Jamie O’Hara has expressed concern over Tottenham’s recent performances and insisted that Antonio Conte should focus on delivering a trophy rather than securing another top-four finish this season.
The Carabao Cup arguably represented Spurs’ best chance of breaking their trophy drought but Conte’s men crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle on Wednesday.
The Italian named a strong starting line up but his side put in a lacklustre display and were second best all over the pitch against a Nottingham Forest side who looked hungrier and more energetic.
After a promising start to the season, Tottenham’s form has fallen off a cliff over recent weeks, and O’Hara has opined that Conte should be getting better performances out of the squad than he has been.
The former Spurs midfielder told talkSPORT’s The Sports Bar: “I don’t know what to say. Tottenham tonight, what is going on? This can’t continue.
“I’ve been a massive fan of Conte, I’m still a big fan of him but the way that we’re playing, the way that we’re going about games and the constantly going 1-0 down or 2-0 down.
“The first half performances are absolutely miles off. I don’t know how I can keep saying ‘back him’ because eventually, I’m going to look like the idiot.
“Right now I keep saying you’ve got to back him, he’ll win us a competition, win us a trophy, but we’re out of the Carabao Cup to Nottingham Forest. It’s not good enough.”
O’Hara, who was part of the Tottenham squad that last tasted silverware in 2008, insisted that the Lilywhites should have prioritised going all the way in the Carabao Cup this season.
He added: “If we scrape into the top four, great. Champions League football, well done, but we want a trophy.
“That tonight is a massive chance to get into the last 16 of a competition where Arsenal have gone out, Chelsea have gone out. Big teams have gone out and you’d be thinking we’ve got a chance and then you get beaten by Nottingham Forest.
“No disrespect, they’re a Premier League team and a decent side, but come on. When you’ve got players like Harry Kane in your side you’ve got to win those games. You’ve got to set the standard and the standards at Tottenham are falling off a cliff. I don’t know what the answer is.”
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Conte clearly wanted to progress to the next round, which is why he named a strong team at the City Ground. However, the Italian’s claim about the players being too tired is not an acceptable excuse. If he really felt that some players were struggling fitness-wise before the game, he should have rotated the squad.
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