Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte unleashed his own players in an extraordinary roar after missing a chance to move up to third place with a 3-3 Premier League draw at Southampton.
Spurs appeared poised to secure a crucial win in their quest to qualify for the Champions League when Ivan Perisic fired home in the 74th minute after earlier efforts from Pedro Porro and Harry Kane.
Bottom-bottomed Southampton instead staged a fine comeback, with Che Adams and Theo Walcott closing the gap before James Ward-Prowse smacked home an injury-time penalty to extend Tottenham’s winless streak to five games.
Recent defeats at AC Milan and Sheffield United saw Spurs exit the Champions League and FA Cup to make it their 15th straight season without a title, and their manager took aim at everyone in an amazing 10-minute interview Parties exit after collapsing at St. Mary’s.
“When we talk about the penalty, it means that we don’t want to see the other situations,” Conte said.
“I think it’s much better to address the issue because the issue is that we’ve shown once again that we’re not a team.
“We are 11 players going on the pitch. I see selfish players, I see players who don’t want to help each other and don’t put their hearts into it.
“Why? Because they’re used to it here, they’re used to it. They don’t play for something important, yes. They don’t want to play under pressure, they don’t want to play under stress.
“It’s easy that way. Tottenham’s story is as follows. Twenty years the owner has been there and they have never won anything, but why? The fault lies only with the club or with any manager who stays here. I saw the managers Tottenham had on the bench.
“You risk disturbing the manager’s figure and protecting the other situation at any moment.
“Until now I’m trying to hide the situation, but now, no, because I repeat, I don’t want to see what I saw today because that’s unacceptable and it’s also not acceptable to the fans.
“They follow us, pay their ticket and want to see the team another time, that kind of performance is unacceptable. We have to think a lot about that.”
Last weekend’s win over Nottingham Forest had eased sentiment around Spurs but uncertainty about the leadership position lingered as Conte’s contract expires in the summer and no talks of a new deal are underway.
Asked if the lack of clarity about his future has affected the squad, the 53-year-old pushed back on yet another “alibi” for his underperforming players in an impassioned monologue.
He added: “The club bears responsibility for the transfer market. Every coach who stayed here has the responsibility and the players? The players? Where are the players?
“In my experience, I can tell you that if you want to be competitive, if you want to fight, you have to improve that aspect and that aspect, I can tell you, is really, really low at this moment.
“And I only see 11 players playing for themselves.
“There are 10 games left and some people think we can fight. With that spirit, that attitude, that commitment, what are you fighting for? What? For seventh, eighth, 10th place? I’m not used to this position.
“I’m really pissed off and everyone has to take their responsibilities. Not only the club, the manager and the staff, but also the players have to be involved in this situation because it is time to change this situation if Tottenham want to change.
“If they want to continue like this, they can change managers, many managers, but the situation cannot change. Believe me.”
While Conte threatened to talk his way out of the job, Saints rookie boss Ruben Selles pondered a well-deserved point for his side.
Southampton remain bottom of the table but are just two points adrift of safety and Adam’s second-half goal made him the first striker to score for the club in the league in 2023.
Selles: “We didn’t deserve the 1:3. I think we put on a good performance and it was just too much.
“The game can go in a different direction but you can see the cohesion from the captain to the rest of the team.
“Together with the crowd, we made an impression. We thought we could score. We did the second and then we got the third. It was an absolute pleasure to be a part of it.”