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Diogenes finally succeeds in finding an honest man with Chelsea’s Antonio Conte

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A man not for the age of fake news.

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Chelsea Training and Press Conference Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Well over two millennia ago, a philosopher named Diogenes roamed the streets of Athens with his one and only worldly possession, a lantern, looking for the one and only “honest human” in the world. He did this during the day, as if living in a wine barrel wasn’t weird enough. As a Cynic, he believed that no such human could exist (dog, maybe, but not human). But that’s because Antonio Conte was not living back in 400 BCE.

“For sure, I’m not a diplomatic man. I think that you can see this. At the same time, I think that I’m very honest; I’m very honest.

“I’m sure, if I try to change myself, it’s right to stop, to stop my career. I think that the honest person speaks very clearly in every moment. And, if you are a fake, you are fake and you try always to not tell the truth.

“I repeat: I prefer to be honest, to tell the truth in every moment. I hate the fake person.”

Conte has “no regrets” about this latest bit of parrhesia, even if it supposedly has upset his bosses. People in power often don’t like to hear the honest truth.

“No regrets, no. When I take a decision, I don’t want to look behind. I want always to look at the present, to look in front of me. Because I think this is the best way to improve yourself, to try to find solutions - don’t try to find alibis, excuses. I think that this is the right way.”

And why would Conte have any regrets? He’s done a great job at Chelsea in his 18 months here, a job that he should be proud of and will be proud of regardless of how and when his tenure at Chelsea ends.

“When you take a decision, you have to go forwards and to you have try to find a solution, solution, solution.”

“I’m really proud, I’m really proud. Because I think that we are doing fantastic things. I’m really proud because, to work in this way, you must be really proud of what we are doing, me and the players.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Telegraph

The media campaign to prophesize Conte’s sacking continues, and finally a strong replacement candidate has emerged, put forth by the Mail and the Times first, though since picked up by everyone else, too. Luis Enrique’s name is hardly new however; he was linked with the job the last time they tried to convince everybody that Conte was leaving. The Times also name-drops Max Allegri (who just yesterday said, literally, that “he’s staying” at Juventus) and Diego Simeone, breaking absolutely no new ground in the process.

Honest Antonio, a man out of his time but not yet out of time, takes on the Interim One in the Kenedy Derby in a few hours. Maybe we’ll win and then we can give this other overwrought drama a bit of a rest.