Author Topic: Tự truyện Antonio Conte  (Read 1741 times)

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Offline Duong Qua

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« on: January 20, 2014, 09:13 AM »
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Đây là một phần tự truyện của Antonio Conte bằng tiếng Anh lấy từ vavel.com, đưa vào đây sợ vài hôm nó lại biến mất giống như trên juvefc.com thì anh em không còn nguồn tham khảo khi muốn dịch sang tiếng Việt.



Antonio Conte Book Review: Part 1
Arriving at the Club
http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/241997-antonio-conte-book-review-part-1.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

I started reading Conte’s autobiography this week, and wanted to share with you, some of the highlights from the chapters on Juve as I suspect it will never be translated into English. This is not a word for word translation of any of the passages, but rather a review of each chapter with some of my personal thoughts.

This is from the Third Chapter on his arrival at Juve from Lecce through playing for Sacchi in the 1994 World Cup in the United States.

In this chapter, Conte describes his interactions with Boniperti, Gianni “L’Avvocato” Agnelli, then Juve coach Trapattoni, and losing the scudetto in his first season at Juve to Milan, a team coached by Fabio Capello at the time. It was ironic that just 3 days after the book was published, Conte lost the chance to surpass Capello’s Juve from 2005-06 for most points in a Serie A season with 20 Serie A with teams with a somewhat disappointing draw against Cagliari.

My favorite parts of the chapter were Conte’s interactions with Boniperti, probably the greatest Juventino of all time. Conte describes Boniperti calling his house to ask him if he is happy to join Juve, he tells him he knows he is a Juventino which makes the transfer even more exciting. Boniperti assures Conte’s mother he will be well taken care at Juve. I really enjoyed the parts of the chapter where Boniperti shows Conte Juve’s trophy room so he understands what it’s like to be a Juventino. Since then Conte has been able to many trophies to that room including 5 scudetti as a player, 2 as a coach, a Champions League as a player- he will hopefully remain with the club long enough to add another Champions League to that room as a coach. Another great part of the chapter was Conte describing watching the return leg of the Uefa Cup final (today’s Europa League) in Juve’s curva since he was suspended for the game . Conte’s love affair with Juve fans, started that day in my opinion- I wonder if he would have ever imagined the bond would become as strong as it is now.

It made me proud to be a Juventino, when I read that Boniperti took Conte to meet Gianni Agnelli almost immediately after he joined Juve. Agnelli displayed his strong knowledge of Juve’s history when he told Conte he could follow in the footsteps of two other great Juventini from Conte’s hometown Lecce- Causio and Brio.

Conte formed a strong bond with his first coach at Juve, the great Giovanni Trapattoni. Conte describes how in his debut for Juve in a friendly, he made a mistake causing striker Fofana to score a winning goal for French team Monaco, which is now coached by another former Juve coach Ranieri. The following day, Trapattoni told Conte to forget all about that mistake and to move in and that one day he could exceed Furino’s record for most scudetti won as a Juve player (8). It was fascinating to read how Trapattoni, a coach who is often associated with “catenaccio”, used Conte as the sole defensive midfielder in a team that featured great offensive players like Roberto Baggio (who Conte describes as very reserved), Platt, Andy Moeller (one of my favorite Juventini growing up), Vialli and Casiraghi.

Conte also describes in this chapter some principles that will become near and dear to him as Juve’s coach- how the only way to overcome difficulty is total dedication, application and hard work.

Conte and Juventus: Part 2
The Lippi Years
http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/242202-conte-and-juventus-part-2.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co-written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

I started reading Conte’s autobiography this week, and wanted to share with you, some of the highlights from the chapters on Juve as I suspect it will never be translated into English. This is not a word for word translation of any of the passages, but rather a review of each chapter with some of my personal thoughts.

Chapter 4 of Conte’s new book focuses on Lippi’s first term at Juve from 1994 to 1999. This chapter is particularly interesting since Conte goes over many of things he learned from Lippi (Juve’s best coach of my lifetime unless Conte remains with the club and achieves great success on the European stage), and Del Piero & Moggi make their first appearances. We are also introduced to Fortunato, Zidane and Davids.

