Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has become the first Tottenham Hotspur player to air out his thoughts after Antonio Conte’s openly lambasted the Lilywhites team.
After the team surrendered their 3-1 lead against Southampton at the Saint Mary’s to draw the game 3-3 after a goal from Theo Walcott and a last gasp from James Ward-Prowse put the home side back in the game.
Antonio Conte after the encounter bashed his players’ performance on the day as he termed it “selfish”. A visibly angry Conte said: “They don’t play for something important. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress.
Antonio Conte further said:
“It is easy this way. Tottenham’s story is this. For 20 years there has been the owner but they never won something but why?
“The fault is only for the club, or for every manager that stays here? I have seen the managers that Tottenham had on the bench.
“Until now I try to hide the situation but not now because, I repeat, I don’t want to see what I have seen today because this is unacceptable and also unacceptable for the fans.”
It is understood that the highly critical interview left many shocked, with some players reportedly requesting for him to be booted out immediately.
But Denmark International Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg came out in support of his coach as he told reporters in his country that:
“We’ve all seen it. It was a very honest and very open press conference he gave.
“It is because he is not satisfied. You don’t do that if you’ve reached the quarter-final of the Champions League and if you’re in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
“It comes from the fact that, unfortunately, we did not get the results we as a team and club wanted. We are still where we want and need to be in the Premier League. But yes, it’s hard, I should say.
Hojbjerg continued saying:
“I understand that if you want to be successful as a team, you need 11 men who are committed to a project and a culture.
“But I think he has to elaborate on how he feels before you as a player can start measuring and weighing.
“The coach has not been satisfied, and that is what I will take with me. You do what you can to please him.
“What I do know about myself is that I am an honest player. I am a player who always gives 100 per cent of myself for the team.”
Based on the result against Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur couldn’t usurp Manchester United in 3rd spot on the Premier League table.
Antonio Conte also teared into the management of Tottenham Hotspur, adding to speculations that he would be dismissed later this week.
When he was questioned on the future of his gaffer, the Dennish midfielder said: “Fortunately, I am not the one to judge it.
“If that’s how he sees it, then you have to be a little more precise in order for you as a player to take it to heart.”
Hojbjerg later added: “He didn’t tell us what he wanted to say at the press conference.
“But it is clear that you work with each other every day, you want the best for each other and you want to be successful together. And sometimes the waves go high in football.”
Several coaches have been touted as possible favorites to land the Spurs job if Antonio is let go Including Mauricio Pochettino, a man highly admired by fans of the club, alongside Eintracht Frankfurt gaffer Oliver Glasner.
Tottenham Hotspur would have to pay Antonio Conte a mind boggling £15 million severance package if the Italian is ousted.
Harry RedKnapp throws his heart in the ring for Spurs coaching job
Moreover, former manager of Spurs, Harry RedKnapp, has shown his interest to return to the club if Conte is dismissed.
The Englishman managed Tottenham Hotspur between 2008-2012 and he has gotten his name into the list of possible names who could be the next manager of the club.
RedKnapp in an interview with Talksport, said: “If someone asks you, I think it would be hard to say no, I’ll be truthful.
“When you love it, you do find it hard to say no, as Roy Hodgson and Neil Warnock would agree.
“You look at what you’re doing now, sitting around, having a game of golf, and it’s not the money, it’s the challenge, you love it, the buzz of it, winning a game is a fantastic feeling. It’s hard to say no.”