Antonio Conte was on Italian radio Monday morning, and has stunned the nation, if not the footballing world by revealing a distinct lack of ability to predict the exact future — especially considering that he’s a football manager, which is a line of work where almost nothing exciting or unexpected ever happens and everything always goes according to plans. Conte does of course does have vague designs for what his eventual future might look like, but like any normal human being, he’s not clairvoyant nor omnipotent — though he did rule out China saying that “I’ll never go to China”.
“It is hard to predict the future because this job is very complicated. Today you are here, tomorrow you can be somewhere else.”
Conte, who’s never been one to hide his love for Italy nor his desire to eventually return there, did not hide his love for Italy not his desire to eventually return there in this interview either.
“I miss Italy and I am sure I won’t stay abroad for too long. I want to make some great experiences and move back to Italy afterwards. I don’t know when but that’s my objective.”
In headlines, the “don’t know when part” has been either ignored or insinuated to be tomorrow. If you had “Conte future” in the pool for what will be the next CRISIS at Chelsea now that the Costa saga is over, you win!
Chelsea, Conte: "I miss Italy, I'll come back soon"
-Gianluca Di Marzio
CONTE: I WILL RETURN TO ITALY FOR SURE
Conte shocks Chelsea: 'I won't stay long'
But wait, what’s this he’s also saying?
“I am happy about my experience at Chelsea and one day I’d like to be a sporting director as well.”
-Antonio Conte; source: CalcioMercato
Here’s a slightly different translation from Goal, while you can also check out Di Marzio’s report, which leaves out any happy thoughts about Chelsea or England in general. Quality journalism there, to be sure.
“I have nostalgia for Italy. I did not have it in my head to stay abroad for so long. Once I have had some more nice experiences I will return to Italy, for sure. I don’t know when, but the goal is to do that. I have the will to finish a project, and then look for the right continuation of that.
“The English experience has greatly enriched me, and I’d like to carry on as manager in the future.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Goal
Now into his second year at Chelsea, Conte has lasted longer than the average manager in the Abramovich Era. Whether he lasts another year, another month, or another decade, none of what he said in this interview should come as a shock, especially in today’s modern football.
The “accepted” narrative seems to be trending towards this being Conte’s final year already, based largely on his contract raise-without-extension over the summer and the usual concerns regarding transfers and such. I doubt anyone has actually decided that outside of the headline writers.