Lippi was clearly a big influence on Conte the coach. While their relationship did not get off to a good start (Lippi asked Conte to cut his vacation short after the 1994 Wolrd Cup which Conte refused to do since Roberto Baggio was not asked to do the same), Conte admired Lippi’s ability to motivate his players with the right words and the importance he gave to the athletic preparation- two traits that we have certainly seen from Conte in his first two seasons as Juve coach. Lippi moved Conte from his central position to the wings, something Conte did not particularly enjoy since he was asked to do a lot of work both offensively and defensively (something that I am sure Juve’s current players can also understand).

Conte expressed his frustrations with the position change to a Gazzetta Dello Sport journalist, which made Moggi, Giraudo and Lippi furious. Lippi called a meeting with the entire team, and explained to Conte the importance of never putting his own wishes ahead of the good of the group. We all know how important this concept is to Conte today as Juve’s coach. Let’s go for a quick tangent- that episode immediately made me think of Ibrahimovic potentially arriving at Juve, while on the surface Ibrahimovic does not seem to fit the “group over individual” philosophy, Pirlo was also recently quoted by Sky Sport saying Ibrahimovic has never caused a problem in the locker room (the two were teammates at Milan in the 2010-11 season) and that if he was so disruptive there is no way he would have won as much as he has (and for those who always point out Ibra’s short comings in CL, I would like to bring to your attention fact he has scored 12 goals with 11 assists in his last 24 Champions League matches). Now that I got that off my chest, back to Conte’s book.

Conte describes how after a defeat against Foggia, Lippi vowed that if Juve was going to lose a game, it would at least have to do so while attacking. The great offensive trio of Vialli, Ravanelli, Del Piero was born from that loss, as well as Conte the coach’s mandate that strikers must also help the team defensively. Lippi demanded that his three strikers work hard to help out the team often retreating all the way to Juve’s penalty area, which we have also certainly seen in Juve’s last two seasons as well.

One of the things I am hoping to get out of this book is some insight in Conte and Del Piero’s relationship. While I do think it’s too simplistic to say Del Piero left Juve because he did not get along with Conte, since he also wanted to play more, I suspect it would have been nearly impossible for both of them to remain in Turin this past season. In this chapter, Conte describes Del Piero as the best footballer he has ever had as a teammate along with Zidane- quite the praise when you think of all the great players Conte has been teammates with. Conte describes how well Del Piero replaced Roberto Baggio once the Divino Codino was sold to Milan, and the devastating impact Del Piero’s knee injury had in the last season of Lippi’s first term as Juve’s coach. So in this chapter, there are only kind words for Del Piero- I am curios to see if this changes later in the book.

Zidane is described as great footballer (which we all know of course) as well as very humble teammate, something which was somewhat of a surprise to me. Many of Conte’s players at Arezzo, Bari and Siena would often ask if even Zidane had to go through the tough training sessions Conte put them through- and Conte would respond that it was Zidane’s humility, hard work and willingness to be treated like any other player on the team that made him great.

Conte also describes in this chapter the joy of becoming Juve captain and of winning the Champions League against Ajax, a game in which he suffered a serious injury on a tackle from his future teammate Edgar Davids (whom Conte describes as a somewhat aloof once he joined Juve). A moving passage of the chapter was the part on Andrea Fortunato, who tragically died from leukemia. I did remember Ravanelli and Fortunato being particularly close, but I wasn’t aware that Ravenelli had Fortunato staying at his house in Perugia where Fortunato was receiving treatments.

Towards the end of the chapter, Conte describes how after losing his starting job, mainly due to the injury, he actually considered leaving Juve because he believed he may have needed some new motivations. This made me think of his current situation with the club. While I would be shocked should Conte not return next season, he has mentioned recently how motivations (not his own, but more of the players and Juve’s management) are almost as important as Juve’s transfer targets and his new contract in determining how long he will stay in Turin. I suspect how just in this chapter, Conte needed to recharge his batteries after returning from a difficult injuries he just needs some time off now- remember he had to spend last summer defending himself from the recent betting scandal rather than being able to enjoy his first scudetto as Juve coach.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2014, 09:30 AM by Duong Qua »
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 09:17 AM »
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Conte and Juventus: Part 3
Ancelotti and Lippi’s Return

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/242547-conte-and-juventus-part-3.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co-written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

Because the chapter on Ancelotti is fairly short (and filled with not so many positive events) I combined it with the following one on Lippi’s return. In these two chapters, we meet Ancelotti, reminisce about one of the best Italy teams of my lifetime, learn about the (beginning) of the (supposed) Conte/Del Piero feud and get an incredible story that proves Gianni Agnelli is the real life James Bond.

