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By Martin Graham | 29th Mar 2023
Despite creating miracles and winning titles everywhere he has gone, Antonio Conte will be remembered more for his behaviour in front of the camera.
The latest episode in the Conte saga saw him talk his way out of his contract at Tottenham Hotspur a week before the international break. Some might argue that his words, though harsh, were very descriptive of Spurs but others in the know will only shake their head at another Conte disaster.
Having managed in the Serie B, Serie A and in England, the charismatic Italian manager has overseen many a renaissance. From taking Bari back to the Serie A, to Juventus out of the slums of Italian football, to leading Inter Milan back to the top, Conte has done a lot for many fans. His past players also speak highly of his talent as a tactician as well.
However, they will also speak ill of how he would berate them before the media whenever things do not go his way. So will the owners of these clubs, who have had to fire him mid-season.
This has become a recognisable pattern for the man: when he cannot do any more good for the club and can smell the possibility of a sack or a release after his contract runs out, he rants in order to get a severance. He has done this at the same clubs he has also helped out of the quagmire. Spurs, however, is the only exception.
The former Italy national team manager was unable to lead the North Londoners to anything reasonable in the Premier League, EFL Cup or the FA Cup in the 15 months he was at the helm. He got tired and turned to his playbook so that he could excuse himself and not get sacked. Now, he will go back home to Italy to recharge his batteries and continue his managerial career in a zone that is more like him.
AS Roma or Juventus looks like his next destination but the 53-year-old is bound to repeat the same things that have made him such a difficult coach to work with.
As such, he must change his character and focus more on bringing his players together rather than training and filling their heads with tactics for them to execute on the pitch on game days. Things are bound to get tougher for Conte and it is all because of his lack of tact when managing a large group of players from diverse backgrounds in a football club.
His winning run might also be over, having been at Spurs, who tend to, as he said, fall at important moments.
Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer