If it’s been asked once, it’s been asked a hundred times, but here we are again talking about transfer rumors. I wonder if Conte wouldn’t be better served by pre-recording his standard answers and then just having press officer Steve Atkins play the appropriate sound bite depending on which repetitive, unimaginative, banal, well-worn question is asked in the press conference.
Next opposition? “We must pay great attention.”
Will this player or that player play? “We must find the best solution.”
Will Chelsea buy x, y, or z? “I don’t talk about other teams’ players.”
But aren’t your current players terribad? “I’m the coach. I coach. I improve these semi-coachable losers.”
Do you want more, better, new players? “This is the club’s responsibility; I’ll talk with them about it.”
But what about new signings? “We could use more players but I love working with these players and these players just love to work work work and are showing great commitment and desire and personality. We’re confident and impppproooooooooov... [Conte-bot runs out of battery because David Luiz stole the charger for his phone so he can add to his Instagram story].”
Since the above isn’t what happens, and instead the real, live, re-bearded Antonio Conte has to sit behind that little desk and answer the same questions over and over, let’s see what minor variations he made today on his standard responses.
Will Chelsea buy in January?
"As you know very well, I think about this topic I prefer to talk with the club and try to find the best solution together for the team. [So will you please stop asking me about this every damn time?]
"If there is the possibility to improve the squad on the numerical aspect, I think it would be a good choice. But, at the same time, I'm enjoying working with these players. At this moment, I'm ready to continue to play with all these players. [There’s literally nothing else I can do short of resigning, and that would be tremendously silly. But my players are my players and I love my players because it’s the middle of the season and that’s the only valid answer. I even loved Diego Costa because that’s what we needed at the time to win this ridiculous league with all this ridiculous media coverage. Please do note the big IF at the start of my response, and definitely don’t ignore that in any of the subsequent reporting on this and other quotes.]
"They are showing me great commitment, great behaviour, and I'm very happy to work with these players. At the same time, if there is the possibility to improve our squad, I think the club will try to do this. [Because come on, who’d you rather have as left wing-back option, Kenedy or Alex Sandro? But there’s that IF again, in case you missed it the first time.]”
Will Chelsea sell Eden Hazard? [Journalist is vaporized by Conte’s death stare.]
Will Chelsea sell David Luiz? Don Balon / Sun / Diario Gol / Express / Twitter says you’re selling everyone and buying Emanuele Giaccherini and Fernando Llorente’s left boot.
“A difficult period is starting, especially for every club, for every coach. In this period there are a lot of rumours. Some rumours are true. Some rumours are wrong. [We’re all just puppets in the Matrix anyway. You think that’s a real microphone you’re holding?]
"We must be ready to face this situation. I think the best way for me is not to read [anything] and only talk with the club, and then to try to improve our squad if this is possible. If, I repeat, this is possible. [Reading is overrated anyway. Have you seen “The Crown” on Netflix? I mean it’s no “Gomorrah”, but it’s okay for you English-types.]
"But there will be a lot of rumours now. We must be ready to face them while, at the same time, be ready to be focused and go game by game. We play every three days, so it's not right that these rumours disturb us. [We shall fight them on the beaches, and the streets, and in the mindfields of the Internet! This is dangerous; open up your head, feel the shell shock!]
"My players are very clever to be focused on this period: to play, to go game by game, not listen to these rumours. Also because a lot of them are not true. [We’re all just cosmic shadows and dust, Proximo.]”
-Antonio Conte-bot; source: ESPN
End of line.