Antonio Conte was ‘condescending and patronising’ towards Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta following Thursday’s north London derby, Simon Jordan believes.
The race to finish in fourth and secure the final Champions League position looks likely to go down to the wire this season. The Gunners could have wrapped up fourth with victory at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Thursday. However, it was Spurs who came out on top, securing a 3-0 victory.
That moves them to within a point of Arsenal with two games left to play. However, Spurs can go above them on Sunday, given they play Burnley at midday and Arsenal are not in action until Monday night at Newcastle.
Arsenal know that victory in their final two games will be enough, however, regardless of what Tottenham do.
That said, they will have to fight all the way after Thursday’s north London derby win.
After the game, Arteta was furious with referee Paul Tierney, admitting that if he said what he truly thought he’d end up facing a six-month ban.
The Gunners boss was livid with Tierney for awarding Tottenham a first-half penalty and then sending off Rob Holding for a second bookable offence.
But Arteta’s view was swatted away by Conte; the Tottenham boss accusing him of complaining too much.
“Mikel Arteta is doing a really good job but I listened to him complain a lot,” said the Spurs manager.
“I think he has to be focused more on his team and not complaining.
“The red card for me was clear. If we want to complain we could do it every game.
“This is my advice. If he wants to take my advice it’s up to him. I don’t care. In six months I have listened to him complaining a lot. It’s not good.”
Simon Jordan not happy at Antonio Conte comments
However, former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan reckons Conte’s words to Arteta were unnecessary. And he believes the Arsenal boss was right to be upset.
“I don’t know how he has the audacity to comment on the fact Arteta moans and groans about things, all of them do the same thing,’ Jordan told talkSPORT.
“I don’t think Mikel Arteta was asking for advice on his coaching from Antonio Conte.
“And maybe Antonio Conte could take some advice about acting like a mature individual when things aren’t going his way. He had a temperamental hissy fit two or three months ago, ‘I don’t think I’m good enough’.
“The bottom line is I don’t know why Antonio Conte needs to dispense his particular brand of wisdom to Mikel Arteta.
“I’m sure it’s because it was a leading question. But notwithstanding it, you don’t have to answer the question by being slightly condescending and patronising about the nature of the person’s experience in the profession.”
Conte trying to get under Arteta’s skin
While the excellent and extremely-well-spoken Jordan has a point, he may have been overlooking the simple fact that Conte was merely seeking oneupmanship on Arteta.
With the stakes higher than ever, the team that claims that final Champions League spot will have every reason to gloat.
And the Tottenham boss – having seen his side win 3-0 – had every reason to brag. Furthermore, he was clearly seeking to get into Arteta’s head and give Spurs any advantage he can in the battle to overhaul them for fourth.
Mind-games and psychological warfare is a big part of the modern manager’s make-up.
Tottenham could challenge for the title next season
Tottenham have got a strong side already. If they give Antonio Conte whatever he wants this summer, they could be contenders for the league title next season.
A dark art perfected by Sir Alex Ferguson, any chance to gain an advantage will always surely be taken.
Whichever side claims fourth place will quite rightly feel hugely pleased with themselves. Not only does it provide some exciting games next season, it also enables the victor a financial gain. It’s also seen as giving the victors a leg-up in the transfer maket.