Spurs boss Antonio Conte attacks players’ disrespect towards officials ahead of north London derby

‘You have to show respect in every situation’: Tottenham boss Antonio Conte aims for a thinly veiled standoff with Arsenal ahead of the north London derby, with the Gunners accused of not keeping their players under control in recent clashes with Newcastle and Oxford to have

  • Antonio Conte has been annoyed by the players’ lack of respect for the officials
  • Conte’s Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal in Sunday’s North London Derby
  • The Gunners have been accused twice of not having their players under control this month
  • Conte said despite being upset: ‘You have to show respect at every moment’

Antonio Conte has attacked the declining respect the players have shown towards officials ahead of the north London derby.

Tottenham boss Conte has not pinned it directly on Arsenal but Mikel Arteta’s Premier League leader is accused by the FA of failing to control his players in recent games against Newcastle and Oxford.

“In an important game like this, respect always comes first,” said Conte. “You have to show respect in every situation, especially towards the referee, because I know very well the difficulty of being a referee, of making decisions.

Antonio Conte has criticized the players' disrespect towards the officials on the pitch during football matches

Antonio Conte has criticized the players’ disrespect towards the officials on the pitch during football matches

Arsenal have been accused of failing to get their players under control on their FA Cup trip to Oxford United

Arsenal have been accused of failing to get their players under control on their FA Cup trip to Oxford United

“To intimidate or create a bad atmosphere is not fair. I do not like that. I hate people trying to do that.

“Don’t forget that we always talk about a football match.”

Like Arteta, Conte has a reputation for being a fiery touchline presence and was sent off earlier this season when VAR intervention ruled out a Tottenham goal against Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League.

“I was really upset, but I never, ever missed the referee,” said the Spurs boss. “You have to show respect at every moment.”

Mikel Arteta was criticized for losing his temper in Arsenal's 0-0 draw with Newcastle

Mikel Arteta was criticized for losing his temper in Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle

Arteta was criticized for losing his temper on the touchline as Arsenal saw two late penalty appeals dismissed in a goalless draw with Newcastle.

“Everyone tries to live the situation as they would like,” said Conte. ‘Arteta is another coach who shows his passion and transmits it to his players on the pitch. But honestly I see a lot of coaches involved during the game because now our work got really difficult.

“Seeing a coach sitting on the bench is very difficult. Arteta is a coach like me. We show our passion. What happens on the pitch is the moment, the emotion and nothing can prepare you for it.

“Because of that, sometimes you can celebrate in weird ways. This passion is pure passion.”

Dejan Kulusevski is expected to return for the North London Derby on Sunday after recovering from injury

Dejan Kulusevski is expected to return for the North London Derby on Sunday after recovering from injury

Conte expects Dejan Kulusevski to return from injury against Arsenal on Sunday. Richarlison and Rodrigo Bentancur remain doubtful after injuries.

Harry Kane needs just one goal to equal Tottenham’s record 266 goals from Jimmy Greaves.

“You know how important Harry is to me, to Tottenham and to England,” said Conte. “He’s got great numbers and we’re talking about a world-class striker and he’s bound to beat any record.

“He deserved it, but I always want to emphasize the other aspect, the human aspect, because he’s not just a world-class striker, he’s a good man, a good person and an important reference point for us.

“I am sure that he will break this record. He’s doing something incredible. At the same time we try to help him and when he scores he helps us. This exchange of favors is important.’

Harry Kane needs a goal to equal Tottenham's all-time goalscoring record, which is held by Jimmy Greaves

Harry Kane needs a goal to equal Tottenham’s all-time goalscoring record, which is held by Jimmy Greaves

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Maureen Mackey

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