Paul Merson has claimed that Antonio Conte looked disinterested on the touchline during Tottenham’s Carabao Cup semi-final loss against Chelsea and insisted that he can see the Italian walking away from the club if he does not get what he wants.
It was reported last week that some Spurs players fear that Conte would walk if he is not backed in this month’s transfer window (Football.London).
However, Conte insisted in his press conference last week that he is enjoying his time at the North London club so far.
Interestingly, like Merson, Alasdair Gold also noted that the 52-year-old has looked a lot less enthusiastic on the sidelines over recent weeks.
When the journalist put the question to Conte, the Spurs boss denied that was the case and insisted that the fourth official would be surprised at Gold’s claim.
However, Merson believes that the former Inter boss did not look like he believed his side could get the job done against Chelsea but added that the 3-0 loss on aggregate could be a blessing in disguise for the Lilywhites.
When asked if Conte could walk from Spurs, the former Arsenal midfielder told Sky Sports (15/01/22 at 2:05 pm): “Oh, yeah, I could see that along the way (Conte leaving if he doesn’t get what he wants). The one thing, when Conte was at Chelsea, he was enthusiastic.
“When he first came into Tottenham. He is up and down the touchline when they score. The other day, he was sitting there with his arm folded and he was like ‘this is a waste of time’.
“He needs players. The gulf over the two legs was absolutely embarrassing – He seemed disinterested, Conte. Like ‘we can’t win’.
“But Tottenham might look back on that result, even though they are playing against one of their arch enemies and they got well beat over the two legs, that might be the catalyst for them to go and buy three or four players in the summer.”
Spurs Web Opinion
It was only natural that Conte was going to be less animated in the second leg as it was pretty evident as soon as Chelsea took the lead that Spurs’ chances of progression to the final had all but completely evaporated. I do think that some journalists might be reading too much into Conte’s demeanor in the game.
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