Chelsea manager Antonio Conte made a whole lot of news as he 1.) verbally attacked his 2018 arch-nemesis Jose Mourinho yet again and 2.) admitted that he’s completely in the dark about his future at Stamford Bridge, as speculation is rampant he’ll be out of a job at the end of the season.
Conte threw shade at his Chelsea predecessor once more, saying that the state of the club right now is much better than when he inherited it from Mourinho upon taking the job. Mourinho led the Blues to the 2014-15 Premier League title, but was sacked the following December as the team was struggling mightily. Caretaker manager Guus Hiddink led Chelsea to a 10th place finish, before the Italian took over in summer 2016.
“For sure, we worked two years and worked very hard to try to build something, to create a base,” Conte responded when asked if the Blues are in a better place new than when he inherited the side.
“I think you remember. Last season, after a 10th place, we won the Premier League. It was difficult. We worked very hard, but we won. After a 10th-place finish. Now, probably, you can finish fifth and start with a bit of an advantage compared to when you finish 10th.”
“We are struggling to take a place in the Champions League, but, I repeat, you play in a league that is very tough; where there are six top teams who fight to take the four Champions League places. It can happen. Last season, if I remember, United finished sixth and Arsenal fifth. It means you must pay great attention for the present and the future. It won’t be easy. It’s not automatic that you finish every season in the top four.”
He wasn’t finished either, as Conte further elaborated.
“Don’t forget two years ago, Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the FA Cup final, not in the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and they were eliminated in the last 16 against PSG in the Champions League. It can happen.”
“You must know that there is this possibility, because you play in a strong league. For this reason, you have to know this and prepare in the right way. There are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League. It can happen. In the past, it happened the same.”
Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho will meet again in one week’s time, in the FA Cup Final in Wembley Stadium. It’s certainly very possible that Mourinho will make a very spirited response to the barb aimed at him by Conte between now and then.
As for his own future at Chelsea, Conte admits he doesn’t know what lies ahead for him, as it is widely expected he’ll be leaving the club after the FA Cup final.
“For sure, probably, I will go to Milan for the game for Pirlo on the 21st [of May] ‘Then we don’t know, at the end of the season, if we have friendly games,” he responded when asked about Chelsea’s summer plans.
“I don’t know anything about our end of season. For sure, in the next week, the situation will be more clear for the end of the season. Now, I think we must be focused to finish the season.
“Then it will be the right moment for the person to understand the situation and take the best solution, find the solution in the best possible way.”
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Sound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Powered by Sidelines
Related Posts via Categories