Antonio Conte has hit back at Jose Mourinho after the Manchester United manager branded some of his managerial counterparts as “clowns” for their overzealous actions on the sidelines.
Mourinho was asked on Thursday about his hunger to carry on with the Manchester United job, to which he replied: “Because I don’t behave as a clown on the touchline, it means I have lost my passion?” Mourinho said. “I prefer the way I am doing it. Much better for my team and myself. You see it every day in the way a person is dedicated to his work, not what you do in front of the cameras.”
Now he could have been referring to any one of Conte, Jurgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola, or all three, with the managers of Chelsea, Liverpool and Man City all extremely animated on the sidelines.
Speaking on Friday ahead of Chelsea’s FA Cup clash at Norwich City on Saturday, Conte accused Mourinho of having senile dementia when it comes to remembering how he used to act.
“I think he has to see himself in the past – maybe he was speaking about himself in the past. Maybe, sometimes, I think that someone forgets what’s said in the past, which is his behavior,” Conte said. “Sometimes I think there is, I don’t know the name, but demenza senile… when you forget what you do in the past.”
Conte is bang on the money here.
Mourinho’s antics in 2004 when he ran down the sidelines at Old Trafford celebrating a goal for his Porto team, or in 2013-14 when Chelsea scored a late winner against PSG at Stamford Bridge, or his celebrations at Anfield after a Chelsea win in 2014, or when he poked Barcelona’s coach Tito Villanova in the eye in a scuffle when he was Real Madrid manager, or …
You get the picture.
Paris-Saint Germain has established itself as one of Europe’s best sides, but their opponent on Sunday isn’t playing scared against Neymar and Co.
[ MORE: Spurs, Saints play to 1-1 draw at St. Mary’s ]
Lyon has taken a 1-0 lead inside the opening two minutes against the Parisians after a stunning free kick by Nabil Fekir caught PSG keeper Alphonse Aréola off his line.
The hosts could move all the way up to second place today with a victory over PSG, who holds the league lead in Ligue 1 with a nine-point advantage.
The 24-year-old Fekir has been a revelation for Lyon in his fifth season with the club, scoring his 19th goal in all competitions on Sunday.
That total has already surpassed his career-high from the 2014/15 season, when he eclipsed 15 goals.
Look away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans.
American and Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie was forced out of Sunday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw against Hanover 96 after the 19-year-old collided with Felix Kraus.
McKennie, who entered the match in the 62nd minute for Leon Goretzka, managed to stay on the field for nearly 20 minutes before being substituted out.
To this point there has been no indication that the young USMNT player’s injury is serious.
More to follow…
Watford’s replacement for fired manager Marco Silva is indeed veteran Spanish boss Javi Gracia.
[ MORE: Watford fires Silva, blames Everton ]
The Hornets announced the 47-year-old’s hiring on Sunday, hours after firing Silva and blaming Everton’s pursuit of the manager for the club’s fall from European contender to the fringe of a relegation battle.
Watford is still four points clear of the drop following Southampton’s draw with Spurs on Sunday.
Gracia led Malaga to eighth and ninth place finishes in La Liga between 2014-16 before spending last season at Rubin Kazan.
Gracia, 47, has led promotion campaigns in Spain and has plenty of experience with perceived smaller clubs battling the drop zone.
Watford will hope the Hornets don’t reach that point after flirting with the Top Seven for the first quarter of the Premier League season.
Mauricio Pochettino knows St. Mary’s well, and the ex-Southampton boss has managed a rainy, sloppy match or three there in the past.
[ RECAP: Saints 1-1 Spurs ]
So he knows it’s possible to play well in those circumstances, leaving him feeling like Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday was a wasted opportunity against a struggling Saints side.
“It is temporary that Southampton are in the relegation zone, for sure they will push up the table,” Pochettino said. “It is two points we are going to miss at the end of the season because it is so tough between six or seven teams.”
[ MORE: Bertrand reacts to draw ]
So why couldn’t Spurs find their foothold? Well, aside from sickness keeping Christian Eriksen and Hugo Lloris out of the lineup, a bug that may’ve affected more on the team, Spurs just weren’t up to snuff.
“We struggled to play,” Pochettino said. “It was in possession, we made mistakes which allowed them to play. To win the game we should do better and play better. It wasn’t great.
Pochettino was also asked about Spurs’ reported pursuit of 20-year-old Bordeaux star Malcom, who has seven goals and five assists in Ligue 1 this season.
“That is a rumor and I don’t want to speak about it. I am happy with our squad. We are open to quality players but you know very well it is difficult in this transfer window.”