It was perhaps inevitable that José Mourinho’s constant underhanded jibes of varying degrees of directness aimed in Chelsea’s general direction would eventually get to Antonio Conte. From admonishments about touchline behaviour (from José of all people!), to repeated denigrations of Chelsea’s playing style, especially last season, to the more recent “clown” and match-fixing insults, and so on, at some point, everyone reaches their limit of what they can take with just a nod and a respectful smile, especially when things get personal. The Chelsea head coach isn’t one to suffer fools after all, nor is he a man for mind games and, as he put it, “cinema”. You come after him, he will come after you, and there’s nothing we (or press officer Steve Atkins) can do about it.
For now however, the issue is on hold.
“Do I have the look of a person who regrets? I don’t think so. We both said these things and we’ll see what happens in the future.
“This is not a problem for the clubs. It’s a problem between me and him. I stop.
“He said serious words, using serious words and I won’t forget this.”
Mourinho’s not due to for another press conference until later this week, so hopefully we can all concentrate a bit on the football instead. Although Conte had a few feisty words for Wenger, too, last week. One at a time, Antonio. Bah gawd! Can’t fight everyone at once!
“I made a comment to Arsene because he mentioned my player, otherwise I have respect for what every coach thinks. I made a comment after he mentioned Hazard. But every coach has their own opinion and we must respect it if you don’t offend anyone.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Telegraph
With Wenger also playing down any Conte talk, that little tiff isn’t likely to go anywhere. But the Mourinho thing could just be getting started, as Conte reiterated his intention to meet face-to-face with José and ... ummm ... clear the air. Yeah...