Steve Nicol accuses Antonio Conte of ‘killing’ Tottenham players | Football

Steve Nicol accuses Antonio Conte of 'killing' Tottenham players | Football

Son Heung-min Tottenham

Son Heung-min was not well after Spurs (Photo: Christopher Davie)

Liverpool hero Steve Nicol claims that Antonio Conte is ‘killing his Tottenham players’ after details of their brutal pre-season training regime were revealed.

Tottenham are currently on their tour of South Korea and Conte, who is renowned for his rigorous training and fitness methods, has been putting his squad through the ringer.

During an open training at the Seoul World Cup Stadium, many players, including stars Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, collapsed on the grass after they were made to run 42 pitch lengths in 30C heat after their third training session in 24 hours.

These scenes have divided opinion, with Nicol telling ESPN: ‘This is madness! Brain damage, that’s what they’re going to get out of this!

‘There’s one thing to get your players fit but there’s another thing to try and break them because that seems to me what’s happening here. I never have understood this, this completely annihilates players.

Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Antonio Conte is renowned for his punishing training regimes (Photo: Getty)

‘There has to be a little bit of heart and soul involved and hard work but to me this just looks like running the guts out of people for the sake of it.’

Conte turned the Lilywhites’ fortunes around last season, guiding them to a top four finish for the first time since 2019, whilst also overseeing a significant rise in the team’s fitness levels after they had plummeted during the reigns of Jose Mourinho and Nuno Espirito Santo.

While punishing, the Italian’s methods yield results as evidenced by his trophy-laden spells at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter Milan and after making some impressive signings so early in the summer, Tottenham fans are hoping he can end their long wait for silverware.

Not everyone is convinced though, with Nicol warning Conte that he needs to keep the morale of his players up: ‘It’s not just about being a hundred percent fit. There’s something to be said for playing for your manager and playing for the club and playing for your teammates.

‘I would be talking to the manager saying “I want to know how this is good for me. You’re running the guts out of me to the point where I’m lying on the ground maybe spewing my ring up and I feel as though I just want to go to sleep and never wake up”.

‘I remember running the length of the field and I can assure you never once did we run it 42 times and we didn’t do too bad by the way. We won the European Cup, First Division and all the other cups.

‘I guess there’s a different way of doing it but I don’t agree with it. I don’t see the point of killing your players.’

MORE : Antonio Conte confirms four unwanted players will be sold after leaving them out of Tottenham’s pre-season tour

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