With tensions rising in the top of the Premier League table between Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, it seems the two managers are taking things a little too personal amongst themselves. While the Red Devils are in the second position with 47 points, the Blues are trailing a point behind with 46 points. The tension in the points table has brought out a heated battle between the two managers, with both Mourinho and Conte taking digs at each other during press conferences.
Just 2 days ago, the Portuguese manager, in an apparent dig at Antonio Conte, said that he does not need to act like a “clown” at touchline to take his side to a victory. “Because I don’t behave as a clown on the touchline, it means I have lost my passion? I prefer the way I am doing it. Much better for my team and myself,” he said.
In his response, Conte on Friday asked Mourinho to remember his antics at touchline in the past and said that he might be suffering from “senile dementia”. “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. Sometimes I think there is, I don’t know the name, but ‘demenza senile’ (the Italian for ‘senile dementia’) … when you forget what you do in the past,” the Italian said.
Escalating the heated rivalry between the two, Mourinho, at a press conference on Friday, said that he may have made some mistakes in the past, but he would never be suspended for “match-fixing”.
“The only thing I want to say to end the story is that yes, I made mistakes in the past on the touchline. Yes, I will make less, but I think I will still make a few. What never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match-fixing. That never happened to me and will never happen,” he said after Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Derby County in an FA Cup match on Friday.
Mourinho’s remarks were in reference to a four-month ban the Italian manager had to serve during his tenure as Juventus manager during the 2012-13 season. Conte was charged with failing to report and doing nothing to prevent a 2011 match-fixing scandal when he was Siena’s manager. The Premier League-winning manager was later acquitted of the charges.
On his “clown” remarks, Mourinho justified that he was speaking about his reactions and was not taking digs at any other managers. ” “I celebrated goals running 50 metres, I celebrated goals sliding on my knees, celebrations jumping in the crowd. I’m not free of that, especially if we score a winning goal in a specific moment I am not free to have an out-of-control reaction. What I was trying to say that I behave bad a few times and this moment I control myself better,” he said.