Conte believes Wenger’s Arsenal reign won’t be repeated
The Chelsea manager, who has reached 100 games in charge at Stamford Bridge, has praised his counterpart.
Antonio Conte insists the demands of the game mean it is unlikely that Arsene Wenger’s long reign at Arsenal will ever be repeated elsewhere.
Wenger has announced he will step down at the end of the season following 22 years as Gunners boss in which he won 10 major trophies, including three Premier League titles.
Conte oversaw his 100th match as Chelsea boss in Thursday night’s 2-1 victory at Burnley but the Italian doubts he could match Wenger’s longevity at one club when asked if another 100 might follow.
“I don’t like stats. Only after the game did I know it was my 100th game here,” Conte said.
“My desire is always the same – to try and win every game. It’s my mentality. I have a winning mentality and I try to transfer that to the people working around me.
“In the past you could have a Wenger story or an Alex Ferguson story, but in the present in football you must live in the present because you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.
“To stay at one club for such a long time is not easy. To imagine myself staying 22 years at the same club is very difficult. Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are really good stories for football.”
The win at Turf Moor has left Chelsea five points adrift of the Champions League positions with four games remaining and Conte is refusing to give up on overtaking Tottenham in fourth place.
“There is an important gap between us and Tottenham,” Conte said.
“It won’t be easy because it will depend on other results, in this case Tottenham’s results, and we also have to try and get three points from every game.
“But the only way is to keep hope until the very end and try to play with the same desire and will we showed against Burnley and in the second half against Southampton.
“With this desire and will to fight and to get a good result, we have this possibility.”
Chelsea interrupt their push for Champions League football with Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton at Wembley.
Conte paired Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud together in attack for the first time at Burnley and the experiment could be repeated against Saints.
“I was very pleased with the performances from Giroud and Morata. It was the first time I have played with two strikers with these characteristics,” Conte said.
“In the past for many reasons it wasn’t possible to try this option, but now I know that I have this option. Now it could be a possibility for Sunday’s game that I play with these two strikers. The two of them worked so hard with and without the ball.
“Our target was to bring more players into the box because sometimes when we have only one striker we have difficulty to fill the box when we cross.”