Dimitar Berbatov has claimed that Antonio Conte’s emotional reaction to Tottenham’s defeat at Burnley shouldn’t have come as a surprise, and has hinted he could be prepared to walk away from the club.
Spurs spurned the opportunity to close the gap on fourth placed Manchester United after losing 1-0 at Turf Moor on Wednesday, their fourth defeat in their last five Premier League matches.
In the aftermath of the loss which was made all the more perplexing considering Spurs had beaten league leaders Manchester City at the weekend, Conte gave a frank and honest assessment of results under his tenure and the direction of the club.
“I came here to help the club and if the problem could be the coach I’m ready to go, no problem,” he told reporters after the game.
Berbatov has claimed that Conte’s reaction shouldn’t be a shock to Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, but urged the Italian to communicate issues with the club instead of going through the media.
“Supporting Spurs can drive you mad and as a passionate Italian, who is not used to hiding his emotions, Conte won’t pretend he’s happy. He is used to winning and he is one of the most ambitious managers in the game,” he told Betfair.
“All of that said, he needs to speak to Daniel Levy and see if they can solve the problem, instead of just going public.
“I’m not surprised by Conte’s reaction to Spurs’ difficulties and neither should Levy be. Conte was prepared to walk away from Chelsea and Inter when they wouldn’t give him what he wanted.
“He will have made clear to Spurs, before he took the job, where he believes they need to strengthen. If they missed out on transfer targets in January, that could have made the manager unhappy.”
Conte was appointed Spurs boss in November after the club dismissed Nuno Espirito Santo after a run of poor results and lacklustre performances.
However, his arrival in north London has not had the instant improvement the club had hoped for; with Spurs winning just five of Conte’s 12 league games in charge.
As a result of their inconsistent form a top four finish seems unlikely, however they can close the gap on fourth placed United to a point, if they win both their games in hand.
Berbatov is hopeful Conte will stay at Spurs but concedes that finishing fourth would be a tall order.
He added: “I hope he stays at Spurs. I like watching him on the touchline and I see his comments last night as a sign of his ambition for Spurs. He isn’t happy simply taking his salary. He wants to kick on and win trophies.
“But even with their games in hand, it’s going to be very tough for Spurs to finish in the top four this season.”