The manager of Tottenham Hotspur Antonio Conte has admitted that the interview he granted Sky Italy earlier this week created a disturbance for which he is sorrowed.
Recall that recently, a report surfaced that coach Antonio Conte told Sky Italy that the January transfer window left Tottenham Hotspur weakened numerically. The comment did not sit well for many people who saw it as an attack on the club and the club’s owner Daniel Levy.
Due to the comment, Antonio Conte has been one of the most talked-about personalities in British media for the past two days and the criticism against him has greatly overshadowed his preparation for the league game against Manchester City scheduled for today, February 19.
More so, the comment reminded Conte’s critics of the comment he made earlier in the year that if Tottenham want to grow faster, they need to make big signings.
But the fact that he said the activities of Tottenham in the January transfer window weakened the club has attracted more jabs to him than any other comment. Some pundits and critics have been capitalizing on the comment to pitch him against the club’s owner.
Ahead of the Premier League game between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur which will kick off at 18:30 later today, Antonio Conte had the opportunity to explain what he meant by the January transfer window weakened Spurs numerically.
Why Antonio Conte said the January transfer window weakened Tottenham Hotspur numerically
While defending himself over the controversial comment that the January transfer window weakened Spurs numerically, Antonio Conte cited the fact that Tottenham Hotspur lost four first-team players during the January transfer window.
Recall that Tottenham allowed two of their most expensive players, Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso to leave the club on loan during the January transfer window.
Afterward, the north London-based club sold Dele Alli to Everton for £40 million, and Bryan Gil who joined Spurs last summer from Sevilla on a transfer fee worth £25 million was sold to Valencia.
On the other, Conte wanted to sign Adama Traore and Luis Diaz during the January transfer window. But Traore decided to join FC Barcelona on the loan while Diaz decided to join Liverpool.
Conte managed to sign Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus on the January transfer window Deadline Day.
Though Ndombele, Lo Celso, Alli, and Gil that left the club in January are not regulars under Conte, the decision of the club to let them go did not sit well for the Italian coach.
Below is Conte’s explanation for his comment that the January transfer window weakened Tottenham
“They asked me about the January transfer window and if I was happy, and I said the club did the best that they could do”, Antonio Conte said.
“We lost four important players for Tottenham, because these players that we sent away on loan, Tottenham paid a lot of money for. When you pay a lot of money, we’re talking about important players for the club.
“[We need] To pay attention in the future because we need players to be used to playing in this league.
“In my last interview, I said numerically [Spurs are weaker] when you lose four players – and I repeat, important players for Tottenham because they spent a lot of money – and you sign two players.
“If before I had 20-30 players, now I have 18 players and numerically you could be a bit weaker.
“Then I also said about [Dejan] Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur, as a squad we are more complete.
“I think I was very clear, but I don’t understand why someone wants to try to create a problem between me. But not also me, but also in the past, because I read the story in the past of this club and [they] create a lot of problems between the coach and the chairman and the club.
“The chairman knows very well my thoughts. It’s not important for me to go to the media and to speak to the media.
“If I have to tell him something, he knows very well that I’ll go and speak with him.
“Sorry, but I think that I created a bit of disturbance and this type of situation, especially because I had an interview with Italian media.
“It means that from now the club don’t want [me to] speak to Italian media because maybe the translation is not so clear with my thoughts.”
Tottenham boss Antonio Conte has justified comments he made in an interview with Sky in Italy earlier this week 👀 pic.twitter.com/rezdPVGMV8— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 18, 2022
Antonio Conte is expected to return to winning ways by beating Manchester City later today. Recall that Defeats at the hands of Chelsea, Southampton, and Wolves have pushed Spurs down to the 8th spot with 36 points in 22 games.
Spurs are currently 7 points away from the 4th spot and coach Conte is expected to close up the gap as quickly as possible before he attracts more negative spotlight from his critics.