Antonio Conte believes the red card his side received against Arsenal “killed the game” and we have one thing to say to him – stop complaining.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 01: Richarlison of Tottenham Hotspur reacts as match referee Anthony Taylor shows a red card to Emerson Royal of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on October 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: Richarlison of Tottenham Hotspur reacts as match referee Anthony Taylor shows a red card to Emerson Royal of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on October 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Speaking to the press after his Tottenham side had been schooled at Arsenal, Antonio Conte said that the red card given to Emerson Royal had “killed the game”.

“Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are unlucky,” Conte said. “The red card killed the game, this is truth, but not because we remained with 10 men but because [our] team [which was] really, really offensive and also in the four or five minutes to make the substitutions, we were so offensive that it was really difficult to defend and we conceded the third goal.

“I don’t know what happened later but in England, I have to be honest, it is very difficult because they don’t have the same line, you understand? Sometimes you see situations that could be a red card, instead yellow card or no yellow card.

“Sometimes you see situations that are yellow card but instead [there is] a red card. They have to work a lot about this. In Italy for example, our referees they go on Thursday to stay together [for] three days to work together, to look at video to try to improve.

“I don’t know if this happens in England but it would be a good idea because the [playing] level is so high, we need to have the level of the referee, of the VAR, at the same level, you understand, because the Premier League is a really high, high level. For this reason, every part of this situation, in my opinion, has to be top.”

Did it really kill the game? And if it did, whose fault is that?

By the time Emerson Royal decided to assault Gabriel Martinelli with his studs, Arsenal were well on top and already in the lead.

By the end of the game, Arsenal had more passes in the Spurs half than Spurs managed the whole game (364 in their half v 305 in total for Spurs, 79 of which were in Arsenal’s half). [More stats here]

Conte is one of the league’s biggest moaners, but he is also also one of the first to tell other managers to stop complaining about things he’s happy to complain about himself.

Conte tells Arteta to stop moaning after Holding red in Arsenal defeat
Conte tells Arteta to stop moaning after Holding red in Arsenal defeat

Emerson Royal’s red card was so clear a red that even Anthony Taylor saw it. There was no attempt to play the ball and every intent of raking his studs down Martinelli’s leg.

If that isn’t a straight red, then nothing is.

Though, you can understand Conte’s confusion. He watches his side do that sort of thing most weeks without punishment.

Speaking after Spurs had beaten Arsenal in May, and Rob Holding has seen red, Conte said, “Mikel Arteta is a really good coach. He has just started to do this job and I think that I listen to him complain a lot.

“I think that he has to be focused more to his team and not to go to complain because he has just started this work.

“I think that he has to be calm and try to continue to work because he is very good but to listen to a coach complain a lot of times is not good.

“It’s OK. The red card for me was clear.”

Cry on, Conte…cry on.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.