Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s “touchline clowns” comment and criticised Arsene Wenger for not respecting referees.
Mourinho’s passion was questioned by reporters in his news conference on Thursday, leading to the Portuguese to claim he prefers to act in a “mature” manner, rather than “crazy” or like “a clown” on the touchline.
Those comments were perceived to be aimed at Conte and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, both of whom are renowned for their eccentric and energetic personas on the side of the pitch.
But Conte was quick to remind Mourinho that he was once rather similar.
“I think that he has to look at himself in the past,” Conte told reporters at his news conference ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup clash away to Norwich City.
“Maybe he was speaking about himself in the past. Maybe sometimes, someone forgets what they said in the past, or [forgets] his behaviours. Sometimes you forget what you do in the past.”
Conte also took aim at Wenger, who has been particularly vocal about the standard of refereeing in the Premier League in the last week.
Wenger was aggrieved with decisions in both of Arsenal’s last two games, the most recent being the 2-2 draw with Chelsea, but Conte told him to show more respect to the officials.
“I don’t like to speak about other coaches or players,” Conte said. “You must have respect.
“For example, sometimes Wenger forgets that in the last few [Arsenal v Chelsea] games, we finished with 10 men. The refereeing decisions were a bit strange.
“I can talk, if I want to, about [refereeing] decisions for a month, but I don’t want to do this because we need to respect decisions. He has to accept the decisions.
“Wenger must to find this way [accepting decisions]; it’s not good, it’s not good.
“He’s experienced, won a lot, but he needs to continue what he has done in the past. If Wenger watched the game again, he would understand he was lucky in the game with the referee’s decisions.”