Antonio Conte should definitely do all his post-match press conference in Italian whenever Chelsea don’t win. Obviously, he won’t have an opportunity to do so again for a while seeing as how we’re about to embark on a 17-match winning streak, but the next time some sort of nonsense like the second half on Tuesday pops up — New Year’s Day is often a time for such shenanigans from Chelsea — he should definitely revert to Italian. Not that his English isn’t great and constantly improving, but hearing him let loose after the horror show of All Hallows’ Eve in his native tongue is glorious and powerful.
The interview at the top, from Mediaset Premium, is the one we already talked about immediately after the game. It’s Italian TV tradition to conduct tunnel interviews not just with the reporter at the ground but also with the pundits in studio, and in this case it’s Conte’s former teammate, Alessio Tacchinardi (they were teammates for a decade at Juventus!) who raises the question of why this Chelsea side, certainly last night, simply didn’t look like a “ferocious” Conte-side, which the Chelsea coach then dismisses but also acknowledges with a “we must realise that we’ve got to earn our daily bread, we’ve got to chop up the turf if we are to progress and fight for something, otherwise it’s a waste of effort.”
So that’s pretty clear.
By the time the official post-match press conference rolled around, Conte calmed down a bit, but not much, and when the first question was asked in Italian, he once again made it clear just how unhappy he was with the whole night.
Chelsea couldn't match up in terms of fight, desire and will.— Goal UK (@GoalUK) November 1, 2017
Antonio Conte was NOT happy with his team's showing at Roma pic.twitter.com/TF7QozF5tR
These quotes, translated and slightly edited, are what the official Chelsea website is carrying as well.
“I believe in the first half we played well. We could have scored after 30 seconds, but on the break we suffered the first goal. We then created many chances but we weren’t clinical or ruthless enough to convert them, and then Roma scored with their second shot on target.
“What am I most disappointed about is the performance in the second half. Roma proved to have more hunger, more desire, more will to fight and to beat us. We lacked everything. Roma were the better team in terms of motivation and hunger, they won duels.
“There is great disappointment for our second half, because I didn’t see positive things. I don’t like to speak about luck, but in the first half we created many chances and we were unlucky not to take them. In the second half there is a great disappointment because it was really bad for a team like us. They clearly deserved this win.”
Beyond just wins and losses, as important as the former may be, and tactical setups, Conte always talks about the will to fight, to work hard, to pay attention, and to play with the utmost commitment and the lack of all those things in the second half is what was the most galling thing from yesterday’s loss. This hasn’t happened often at Chelsea this season even as a few losses and draws have crept in — maybe the Crystal Palace game and the first-half against Burnley? — so hopefully it’s just a blip on the radar.
There are lessons to be learned, undoubtedly, for players and for coaches, but they must be learned and the associated mistakes must be corrected quickly.
“My task is to find the best solution to try to avoid this type of game. We have to work together; we need to have the will to dig deep. If we think because our name is Chelsea the opponent is fearful, this is not the right way. We must have a great desire to be the protagonist in every game.
“We must find the hunger we showed all of last season, and sometimes this season. But this season has been up and down. If you are a great team, you must have stability and consistency. At this moment, we are struggling to have this type of balance.
“To be competitive you need consistency, consistency which we have been lacking so far because we have faced a number of problems which have to be strong enough to overcome.
“For sure we have to try to have the strength to understand and to use this loss in the right way. As I have said before, in this season we have to dig very deep if we want to be competitive and fight for something important. If we are not ready to dig deep, we can have this type of game. We have to know this. This season will be difficult if we don’t quickly understand the right way to go.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
We have four days to sort this out before Sunday’s humongous showdown at the Bridge against Manchester United, where Mourinho’s already practicing his post-match gleeful smirk.