Antonio Conte backs Chelsea’s ‘polite’ Álvaro Morata to fill Diego Costa’s shoes

first_img Read more news Share on Facebook Costa insisted he has “no bitterness towards anyone” at Chelsea when interviewed in São Paulo on Friday, with Conte also keen to move on from a relationship that started to deteriorate at the turn of the year. “We want to thank him for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the future,” said the manager when asked about the player before Chelsea’s visit to Stoke City on Saturday.Conte was far happier extolling Morata’s suitability to be the club’s principal long-term striker. The 24-year-old has impressed since arriving from Real Madrid for £58m, scoring four times in six appearances while Costa has been absent without leave.However, he struggled to impose himself during the goalless draw with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge last week, leading to observers questioning whether Morata has the attributes to succeed at a club of Chelsea’s size. He certainly lacks the aggression and ruthless desire to win of his predecessor in that role.“For Álvaro it’s the right moment to be the striker in a great team and don’t forget with Juventus and Real Madrid, he played but not every game, not regularly. For this reason he is at the right age to have this responsibilty,” Conte said. “I like him because he’s a complete player and also he has a lot of room to improve in every situation – tactical, physical, technical aspect.“He’s also very committed and his behaviour is always fantastic. He is a very polite player, I like this, also I like he’s a good finisher, he feels the goal in every moment, he’s very good at understanding which is the best position in the box to receive the ball and where the ball is going.”Asked to expand on his description of Morata as a “polite player”, Conte, who also signed the striker when manager of Juventus, said: “It means if you have a daughter you’d be open to have this type of person with your daughter, to marry your daughter. A really good guy, a polite person. But my daughter is young, don’t touch my daughter!” Vittoria Conte is nine years old. There is irony in Diego Costa’s deal with Atlético but Chelsea saw the best of him Topics Share on WhatsApp Read more Antonio Conte Morata is likely to be in Chelsea’s XI at the Bet365 Stadium as they look to build on Wednesday’s 5-1 hammering of Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup. Eden Hazard could start for the first time in the Premier League this season having come through the Forest game unscathed following his recovery from an ankle injury.The Belgian’s return is a major boost for the champions, with Conte suggesting on Friday he could also start in Wednesday’s Champions League match at Atlético Madrid and next week’s league visit of Manchester City. “There is the possibility now to try to pick him for these games,” Conte said.David Luiz is suspended for the trip to Stoke following his red card against Arsenal but Tiémoué Bakayoko is available despite being involved in a car accident as he left Chelsea’s Cobham training base on Thursday. “It was a minor accident – he’s fit,” said Conte.With regards to Costa, Chelsea came under criticism for posting only a 30-word statement on their website announcing his transfer to Atlético. The club have, however, formulated a longer tribute to the player and will post it online as soon as the deal has been confirmed. Stoke City v Chelsea: match previewcenter_img Share via Email Antonio Conte has backed Álvaro Morata to fill the void left by Diego Costa at Chelsea, describing the striker, who joined the champions for a club record fee in July, as a “complete player” and, somewhat bizarrely, the type of person a father would be happy for his daughter to marry.Chelsea announced on Thursday they had reached an agreement with Atlético Madrid over the sale of Costa, with the 28-year-old set to complete a return to the Spanish club, subject to the agreement of personal terms and a medical, for a fee in the region of £57m. The transfer will bring an end to a turbulent three-year stay in London for Costa, ranging from the highs of scoring 52 goals in 89 top-flight appearances and winning two Premier League titles to the low of going into exile in his native Brazil this summer in order to force a move away. Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Chelsea Share on Messenger Diego Costa Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Guardiola explains continued ribbon protest

first_imgManchester City ‘Before a manager I’m a human being’ – Guardiola explains continued ribbon protest Sacha Pisani 06:52 2/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Guardiola - cropped Getty Images Manchester City Guardiola Arsenal Arsenal v Manchester City League Cup Premier League The Catalan boss was in a defiant mood after wearing a yellow ribbon during City’s Carabao Cup triumph, despite being charged by the FA Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insisted he will continue to wear a yellow ribbon in solidarity with political prisoners in Catalonia after doing so defiantly in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley on Sunday.Guardiola was charged by the Football Association (FA) on Thursday for wearing the ribbon after Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart were placed in custody as part of the crackdown that followed last October’s referendum on Catalan independence – a poll the national government in Madrid deemed to be illegal.The FA deemed it a political message but former Barcelona boss Guardiola was in a defiant mood following City’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal – his first piece of silverware since moving to England. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I accept if I broke the rules. I accept the fine,” Guardiola, who has until March 5 to appeal the charge, told reporters.”I am a human being and there are four guys in prison plus another guy who is outside Catalonia – if he comes back, he will go to jail.”They’re being accused of rebelling – to be that you have to have weapons and they don’t have weapons, they have just the votes in the ballots.”That’s why I said he’s always with me until the last.Thank you!¡Gracias!Grà[email protected]— PepTeam (@PepTeam) February 25, 2018″It’s not about politicians, it’s about democracy. Before I’m a manager I’m a human being.”I think England knows very well what it means. You did Brexit, you let the people have an opinion.”You allowed Scotland to have a referendum if they’re going to stay or not and after the people vote – that’s what they’re asking [in Catalonia] and they are in jail right now.”last_img read more