He’s been here for less than a year and a half, but Antonio Conte’s sideline “antics” are legendary already. (As a bonus, they also rub many the wrong way, and not just opposing fans and managers but the fogey old men of punditry.)
Unfortunately, while he’s had to do just as much gesticulating and shouting on the sideline as he’s ever had, he’s lacked for any major opportunities to truly go wild in celebration of a Chelsea goal. Enter César Azpilicueta and Saturday’s winning goal against Watford.
Conte announced himself with a now-classic celebration for the winner, ironically by Diego Costa, in his first-ever game in charge of Chelsea. We’ve had many great moments since, including the crowd-surfing after Hazard’s goal against Arsenal. Conte dove into the crowd on Saturday, too, signifying just how important Azpilicueta’s goal was.
Conte might claim he doesn’t feel the pressure, but he certainly celebrated like a man tossing multiple tonnes of weight off his shoulders.
“I feel a lot of pressure, but not this type of pressure if the club decide to sack me. I don’t feel this pressure because I trust in my work. I try to give everything for the club I am working for. I am doing this for Chelsea, I did this last season, I am doing this with my staff this season. Honestly I will never be worried about this, never.
“Together with my players I want to give satisfaction to our fans. I feel this type of pressure. Our fans show me and my players a lot of passion in every game. I feel this type of pressure, but other pressure is not important for me. This is our job. When I go to my house, I am happy because I know I am putting 150 per cent for my club, and my players are doing the same.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
Never leave us, Antonio.