Gary Neville believes Tottenham Hotspur should keep Antonio Conte in place to do the job he was hired to do – and help them secure Champions League football next season.
Following Spurs 3-3 draw to Southampton on Saturday, the 53-year-old Italian boss launched into an astonishing tirade hitting out at the mentality of the players, and questioning what those in higher management at the club had done for two decades.
Question marks have been hanging over Conte’s future at the club, with his contract due to expire at the end of the current campaign, but his comments have led some to believe that his exit from the club is imminent.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher said the Italian should be sacked by the Tottenham board for his furious rant, saying that his position in north London was ‘untenable’.
But his colleague Gary Neville has come out to claim that Spurs have to keep Conte in place so that he can fix their problems, without just jettisoning him from the hotseat.
Early on Sunday, the former Manchester United right-back tweeted: ‘Many saying Conte should go this morning. I’d keep him right where he is and make him do his job.’
It led to an extraordinary back-and-forth across Twitter between Carragher and Neville, which led to the latter having to defend his record as part-owner of Salford City for eight seasons.
The former Liverpool man questioned Neville’s comment on Conte, believing it to be double standards after an incident at Salford. Richie Wellens was manager between 2020 and 2021, before being ejected after similarly hitting out at the players.
When asked why the same should not apply at Tottenham, Neville replied: ‘Errrr Conte and spurs can finish top 4 . We couldn’t !’
Their league position is Tottenham’s only route to Champions League football next season, after they were eliminated from this year’s tournament by AC Milan.
The former Liverpool man disputed Neville’s claim that Salford could not be promoted, by posting a table showing them within touching distance of playoff places.
However, Neville hit back, stating: ‘Conte is in 4th place we were in free fall 6 points off play offs in 9th with largest budget in league! I do know I was watching.’
Neville further defended his record at Salford, hailing four promotions and winning the EFL Trophy, before stepping down from his role.
The 48-year-old also highlighted Manchester United’s failure to win a league trophy in that time too, in the decade Ed Woodward was executive vice-chairman at the club.
Carragher joked back: ‘Battering Man Utd to win an argument with me about Salford & Ed Woodward.’
Conte’s Tottenham currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League, only a point behind Man United, but having played two games more.
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