maybe that’s what frustrated him, that we haven’t kind of closed the gap even more, and I’m sure that would have been the aim, to stay within the top four, close the gap and then, what it would be for next season, bringing in a few new faces and kind of reassess again.
“It was difficult. I think, you know, at that point, there was a lot of…you could see he was frustrated, a lot of emotion. And as I say, I think the course of the season had taken its toll on him and that’s why we’ve got the outburst.
“The club acted on it and Ryan’s [Mason] in at the moment. He’s a good young coach. I actually worked with Ryan when I was coaching with Jose [Mourinho] and Jose left the club. I stayed on and finished the season off with Ryan.
“He’s a talented young coach. I know the players were impressed with him in his first stint and I’m sure they are now. So, it’s just really about finishing the season off as well as we can.
“You know, we’re not the only ones who’ve had a tough year. Liverpool have found it tough. Chelsea have obviously found it tough.
“And you really only have to look at our north London neighbours to see how, from one season to the next, it can change and that gives us hope, I suppose.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Conte certainly had a difficult year in his personal life but he has to take responsibility for his failings at Spurs.
The Italian was certainly backed in the transfer market and he made the team look toothless in attack despite having some world-class attackers at his disposal.
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