Another routine press conference from Antonio Conte on Friday, answering plenty of questions about team news, injuries, and selections, and then answering even more questions about his own future. The story is the same as always, just as the questions are.
“I think from the start of this season there’s been a lot of speculation and rumour around me. The only thing I can tell you now is that I still have 18 months on my contract with Chelsea and my will and desire is to continue to stay here and continue my work. This is my will, I don’t see problems about this.”
“I repeat, my intention, my will is to respect the contract. I signed a three year contract and I think that our desire is to continue and respect that. From the start of the season, if you remember our defeat against Burnley there was a lot of speculation I’d be sacked but I’m not interested in this and my only desire is to continue to work, to focus on the team and do my best for them.”
“The pressure is normal, as I said in the past. For me this pressure is life. If I stay without pressure I don’t like that, I like to have the pressure, I like this type of situation. If I see there’s no pressure it’s not good for me or the players. If it’s too calm you risk to lose the anger and the fire, I like to live with this pressure.”
Nobody corrected Antonio on the length of the contract he signed — though he was obviously referring to the original contract, not the payrise received last summer. Either way, his current deal is good for another 18 months, which is something he’s repeated many times in the last few weeks, including once again when the rumor about the Italian national team trying to tempt him back was brought up.
“I can tell you that Costacurta is a friend, we played together in the national team in 1994 but maybe he forgot that I still have 18 months on my contract with Chelsea. My intention, will and desire is to respect this contract.”
“No, no [I don’t have any plans to speak with him], I must be honest, no.”
So, that’s a no then?
It wouldn’t be a Conte presser without ‘the work’ taking a central role.
“Yeah, as you know very well I trust in my work and this is the only thing I trust in. My work, this is the only way that brought me to be one of the best managers, I don’t trust anything else, only my work. I will continue this way because it brought me to be one of the best.”
Conte didn’t just talk himself up, he also thanked the Chelsea Board in public for the January signings, which is certainly a more diplomatic way to go instead of the more brutally honest route that he’s taken recently. The truth of the matter, as usual, may actually be somewhere in between, but let’s be honest, no one really wants actual honesty in these press conference charades.
“About Giroud, we are talking about an international player with a lot of experience who plays for the national team, he’s 31 years old. We’re not talking about a young player, for this reason our expectation for him is different. I asked for this type of player with his characteristic from the club. The club gave me this opportunity. With Emerson Palmieri we have a young player with not much international experience, he played last year with Rome, he played a very good season. He’s an option for Marcos Alonso, he has to recover with us but as you know very well, you play if you deserve to play and we can tell this during training sessions day by day.”
-Antonio Conte; source: /r/chelseafc
Now if we can follow this up with a win or ten, everything will be hunky-dory once again!