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Manufacturing a Conte vs. Mourinho feud

Do we have to?

As if we have nothing better to worry about, there’s some brewing sideline drama, too, between current and former Chelsea bosses. Hurray.

The video above is from the Guardian, who do a great disservice to their readers and viewers by not including any of the actual questions posed to either Mourinho or Conte in what is now being billed as “thinly veiled” attacks and “firing back” and all that usual sensationalist claptrap.

And there is another situation, maybe I'm guilty of it: I never speak about injuries.

"Other managers, they cry, they cry, they cry when some player is injured. I don't cry. I think the way to do it is to ignore the players that are injured, is to focus on the players that are available. It is to give confidence to the players that are available.

"But if I want to moan and cry like the others, I can cry for the next five minutes. (Zlatan) Ibrahimovc, (Paul) Pogba, (Marouane) Fellaini, Marcos Rojo - I can cry but I don't, so we do it with what we have.

"You know, we went to Liverpool with two midfield players and nothing else, not even on the bench. Today it happened the same. We brought a kid, like Benfica does, because I don't have another solution. I brought Scott McTominay who is the same age as Benfica's kids, but the Premier League is a different story. It's really hard.

"But, again, you know, 12 matches, 10 victories, two draws, nine clean sheets. We are not bad."

José Mourinho; source: Sky


Mourinho of course is lapping this up. He’s in his element. His powers of media manipulation may have waned a bit towards his latter days at Chelsea, but armed with the power of Manchester United, he’s sold every story from a credible 6th place to “three” trophies to unfair treatment regarding tactics to a plucky underdog, etc. His latest masterpiece is about injuries and how he doesn’t whinge about them, expect only to say how he doesn’t whinge about them.

I’d never even mention this league-leading list of injuries we have, including these specific handful of players, who are most definitely not available but I’d never whinge about that and instead focus on all these other players whom I’m not mentioning by name.

Classic Jose. It probably doesn’t even matter what the question was. He knew what he was going to say.

And he knew what the journalists would do, too, taking it upon themselves to aim José’s comments at Conte or Klopp or whoever else. And a frazzled Conte after the drama and angst of a 3-3 draw, in his broken, clipped English that could barely contain his fury and rage at this ridiculous line of questioning, was in condition to play this game.

And so he lashed out a bit and said that if (IF!) those comments from Mourinho were aimed at him and Chelsea, then he needs to go mind his own beeswax. Watch as poor Steve Atkins, Chelsea media officer, tries his best to push the Chelsea boss back on track as the media continue to prod and agitate. Oh well done, I hope whoever that journalist was, he was proud of the stellar job he did last night.

(Unlike the Guardian’s video, this video includes the questions, too.)

This brewing “feud” will undoubtedly be played up as we approach the game between Chelsea and Manchester United in a couple weeks. Should be about as much fun as poking my eyelids with some toothpicks.

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