Antonio Conte has left the building. One day after leaving his position as head coach of Tottenham Hotspur “by mutual consent,” Conte posted a farewell to the club and its fans on Instagram. And of course, this being Antonio Conte, there was just the slightest hint of a dig in his goodbye.
Football is passion. I would like to deeply thank everyone at SPURS who appreciated and shared my passion and my intense way of living football as a coach.
A special thought to the Fans who always showed me support and appreciation, it’s been unforgettable to hear them singing my name.
Our journey together has ended, I wish you all the best for the future.
This is both kind of a sweet farewell to Spurs fans and also a slightly suspect statement. Conte goes out of his way to thank everyone at Spurs who “appreciated and shared my passion” which is an oddly specific phrase. If you’re the kind of person who takes things at face value you can probably let things slide. But should we really give Conte the benefit of the doubt here?
Likewise, Conte thanks a specific subset of fans — the ones who “always showed [him] support and appreciation,” which, let’s be frank, probably wasn’t the majority of fans by the end.
Now, we can be gracious. We probably should be. After all, while Conte threw his players, the club leadership, and the club’s under the bus, it’s not like we didn’t expect something like this to happen. And this isn’t exactly flipping the double-bird while backing out of the front door of Hotspur Way. But it certainly is very Antonio Conte to leave a job by saying, obliquely, “Thanks to those of you who liked me and we won’t talk about the rest of y’all.”