At this stage, it’s no longer news that Antonio Conte has transformed Inter to an exciting team to watch and they look like the only potential side capable of doing Juventus any real harm in the Serie A race. Since the start of the season till date, talks and lots of them have hinged around this Inter side and if they have what it takes to break the Bianconeri’s stronghold at the top. While we can easily see the pressure seems to be affecting the players lately, it appears to have caught up with Antonio Conte as well.
The Inter manager blew his top after watching his side blow a 2-0 lead as they went on to lose 3-2 at the hands of Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stage.
In his post-match conference, Conte made comments that appeared to be directed at the Inter hierarchy for their lack of “proper business” in the summer.
“We cannot do anything other than work, which we are already doing,” Conte said as quoted by Guardian. “I am annoyed at saying the same things. I hope some of the management will come to say something.
“At the beginning we made a plan but we could have planned things much better. We have to work, move forward and try to improve because we show that with work we can put anyone in difficulty.
“Important errors have been made. There will be a reason for this and we must find it in the locker room but there are extenuating circumstances for the players some of whom have played all of the last six matches.
“We are Inter, so we must all look at ourselves and realize we are… actually, I was going to cause controversy again, but no, stop me talking now. I am really p***ed off, because we cannot do more than this. We’ve reached the limit.”
Conte, being one of the most experienced managers at the top level is well known for his winning intent wherever he goes. He is that ruthless guy that likes to get the job done regardless of what it takes but this time he went way too overboard.
Inter weren’t too bad on that on the evening but lost focus and concentration and paid the price for it real quick. These things are part of football and it happens to the best of sides. For a team that has lost only three times in 15 competitive games this season (Skysports), you’ll think Conte’s Inter were lavishing in 16th place in the Serie A as well as the bottom of their Champions League group based on those comments.
When you further consider that Conte and Inter’s defeats have come from Juventus, Barcelona and now Borussia Dortmund, it’s pretty simple that Conte has nothing to be ashamed about really.
A sense of self-guilt was probably in the air for the Italian manager but in an attempt to bail himself out, he felt passing the blame on to the board was the right call.
Let’s assume for a minute Conte made some requirements to the board that went unattended to over the summer, why has he come ranting now (only after a loss). He has been getting the job done with this same side for weeks without any fuss and all the raves and positive comments have been placed on him. Now that they have lost, it should simply have been termed a collective defeat for the team and one they’ll bounce back from this in no time.
Ripple effects of Conte’s comments on the Inter side
On the part of the board, it’s a no-brainer that this would get them infuriated after comments openly directed at them by the club’s manager. It could be the beginning of a strained relationship between Conte and the board – which frankly isn’t good for anyone.
In the wake of the Dortmund collapse, reports from La Gazzetta Dello Sport (via Calciomercato) are now claiming that Conte is expected to meet the leadership to demand new signings in January. The positions in mind to be strengthened being the midfield and attacking positions.
In Conte’s defence, this Inter side looks good on paper (first team) but when you look at the squad depth, anyone can see a major dip in quality and it’s obvious that is what Conte’s comments hinged on in that outburst of anger.
However, what makes a manager good is the ability to do so with the options at his disposal. With this same squad, Inter led the Serie A for a while and had it not been for Juventus, they would easily still be at the top right now.
For Conte personally, those comments put unnecessary pressure on him to now perform. A loss that should be seen as a normal football occurrence will probably be taken as something extra whenever it happens, with these comments referred to as the baseline of it all.
Even a famous Italian football commentator made a tweet on the incident simply saying “Conte has disgraced himself”.
Piccinini tweeted: “Conte is working very well, but he has disgraced the club and criticized the quality of the staff. Icardi had the captain’s armband removed for much less, what will happen to him? How will Marotta discipline him? Tarallucci and wine?”
Conte sta lavorando benissimo, ma non era facile in un solo colpo sputtanare la società e criticare la qualità dell’organico. Per molto meno a Icardi tolsero la fascia, a lui cosa succederà? La ferrea disciplina di Marotta come si applicherà? Tarallucci e vino? 🍷 #BorussiaInter pic.twitter.com/HlKnEdUFp7
— Sandro Piccinini (@RealPiccinini) November 6, 2019
On the part of the players, It would seem like an injustice to all their good efforts so far this season. Those comments can mean the players aren’t good enough for him and it could have a spiralling effect.
It remains to be seen how the board will react to Conte’s outburst but this could be the beginning of the problems for Conte if he doesn’t reign himself in and perhaps apologize for making those statements. More defeats will still come for Inter throughout the season and will the board be blamed every time? Obviously not.
Conte is a passionate coach and his comments simply highlighted someone that wants to win all the time but this is football – you win some and lose some. It’s part of the beautiful game.