After Lippi abruptly resigned, rather than going with an interim coach, Juve decided to hire Carletto Ancelotti, whom Conte was familiar with since he was on Sacchi’s staff during the 1994 World Cup. Conte described Ancelotti’s approach to coaching as calm, fair and being a big brother to his players- which to me seems radically different than what we have seen from Conte in the last two seasons.

Conte more than lived up to his role as team captain during Ancelotti’s first training session as Juve coach, since he felt it was important to go to the training ground together, to show his teammates he supported the new coach. Some of Conte’s favorite teammates were sold around this time- Peruzzi, Dino Baggio and third string GK Marchioro whom Conte describes as one of the teammates he ever spent time with outside of the team functions. During Ancelotti’s time at Juve the team did not win any scudetti, it also suffered one of the worst losses of it’s recent history in Perugia (a match that was also describes in great detail in Del Piero’s book “Gochiamo Ancora) in a match that cost Juve a league title. Conte seems to genuinely like Ancelotti- even telling him after Juve lost to his Milan in the Champions League final in Manchester that if he had to lose he at least was glad it was to Ancelotti . I would imagine one of the reasons Conte praises Ancelotti so much in the book, is because Conte did not have a particularly good relationship with Lippi whom managed Juve before and after Ancelotti’s two year stay in Turin (Conte however clearly respects Lippi’s ability as a coach, and is very complimentary of him through out the book).

In the chapter on Ancelotti, Conte also describes the 2000 Euro which was played in Holland and Belgium. Juve legend Dino Zoff was the Azzurri coach, Conte describes him as similar to Trapattoni in style. To the surprise of many, Italy made it all the way to final in the tournament in large part thanks to the strength of it’s defense: GK Toldo, who replaced an injured Buffon and was a hero for stopping numerous penalty kicks in the later stages of the tournament, and the backline of Zambrotta/Nesta/Cannavaro/Maldini. Conte played well in those Euros prior to suffering a serious injury in the quarterfinal match against Romania on a hard foul from legendary player Hagi. Conte describes holding a grudge against Hagi for quite some refusing his excuses after the match, but ultimately forgiving him once Hagi invited him to come play in his farewell match (which Conte was not able to attend due to a Serie A match). Despite no longer being able to play, Conte not only remained with the team, but was also able to contribute to Italy’s win on penalty kicks against Holland in the semifinals (an incredible match) by telling Zoff to pick Pessotto as one of the kickers in the penalty shootout. Conte describes telling Zoff that Pessotto had ice in his veins, and encouraging his Juve teammate to avoid making him look bad by missing the penalty (Pessotto would score).

I was very interested to see if Conte would bring up  Del Piero’s key miss in the final match against France. He didn’t, which I thought was a nice touch, but did mention the irony of Trezeguet, who would join Juve just a few weeks later, scoring France’s winning goal. I personally still remember that Euro like it was yesterday, Conte’s detailed descriptions of those matches brought back so many great memories. Conte mentions how when people tell him he has won a lot in his career, he is usually quick to point out that he has lost back to back World Cup and Euro finals on penalty kicks as well as 3 Champions League finals. Conte believes these losses have been great motivators through out his career.

While Ancelotti was able to collect an impressive 144 points at Juve in two season, the “Vincere non e’ tutto, ma e’ l’unica cosa che conta” motto ensured he would be replaced by his predecessor Marcello Lippi. Two very significant events that give us insight into Conte’s future occurred in this chapter- Conte losing the captain’s armband to Del Piero and his decision to take a short term contract extension.

If you have been reading my articles for awhile, you know how sensitive I am to the fact Del Piero did not end his career at Juve. While I do think he bares some responsibility for it happening, I am convinced Conte and Del Piero had become mutually exclusive at the end of last season, which is different than saying I hold Conte responsible (which many in Padova, Del Piero’s hometown and where I also grew up, believe is the case). So because I am biased I will give you a word for word translation of what Conte writes about Del Piero becoming Juve’s team captain, and you can decide.

