Conte rages on media gossip: “If you want to hit me, hit me”

AP Photo/Matt Dunham

Antonio Conte is an excitable man, which can be entertaining on the pitch when he’s leading Chelsea.

Less fun is Conte excited in an angry way, frustrated at rumor-filled reports that claim Carlo Ancelotti is in line to replace him due to player unrest, and that those same players are reaching out to former assistant Steve Holland with their distress.

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Conte’s pre-Bournemouth press conference went a little off course on Friday as he responded to such reports with vigor, saying gossip about him all you want, but leave other people out of it:

 “If you want to hit me, hit me. I stop. This is incorrect and I hate these type of situations. If someone is happy to write this and make the newspaper more interesting continue to do this but don’t put other people in it, because this is incorrect.”

“It’s not good when this person has to send me a message to tell me ‘I’m sorry this isn’t true.” Why do that to a person?”

Conte’s second year in charge of the Blues is not going swimmingly, his three losses just two shy of Chelsea’s total for all of last season’s title run.

It’s worth wondering where all the gossip is coming from, whether it’s a case of “where there’s smoke, there’s fire,” due to a certain batch of Chelsea’s squad having played a part in a previous mutiny. Yet if Conte is correct, and things are mostly fine, then his rage is understandable.

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