Antonio Conte: When former Chelsea boss was slammed for 'anti-football' tactics v Man City in 2018

  • Rob Swan

Antonio Conte follows in the footsteps of Jose Mourinho by managing Tottenham after a previous spell with Chelsea.

Conte will put pen to paper on an 18-month contract with Spurs, who sacked Nuno Espirito Santo on Monday.

The appointment of Conte is widely regarded as a significant coup for Spurs. The Italian, who was being linked with the Manchester United job last week, has enjoyed plenty of success during his 15-year coaching career so far.

The 52-year-old won Serie B with Bari in 2009, three Serie A titles with Juventus, the Premier League and FA Cup with Chelsea, and the league title last season with Inter Milan.

Like Mauricio Pochettino, Mourinho and Nuno, Conte’s objective will be to ensure Tottenham are competitive both domestically and in Europe.

Man Utd reportedly had reservations about the Italian, who was ‘way down the list’ of potential Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replacements. They feared he would become a “new Mourinho”.


Conte was accused of 'anti-football' during Chelsea spell

Perhaps United hadn’t forgotten that Conte is a coach who was accused of producing “anti-football” tactics towards the end of his previous spell in England.

Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in March 2018 and a damning 17-second clip from the second half went viral on social media.

The footage shows Chelsea’s players, who were 1-0 down at the time, camped back in their own half and showing no desire to win the ball back.

Watch it here:

It’s easy to understand why the clip spread across social media like wildfire at the time.

Jamie Redknapp blasted Antonio Conte's tactics

Sky Sports’ pundits were furious after the match. Jamie Redknapp said: "It was anti-football.

"That was a crime against football what they [Chelsea] did today... it was like they didn't want to go forward at all.

"I really feel really strongly about it. I was looking forward to watching this game today."

Gary Neville also slammed Conte's tactics

Redknapp’s colleague Gary Neville added: “This is woeful from Chelsea. It really is. In terms of a Premier League game it's unacceptable.

"That has nothing to do with solidity or shape of the team they are playing, it is just the intent.

"Look at them. When I'm sat in this seat you always think: 'am I calling it wrong or am I being too harsh?'

"There is no part of me that can watch this and think this is right. It just is not right."


Antonio Conte hit back at pundits' 'stupid' comments

Conte, however, hit back at the pundits for criticising his defensive tactics.

“I think you have to accept every criticism, but I am not so stupid to play against Man City open and lose 3-0 or 4-0,” the Italian was quoted saying by The Sun.

“If I remember well, two days ago, Arsenal played twice against them and you criticised Arsene Wenger a lot because they conceded three goals in only 30 minutes.

“The pundit has to use the head to understand when you speak about tactics because I think you must have knowledge to speak about tactics and not only to speak in a stupid way.

“[The players] followed my instructions. We prepared the game in this way, [not to] concede space between the lines."

Chelsea went on to finish fifth in the Premier League table that season, 30 points behind champions City, and Conte was subsequently sacked after two years at Stamford Bridge.


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