Antonio Conte has been warned by former Manchester United and Chelsea goalkeeper Mark Bosnich that his time in charge of Tottenham could be as good as over if he has lost the internal support of his Players over the last few weeks. The Italian head coach is widely expected to leave north London at some point before the start of next season, with his contract set to expire in the summer as things stand.
There is no indication that Conte is willing to consider the possibility of signing extended terms at Tottenham as of yet, while the club have not shown a firm desire to keep him at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium beyond the expiry of his current deal. Their working relationship also looks to have soured beyond repair in recent weeks, with Conte having launched a stunning verbal assault on his Players following Saturday's lacklustre draw at Southampton.
Bosnich was quizzed on the situation by Sky Sports News on Monday and suggested that Conte must have lost the dressing room in order for things to have taken such a negative turn in the wake of Tottenham's exit from the Champions League at the hands of AC Milan earlier this month. He also insisted that Conte is not blameless for the club's recent struggles by pointing to the success of Erik ten Hag, who has managed to get his Players all pulling in the same direction at Manchester United.
"The bottom line is they've built a wonderful new stadium and they've got to pay for that stadium, so whoever comes in has got to understand there will be limitations to what they can spend," said Bosnich. "They have got a very good squad and I think this has been part of his downfall.
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"If you look at Erik ten Hag and some of the Players he has improved, [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka comes straight to mind, if you look at the Players at Tottenham and what he's got, can you put your hand on your heart and say that Conte has improved any of these Players? I think you'd struggle to say yes.
"I'm quite certain, although not 100 per cent certain because I'm not in there, but it looks as though he's either lost the dressing room or he's in the process of losing the dressing room. But I also think the Players have lost him, they lost him some time ago, and that explains the way he plays.
"The way he plays tells me that he doesn't fancy some of the Players in that team and Players are very, very smart. They can sense things very well. If they sense that a manager doesn't fancy them it's very, very difficult to perform week in, week out."
Tottenham's decision-makers are now mulling over whether or not to relieve Conte of his duties before the expiry of his contract, with Daniel Levy set to gauge opinion over the coming days before settling on his final decision, according to the Daily Mail. It is said that crisis talks were held on Saturday night in order to discuss Conte's post-match comments at Southampton, although the 53-year-old is said to have insisted that his tirade was aimed solely at his Players and not the board.
Levy is reportedly preparing to speak to his most trusted confidantes this week as he continues to weigh up Conte's immediate future, although he is under no immediate pressure to make a firm call as Tottenham do not play again until next month. It remains to be seen how the situation will eventually play out in the not-too-distant future, with Conte not expected to remain at Spurs for much longer in any case regardless of what Levy decides.
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