Tottenham Hotspur put an end to their strained relationship with Antonio Conte by announcing the termination of the contract with the Italian coach on Sunday.
The volcano was on the verge of erupting after Conte's fierce attack on the club and players following a 3-3 draw with Southampton in the Premier League when his team squandered a two-goal lead.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy said in a statement: "We can announce that coach Antonio Conte has left the club by mutual consent.
"We qualified for the Champions League in Antonio's first season, we thank him for his contribution with us and wish him well in the future."
Christian Stolini, who has led the team in several games while Conte is recovering from surgery, will take charge for the rest of the season alongside former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason, the club said.
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"We have 10 games in the league, we have to fight to qualify for the Champions League, we all need to come together to ensure we finish the season in the highest possible position for the benefit of the club and its loyal fans," Levy said.
Conte left the team in fourth place and their chances of qualifying for the Champions League remain. But the feeling of Tottenham's decline has been growing since they finished strongly in fourth place last season.
Tottenham, who have not won a title since 2008, left the Champions League from the price of the final at the hands of AC Milan this month, and also said goodbye to the FA Cup from the fifth round by falling to Sheffield United of the second division before squandering their lead over Southampton.
Following the draw that left Tottenham just two points ahead of Newcastle United, who have two games remaining, Conte launched a fierce attack on his players, accusing them of selfishness and lack of fighting spirit and criticising the club's legacy.
Cristian Stellini will have his chance to be in charge until the end of the season as Tottenham coach — while board will look for new manager for season 23/24. ⚪️ #THFC
Spurs list includes 4/5 options — Tuchel was there but he joined Bayern.
Mason will be Stellini’s assistant. pic.twitter.com/GKNROXTfDJ
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 26, 2023
"Tottenham's 20-year history with this owner (Levy) has not seen anything won. Why? The fault lies with the club alone or on every coach who came here?. It's time to change Tottenham's situation if they want to change, if they want to continue like this they can change a lot of coaches, but believe me their attitude will not change."
Conte's Serie A winner contract with Juventus and Inter Milan and the Premier League with Chelsea expires in June and has hinted that the contract would not be extended.
Conte, 53, who succeeded Nuno Espirito Santo in November 2021, led the London side in 76 games and recorded 41 wins against 23 defeats.
The Italian coach was emotionally affected by the deaths of three of his close friends months ago, Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventroni and coaches Siniša Mihajlovic and Gianluca Vialli.
1.88 – Tottenham averaged 1.88 points per game in the Premier League under Antonio Conte (P56 W32 D9 L15), the second highest figure for any Spurs manager (min. 38 games in charge):
1.89 – Pochettino
1.88 – Conte
1.83 – Villas-Boas
1.74 – Redknapp
1.64 – Mourinho
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 26, 2023
The atmosphere was very different at the end of last season when Conte adjusted Tottenham's trajectory and bandaged their wounds by qualifying for the Champions League after snatching fourth place from Arsenal in the league.
But Arsenal look favourites to win the league title this season, while Tottenham have backed down and Conte's conservative style has tested the patience of the fans.
Tensions escalated after a frustrating performance in the second leg at home to AC Milan when they failed to create chances in a goalless draw to fail to make up for a 1-<> loss at San Siro.
After being eliminated from the Champions League, Conte returned to the technical area after missing several games due to surgery to remove the gallbladder and indicated that the club could push him to leave before the end of his contract.
The win over Nottingham Forest appeared to restore a sense of optimism but Tottenham allowed league leaders Southampton to draw ahead of the international break, reopening wounds and angering Conte.
Conte is the second coach accustomed to victories to leave the club in less than 3 years after the sacking of Jose Mourinho two years ago, who succeeded beloved coach Mauricio Pochettino.
Speculation is that Pochettino, who was sacked in 2019 after months of leading the team to the Champions League final, will return and Julian Nagelsmann looks set to be a candidate after being sacked by Bayern Munich this week.
Tottenham will visit Everton on April 5.