Spurs’ latest collapse shows Conte has no answers to questions he doesn’t even care about

    Credit: Alamy

Credit: Alamy

Spurs threw away a 3-1 lead against Southampton with 15 minutes left because of course they did. There’s no point in Antonio Conte retiring this season.

With 16 minutes to go at St Mary’s, Ivan Perisic’s Spurs’ first goal had put them 3-1 up and went into the international break in a slightly misleading but still undeniably genuine third place.

Twenty minutes later Spurs are instead a completely misleading and only temporarily genuine fourth in the table with their Champions League hopes ruined.

Let’s face it, Spurs hadn’t played well to take a 3-1 lead. They haven’t played really well all season. This top 4 challenge is not built on that. It’s only easy to say that it’s built entirely on the surprising rubbish of Liverpool and Chelsea and the unsurprising greatness of Harry Kane, who somehow managed to turn the base metal of Tottenham’s prosaic football and non-existent attacking ambitions into the 21st-century gold to transform Premier League goals.

As an achievement, it’s completely eclipsed Erling Haaland’s significantly more impressive numbers at Etihad.

Because Spurs really are a terrible spectacle. Their football is somehow even more joyless and ambitious now than it was under Mourinho at the end, the plan less clear than under Nuno and the tactical directions at a level of non-existence not seen since Tim Sherwood and his vest. Spurs have had every type of bad or unsuitable manager imaginable in recent years and it should (but not) be a shame to Antonio Contes that his Spurs side in their final days resemble none quite as much as Sherwood’s directionless, haphazard, for the best hopeful shards.

Conte will presumably ask how he can compete with Southampton (or Sheffield United or Wolves or Leicester City or…) because he’s been gaslighting this whole club and its fan base since arriving. He still thinks he’s doing them a favor by being here and serving up that tireless shoe.

It’s no big surprise they’re as bad as they are now: if the only prize left on offer is where they’ll play football next season, why should a manager who doesn’t care about the club and know he won’t be, even so be here special shit? It’s been clear for weeks that he wants to be fired and get away with the payout. As annoying as it will be for Daniel Levy, he must now give Conte what he wants. His team may look like Sherwood’s but Conte is now at the point where Mourinho has been where his mere presence becomes toxic. Spurs’ relatively decent run a couple of weeks ago coincided with Conte’s absence and that increasingly seems no coincidence.

James Ward-Prowse celebrates Southampton's late equalizer against Tottenham.  Credit: Alamy

James Ward-Prowse celebrates Southampton’s late equalizer against Tottenham. Credit: Alamy

Conte and Spurs can, with some justification, point to the gentleness of the injury time penalty that ultimately cost them the win. But this is smoke and mirrors. It distracts and distracts; It’s true Spurs would have gotten away with that performance any other day, but that wouldn’t have made the performance satisfactory nor a one-off result.

That game fell into Spurs’ laps, but there are few clubs more adept at receiving a horse as a thoughtful and kind gift, and taking a quizzical look at its crunches before deciding they don’t care much take care of. Southampton centre-backs both had to be substituted through injury in the first half and the resulting confusion went a long way towards giving Pedro Porro plenty of space to score the opening goal in first-half injury time.

CONTINUE READING: Antonio Conte pleads for sacking by dropping truth bombs after Spurs surrender

It should have been. Southampton came into this game with just 11 home goals all season and hadn’t shown anything to suggest they had any idea how they could increase that total here. Of course you don’t always need a lot of knowledge against the Spurs. You just have to be there. After some wise words from Conte, Spurs emerged for the second half in a confused daze with Cristian Romero, a man who always dips in when absolutely unnecessary and quite often just stands still when direct intervention is more needed, which allows Che Adams to steal and grab an equalizer.

Still, Southampton’s provisional backline couldn’t handle it, and Spurs went well against themselves in a 3-1 win with a header from Kane (of course) and a slightly dingy but well-aimed Perisic jab from the edge of the area .

At that point, the Spurs just stopped playing altogether. Like, stopped trying even the basics of club football altogether. It’s too easy (when undeniably fun) to attach this entirely to the manager. There are a great many very experienced footballers on this team and each and every one of them has a responsibility to give Southampton the kind of encouragement that led to the game’s dissolution. But this is a team and a club rotting out of their heads.

Four defenders were within 10 yards of the Spurs goal but none of them within ten yards of Theo Walcott when he pulled one back almost immediately and from there a team that had previously been desperately lacking in goals and confidence poured into forward in search of a balance. The manner of that equalizer might have been a stroke of luck, but Spurs created the perfect environment for such a misfortune. they stopped. They froze. They panicked. They whistled for balls in their own penalty area and seemed surprised to spot opposing players around them.

And of course it’s everything everyone else likes to laugh about this club. If only there was a word for it. The incompetence of others gave Spurs a chance to cement a place in the top four with a three-game streak against relegation strugglers this international break. They lost shambolic at Wolves, unconvincingly defeated Forest and then produced this disgraceful performance in response to Newcastle’s hard-fought victory at the City Ground on Friday night.

Spurs started March with two good home wins and hopes in three competitions. Five games later, Spurs have exited two cup competitions with miserable non-performances and, if not quite torpedoed their top-four hopes, at least discarded a position of strength in the league with two dismal efforts against Wolves and Here. It’s hard to imagine April being any different under a disinterested, unimaginative and uncompromising manager who doesn’t have answers to questions he doesn’t even ask.

The article Spurs’ recent meltdown reveals Conte has no answers to questions he doesn’t even care about appeared first on Football365.com.


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