Manager Wars 2018 have officially begun — and only five days into the new year — with Antonio Conte landing the first shot on Jose Mourinho, and the Manchester United manager coming back with a knockout blow of the Chelsea boss just hours later.
Conte claimed on Friday that Mourinho must be “senile” and suffer from “dementia,” as he apparently forgot the ways in which a younger Mourinho once acted on the sideline.
Later in the day on Friday, following Man United’s 2-0 victory over Derby County in the third round of the FA Cup, Mourinho was inevitably asked about Conte’s comments and delivered his perfectly executed, rehearsed response — quotes from the BBC:
“I don’t blame him. Press should apologize to me and him. Question completely wrong and because of that, an out of control reaction. I was speaking about myself. You said, ‘Mourinho said you behaved as a clown.’ I was speaking about myself.
“I don’t need the Chelsea manager to say I made mistakes in past and will in the future. What I will say is, I will never be banned for match fixing.”
Man United will host Chelsea on Feb. 25, in case you were, for any unknown reason, wondering when the next meeting between Mourinho and Conte would be.