Friday 5 January 2018

Jose Mourinho forgot his past in ‘touchline clown’ comment – Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s criticism of managers who are like “a clown on the touchline,” suggesting that the Manchester United boss has forgotten the way he had behaved.

Mourinho’s comment — which came in response to a suggestion that he does not show enough passion — was widely interpreted as a barb at more demonstrative coaches such as Conte and Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, both of whom have clashed with him before.

Speaking at a news conference on Friday, Conte responded by alluding to Mourinho’s history, which includes charging down the touchline in 2004 to celebrate a Porto equaliser at Manchester United in the Champions League.

“I think that he has to see himself in the past — maybe he was speaking about himself in the past,” Conte said.

“Maybe sometimes I think that someone forgets what they said in the past, his behaviour. Sometimes I think there is, I don’t know the name, when you are a bit [taps his head], when you forget what you do in the past.”

Conte also had harsh words for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who added to his criticism of the “farcical decision” to award Eden Hazard a penalty in Chelsea’s draw at Arsenal on Wednesday by accusing the Belgium international of diving.

“I think if Arsene Wenger watched the game again, [he should] understand that he was very lucky during the game for refereeing decisions,” he said.

Asked whether he was irritated by managers publicly criticising him and his players, Conte replied: “I think t is very strange, because I don’t like to speak about the other coaches or the other players.

“I think that is a form of respect you must have. Wenger forgets that in the last few games [against Arsenal] we finished the game with 10 men, when they won FA Cup and Community Shield and I think the referee decisions were a bit strange, you understand?

“If I want I can talk about a referee decision for one month, but I don’t want to do this because we must have respect for the decisions of the referee.

“Wenger tries to find this way, like other coaches, and it is not good. You have to accept the decision.

“He is an old coach, he has experience, he won a lot and he has to continue to do what he did in the past.

“For the other situation [with Mourinho] I repeat: There is a person who continues to look here. He went away but continues to look here.”

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