Skip navigation
Favorites
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

Conte’s goal for Chelsea? “To avoid the Mourinho season”

652984058

during The Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on March 13, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Julian Finney

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.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

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.”

[ MORE: Wenger confirms Alexis has the flu, will return to training Tuesday ]

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.

Follow @AndyEdMLS