Antonio Conte didn’t come to the Premier League to make friends, and it’s a good thing he didn’t, given his propensity for taking not-so-subtle digs at… well, anyone and everyone, really.
Conte’s latest (and favorite) target is Jose Mourinho, former Chelsea and current Manchester United manager. Having won the PL title last season (something Mourinho did on three occasions while at Stamford Bridge), Conte is quick to refocus the spotlight on his predecessor’s shortcomings, and how he’s using them as motivation for his own side in 2017-18 — quotes from the Guardian:
“We know the difficulty of the next season and for sure we want to avoid the Mourinho season with Chelsea. Two years ago the team ended the league in 10th place and we want to try to avoid this.”
Conte could have referred to Chelsea’s 2015-16 season as anything else — “the title hangover,” “the season Chelsea finished 10th,” or even “two seasons ago” — so long as it wasn’t “the Mourinho season,” and everyone would have known exactly what he was talking about. In his estimation, though, Mourinho needed to be reminded of his failure, and Conte needed to ease the expectations to repeat as PL champions just a bit.
Fan those flames, Antonio, fan them some more.