Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football

Antonio Conte questions fairness of his treatment by the media

Conte insists he is committed to Chelsea for at least 18 more months.

Antonio Conte feels he is getting a rougher deal from the media than his rival Premier League managers have to endure.

Chelsea boss Conte won the league title and took the Blues to the FA Cup final during his first year in English football.

This season has so far proved more difficult, though, and rumours persist about the Italian leaving Stamford Bridge.

Conte has regularly expressed his desire to remain in London for at least the remaining 18 months of his contract and thinks journalists are singling him out by repeatedly asking about his future.

“I don’t understand why other coaches are not under pressure after a defeat in the way that you (the media) are doing with me,” said Conte, who was this week linked with a return to managing the Italian national side.

“But I repeat, this is not problem because I don’t read (newspapers), I don’t go online.

“As you know very well, I don’t have a relationship here with a journalist.

“I want to see if there is one to tell the opposite (that he is not about to leave).”

Conte’s Blues are currently 18 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City and fighting for a top-four finish in order to qualify for the Champions League.

While he was lifting the title last May, his rivals at England’s other so-called top-six clubs were left with plenty to improve on.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, whose team are on course to take Chelsea’s crown, and Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho saw their sides finish well off the pace in their first seasons at their respective clubs.

Liverpool have entertained under Jurgen Klopp but he has not managed to add to their trophy cabinet since taking over in October 2015, while Mauricio Pochettino continues to receive plaudits at Tottenham despite failing to end a 10-year wait for silverware.

When it was suggested that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger – who has enjoyed FA Cup success in three of the past four seasons but not won the league since 2004 – has faced plenty of recent criticism, Conte replied: “Yes but after 20 years, not after one year and a half.

“Me after one year, and then after we won the league because don’t forget that last season we won the league as underdogs.”

Conte takes his side to Watford on Monday evening, looking to bounce from the 3-0 home defeat at the hands of Bournemouth on Wednesday.

Asked what he would like to do when he eventually does leave Chelsea, he said: “Now my ambition is to have another season in England and to respect my contract. This is my decision.

“Then we will see what happens and anything can happen.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph