Explaining the current malaise at Tottenham Hotspur should not be his job alone, according to head coach Antonio Conte as he attempts to halt the club’s Premier League slide.
Tottenham has picked up only four points from four games since the Premier League resumed after the World Cup and faces champion Manchester City away on Thursday.
I’ve never seen the medical department . . . the club or the sporting director coming here to explain the strategy or vision of the club
— Antonio Conte, talking to the press
Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat by leaders Arsenal showed how far it has fallen behind its north London rival this season and raised doubts about Conte’s future at the club.
The Italian has been at pains to lower expectations at Tottenham, claiming after a New Year’s Day defeat at home to Aston Villa that he performed a miracle by steering them to a top-four finish last season.
Addressing the media on Tuesday, Conte questioned why other members of the Spurs hierarchy were not being asked about the direction the club is heading.
“In England I think there’s a bad habit that it’s only the coach talks and explains. I’ve never seen the medical department coming here to explain. I’ve never seen the club or the sporting director coming here to explain the strategy or vision of the club,” Conte, whose side are fifth, told reporters.
“In Italy, before every game there’s a person from the club that goes to speak to the media. I think for us it could be really better, otherwise there is only one face to explain the situation that I think is better for the club to explain.”
“I think it could be good for the club to be present in the media. Not every week, but at least every 15 days or once a month. I think it could be more simple for you to understand, otherwise it can seem (as) if something is a criticism or negative and it’s not the case.”
Conte’s regular gripes and his public statements about the ability of his squad to challenge for silverware have worn down the patience of fans but he says he finds the criticism of his methods hard to understand.
“If there is criticism then we have to accept (it) but it’s difficult to understand because we are doing everything we can in this situation in our possibility,” he said.
“The mentality of this team is very strong, but it’s not only about the mentality.”
Tottenham did the double over Manchester City last season and need a positive result to revive their fading top-four ambitions. They are five points adrift of both fourth-placed Manchester United and Newcastle United in third.
Spurs will be boosted by the availability of Uruguay midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur, who has not played since being injured at the World Cup.