There is one thing that I have a hard time dealing with. The captain’ armband is taken away from me to give it to Del Piero. It’s a shame. I would have liked to be the one to make this historical passing of the torch, rather than having to just accept it“- from Testa, Cuore e Gambe published by Rizzoli translated by David Amoyal

Now my gut tells me, this is episode is not enough to be enough for Conte not trying harder to ensure Del Piero finished his playing career at Juve, especially since Conte is blaming Lippi for the manner in which it happened, but I do find it relevant. We will find out more in the chapter on how Conte managed Del Piero as a coach.

Recently we have been reading a lot about Conte not fully committing to remaining at Juve long term. While at first I believe this was a strategy to get a higher salary from Andrea Agnelli, I changed my mind after reading a passage in this chapter. Conte describes a contract renewal negotiotions where Moggi offered him a 3 year deal with the highest salary of his career. Conte asked for only the first two years to be guaranteed, and to have the 3rd season as an option, as he wanted to ensure he would still be motivated by being at Juve at that point. Moggi was dumbfounded by fact Conte did not want the security of a long term deal in the final stage of his playing days, but if we take Conte at his word, he is showing us money isn’t his biggest motivator to him (the decision to have the 3rd season as an option would later come back to haunt Conte).

In the chapter, Conte also describes Zidane being sold (something many fans were disappointed by) and the acquisitions of Thuram- who is described as the ideal defender thanks to his strength, speed, technical and intelligent- and Nedved whom Conte describes as one of the hardest working players he encountered. The description of Nedved’s dedication in training sessions, made me think of how often Conte the coach decides his lineups based on how his player perform in practice.

My favorite part of the book so far, was a story Conte shared about Gianni “L’Avvocato” Agnelli. After a game against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico right before the winter break, Conte decided to go out all night with a close friend, they were going to return to their hometown Lecce the following morning. Conte returned to his hotel room in Rome at 5 in the morning, only to be awaken by a phone call from Gianni Agnelli less than two hours later to ask him about the disappointing draw against Roma the day before. Conte still wonders how Agnelli was able to find him that morning considering he wasn’t staying at the team hotel since the winter break had officially just started.

Conte and Juventus: Part 4
Retiring as a Player

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/242659-conte-and-juventus-part-4.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co-written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

Chapter 5 focuses mainly on Conte retiring as a player. We get confirmation (once again) on how money is less of a motivator for Conte than principles, we are reminded that while Moggi was a great DS he was also deceitful, and we find out Conte almost played with Vucinic with Zeman as coach for his hometown team Lecce.

In the last two seasons as a player, Conte still feels like a leader in Juve’s locker room although he is no longer the captain and even a starter (I wonder if Del Piero felt the same way in his last season in Turin). He states that for players over 30 it becomes tricky with how they are perceived- when they play well it’s thanks to their experience and when they play poorly it’s because they have nothing left athletically. Conte mentions how much he admires the drive of Camoranesi, Tacchinardi, Nedved and Trezeguet- he feels that mentally he still is on their level, but his body cannot keep up with them. This is how he knew his career was almost over, and I suspect was a clear sign he knew he was going to be a coach someday.

Without even knowing it ahead of time, Conte plays his official last game in a Juve jersey on April 4th 2004 against Inter at San Siro, which Juve would lose 3-2, a game featuring Zanetti (whom Conte complimented both as a player and a man multiple times this  season) and one in which Vieri and Stankovic (a player who almost joined Juve a few years ago) scored for Inter- they probably celebrated Da Pino afterwards. The reason Conte didn’t know this would be his last game, is because he was expecting to exercise the 3rd year option in his contract (this was covered in part 3 of these reviews). When Conte sat down with Moggi to tell him he wanted to exercise that clause in the contract- he mentions that while he felt old he still had his trademark grinta- he was told Juve wanted to significantly cut his salary. Conte was furious, but Moggi told him the conditions had changed at Juve’s end. Conte did prove that principles mattered more than money to him, since he refused the offer because he doesn’t believe in not keeping your word.

