Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur

Premier League • England

Conte rejects Ndombele claim with Tottenham reveal; demands Prem ‘respect’ in Arsenal message

Jonny Whitfield
Antonio Conte managing Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has rejected reports that Tanguy Ndombele training on his own has anything to with his future at the club.

The French midfielder, Spurs’ club-record signing, has endured a tough time of his career in north London. While he has shown flashes of his top form, he has made more headlines for his relationship with managers.

Not only did he have a rocky association with Jose Mourinho, but Nuno Espirito Santo left him out of the squad after he revealed he wanted to leave in the most recent summer transfer window.

Skip forward to the present day and Ndombele is still struggling to make his mark. In fact, he came off in the recent FA Cup win over Morecambe to a chorus of boos from Spurs fans.

Reports from Football London subsequently claimed that Conte has made him train on his own.

That came after the manager left him out of the squad for the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg tie against Chelsea.

But Conte told his latest press conference: “He is having a training session and video analysis to keep good form and that is all.”

Ndombele has also not featured in either of Spurs’ last two Premier League matches, remaining on the bench.

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Conte was speaking ahead of Wednesday’s rearranged clash with Leicester. The tie is a subject of controversy alongside last Sunday’s postponed match against Arsenal.

Spurs slammed the Premier League and called for clarity over its coronavirus postponement regulations. Indeed, they questioned how Arsenal successfully used Africa Cup of Nations participation and injuries in their appeal.

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Conte said on Tuesday: “I think the club made a statement and they showed our disappointment at the decision. It was a strange decision.

“I must admit that this is the first time in my life that a league postponed games due to injuries. I’m very surprised.”

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Antonio Conte looks on during the Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea, January 2022

Tottenham also claimed more confusion in Saturday’s statement regarding the clash with Leicester, originally set for December.

Spurs went into the tie amid a coronavirus outbreak at the club which saw their final Europa League Conference game with Rennes ultimately scrapped.

Tottenham subsequently asked the Premier League to postpone the clash with Leicester so they could rearrange their continental commitments. The league rejected the request, only to accept a second such appeal from the Foxes later on.

Conte said of the scrapped Europa Conference League clash, which saw Spurs dumped out of the competition: “Until now there is a decision that they dropped us.

“I repeat it was because the Premier League didn’t want to move the game against Leicester. Leicester then asked to move the game and they did.

“I think it was a big damage to Tottenham from the Premier League. You have to try to protect your team in Europe. Instead they analysed us in a bad way. We are working, we have passion for football and we like to do this but they need to show us respect.

“Now I don’t know [about the appeal], it’s for the club not me. I know there is a decision now.”

He added: “My feeling is that when there is the situation to play you have to play. Normally to postpone games is due to international duty. We have a big problem to solve that is Covid, but only in this situation. For other situations, honestly this is my first time in my life.”

Spurs beat Leicester 4-2 at the King Power Stadium on the final day of last season, heading into Wednesday’s clash.