Kevin Phillips has claimed that Antonio Conte may have been trying to deflect attention from his players with his controversial comments on the Tottenham squad last week.

After Tottenham fell to two back-to-back defeats at home to Southampton and Wolves, Conte was quoted as saying in an interview to Sky Sport Italia that the North London club may have weakened their squad rather than strengthening it in January.

His comments understandably created quite a stir and it was reported that Spurs had been surprised by what the 52-year-old had said (Jonathan Veal).

However, Conte clarified his comments in his pre-match press conference on Saturday, suggesting that his words had been lost in translation and accusing the media of trying to create a rift between him and the club (Football.London).

Tottenham certainly put to bed any notions of discontent behind the scenes by producing a fantastic display at the Etihad on Saturday to beat Manchester City 3-2.

Phillips has now suggested that Conte might have been trying to deflect attention from his side’s defeats against Southampton and Wolves with his comments last week.

The former Sunderland striker told Football Insider: “What were the conditions when they signed Conte?

“Does he have the final say on players coming in? We never truly know that but I am a great believer in the manager having final say on transfers.

“You don’t get as many issues if the transfer is responsible for the signings. The buck stops with the manager.

“Results had been poor up until the Man City game. Conte’s comments in the week caused a stir, which is not ideal for Tottenham.

“But perhaps he was trying to deflect after poor performances on the pitch. We just don’t know.”

Spurs Web Opinion

One positive to come out of Conte’s comments last week and the way it was reported, is the fact that Spurs fans are now aware of some media outlets’ agenda in spinning the Italian’s words.

Going forward, the fan base is not likely to pay any heed to reports from the likes of Matt Law about Conte potentially walking away from the club.

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