If Tottenham Hotspur are serious about challenging for trophies and ridding the club, once and for all, of its reputation for promising much but delivering nothing, chairman Daniel Levy should respond to manager Antonio Conte's remarkable postmatch rant at Southampton by offering him a new long-term contract.

It would be a high-risk strategy, one which would almost certainly lead to some senior players heading for the exit door at the end of the season. But the choice facing Levy now is this: either back a group of players who have repeatedly failed under successive managers, or gamble on giving Conte the licence to dismantle the squad and surround himself with players who share his demanding, winning mentality.

If it is the latter, those players who believe they are now enduring the final days of an unpopular manager before welcoming a new one in the summer would realise that Conte is stronger than ever, with the backing of the club to make tough decisions. It would be shock therapy, but that is what is needed.

After seeing his team surrender a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 at St Mary's on Saturday, former Chelsea and Inter Milan coach Conte delivered a brutal, 10-minute post-match assessment of his players' mentality. It will do little for squad harmony and only serve to increase any hostility towards him, but that is a risk he was prepared to take.

"We are not a team," Conte said. "We are 11 players that go on to the pitch. I see selfish players, players who don't want to put their heart into it.

"They're used to it here. Don't play for something important, they don't want to play under pressure. They don't want to play under stress. Tottenham's story is this. Twenty years there is the owner and they never won something.