Tottenham's takeaways from the international break
Antonio Conte's explosive press conference in the wake of Tottenham's draw with Southampton meant it was never going to be a quiet international break for the Lilywhites.
Amid his rant, the Italian spoke of his team's need to show "desire" and "fire" to win "in every moment". Well, the manager himself certainly manifested such a desperate desire to get the hell out of north London when he courageously opted to return to Italy via Ryanair.
That was the last we saw of Conte before his inevitable sacking was eventually announced by the club over a week after his meltdown on the south coast. The Italian has dominated Tottenham discourse over the break, but some of their players were in international action, too.
Here are a few Spurs takeaways from the March international break.
1. Stellini's at the wheel
In a move that literally nobody expected, Conte's right-hand man Cristian Stellini has been kept on as the club's interim boss until the end of the season. He'll be assisted by Ryan Mason, with Tottenham's next manager likely to be decided at the end of the season.
Julian Nagelsmann, Luis Enrique, Roberto De Zerbi and, of course, Mauricio Pochettino have been touted as possibilities.
The decision to keep Stellini on depicts just how toxic the situation with Conte and Conte alone had become. Only one member of the Italian's staff, his brother, has also left the club.
Stellini is said to be well-liked by the playing staff, but his appointment on an interim basis perhaps won't provide the stylistic change supporters and perhaps even the players crave. Still, Conte's assistant oversaw 'impressive' performances against Chelsea and West Ham when he stepped in for the boss in February.
Spurs believe Stellini has what it takes to guide the club into the top four.
2. And there was one... wing-back
Tottenham began the season with three legitimate right wing-backs on their books, but it's fair to say Conte wasn't fond of any of them.
Emerson Royal's resurgence arrived in 2023, Matt Doherty had struggled to find form after returning from a lengthy injury layoff, while "club signing" Djed Spence was never going to get a look in.
That forced Spurs to move for Pedro Porro in January which ignited Emerson's aforementioned renaissance. Spence was loaned out, while Doherty's contract was terminated.
However, Stellini will have to rely on Porro and Porro alone down the right after Emerson picked up a knee injury on international duty that will see him miss much of the remainder of the season.
On the opposite flank, Ryan Sessegnon's remains out, Ben Davies is missing the rest of the season, and Ivan Perisic pulled up short in Croatia's victory over Turkey.
After entering the season with six wing-back options, Spurs could have just one available for their Monday night clash with Everton.
3. The extraordinarily baffling DOF situation
Fabio Paratici's job at Tottenham was thrust into doubt when he was given a 30-month ban from carrying out activities within the Italian Football Federation in January for his role in Juventus' latest financial scandal.
Paratici has continued to operate under the radar before the club released a five-minute video on Tuesday night in which their sporting director outlined the plan for the rest of the season in the wake of Conte's exit.
It was then announced on Wednesday morning that FIFA had extended Paratici's ban to worldwide activities which basically means, well, he can't do his job properly.
This Daniel Levy soap opera is quite something.
4. Harry Kane: burger-maker & England's all-time record goalscorer
Finally, a bit of positivity! I hope you haven't succumbed to all the melancholy because it's time to talk about Sir Harold Kane.
Tottenham's all-time record goalscorer became England's leading talisman over the break as he scored goal number 54 for his country against Italy. He usurped Wayne Rooney at the top of the charts, and he quickly extended the gap on Sunday afternoon by scoring against Ukraine.
What a goalscorer. What a man. He can even make a killer burger, too!
Who's got time to bid farewell to a manager when you're rustling up a chicken burger accompanied by chipotle mayo, coleslaw, and a brioche bun?