Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Premier League sporting directors should face the press, claims Conte

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 17 Jan 2023


Antonio Conte believes there is a “bad habit” in English football of sporting directors not having to address the media.

Conte’s Tottenham lost 2-0 to north London rivals Arsenal on Sunday and face Manchester City in their next Premier League outing on Thursday.

Spurs have won only one of their last four league games and are five points behind fourth-placed Manchester United, having played a game more than Erik ten Hag’s team.

Conte has regularly suggested he wants more signings to bolster Tottenham’s squad, despite a spending splurge in the last transfer window.

However, the Italian suggested sporting directors or directors of football should also face the press, as they do in his homeland, rather than just managers.

“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,” he said in a press conference on Tuesday, seemingly referring to Fabio Paratici, Spurs’ managing director of football.

“It’s the same, I’ve never seen the club nor the sporting director coming here to explain the strategy of the club. 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 better, otherwise there is only one face to explain the situation that I think is better for the club to explain. In Italy it’s different.

“Otherwise, it means that only if the coach talks there can be a misunderstanding. 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 and not always the same. Otherwise, it can seem if something is a criticism or negative and it’s not the case.”

While Conte would no doubt like to add to his ranks in January, Spurs have plenty of world-class talent to call on.

One of those players, Son Heung-min, has struggled to replicate the form he showed last season, scoring just four league goals in 17 appearances.

“Last season he scored 25 goals,” Conte said of Son. “This season he’s not scoring so much. For us it’s not good news because we count on his goals.

“We are not talking about robots, but about a person – a human. I’m the first to hope that Sonny starts to score with the pressure or without the pressure.”



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