Conte mentions how much he regrets fact he did not get to play for Capello, who had just replaced Lippi as Juve’s coach (Ibrahimovic and Cannavaro would have been two of his new teammates as well). Conte describes Capello, as a winner and someone who is tough and direct (all qualities we associate with Conte). While Conte and Capello have talked trash a little bit in the media this season, the two clearly respect each other- Capello even asked Conte to join his staff after he retired as a player, a move that was vetoed by Moggi and Giraudo because of the disagreement over Conte’s last contract at Juve. While Conte did not have a good relationship with Juve the club during this period, his bond with Juve’s fan base got even stronger, since it was the ultras who organized Conte’s farewell match as a player.

Conte missed the pitch as the season approached, so he asked his hometown (and first) club Lecce if he could practice with their Primavera team. He was so impressive, that he was eventually offered to play for the first team which featured strikers Bojinov (he played 18 gams scoring 5 goals for Juve in the Serie B season) and Vucinic- one of Conte’s favorite players on his current Juve. Ironically the coach of the team was Zeman, who has praised Conte very much as a coach this season (Conte also voted for Zeman as Serie B’s best coach for his work at Pescara). Two events prevented Conte from ending his career where it had started: 1) upon hearing Conte was about to sign with team 2,000 Lecce ultras demonstrated in front of the team headquarters against the move- they had never forgiven Conte for what they believed was an excessive goal celebration in a match against Lecce  a few years back (Conte described it in a previous chapter, and mentions that he was just very excited for scoring his first goal after his knee injury and didn’t mean to disrespect his former club) 2) Zeman didn’t publicly support the move when asked by the media. This story made me think of how it would have been a much better ending for Del Piero’s career to join Padova last summer, just like Lecce for Conte, Padova was both Del Piero’s first and hometown club and he wouldn’t have faced Juve as an opponent. In any event, it’s a shame we did not get to read a chapter of Conte playing for Zeman.
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2014, 09:22 AM »
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Conte and Juventus: Part 5
Becoming a Great Coach

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/242878-conte-and-juventus-part-5.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co-written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

In the first two chapters on his life after retiring as a player, Conte gives us great insight on how he became the coach he is today. He describes Louis Van Gaal as his main role model, shares some insight in the experiences that made him a “my way or the high way” type of man, and explains why he keeps saying “we are professionals” when asked if he would ever coach a Serie A team other than Juve.

Right after retiring as a player, Conte signs up for the coach course at Coverciano. Less than a month later, he is offered to be the “vice allenatore” (the role Alessio currently has at Juve) for Siena’s coach DeCanio, by DS Perinetti who will play a big role in Conte’s career. In the book Conte, reveals that it was athletic coach Ventrone who suggested Conte’s name to Siena’s brass. Ventrone was on Lippi’s staff when Conte was a player, and the two had remained in touch. Since joining Juve, Conte has tried to return the favor to Ventrone by attempting to facilitate his return to Turin, something Juve’s brass (has wisely in my opinion) has vetoed at least twice. Conte at first turns down the offer, as he does not seem himself as an effective “number 2″. Conte describes receiving a phone call from Moggi a few days later, Luciano tells him he is crazy for turning down Siena’s offer (Moggi was also dumbfounded when Conte turned down a 3 year contract from Juve which we covered in part 3 of these reviews), to which Conte replied “You didn’t keep your promise with Juve’s Primavera job (which Moggi had supposedly promised Conte) and now you are telling me what to do?”. Conte however would agree to join Siena after meeting with coach De Canio who would turn out to be a big Juve fan. Conte was upfront with DeCanio, by telling him he would leave Siena if he was offered a coaching job elsewhere (Conte describes it as “patti chiari, amicizia lunga”- which translates to ”clear terms make long friendships” which applies to his time as Juve coach as well in my opinion).

At Siena, Conte got to work with Ventrone as well as former Juve players Tudor and Legrottaglie. The team would manage to avoid relegation in Serie A that season, clinching the “salvezza” mathematically ironically in a match they lost 3-0 to Juve. However all of Siena’s coaching staff, including Conte, was fired in the same summer that the Calciopoli scandal occurred. Conte would land on his feet by agreeing to become the coach of Arezzo in Serie B for the 2006-07 season.

Arezzo started the season with a 6 point deduction in a Serie B that featured top teams like Juventus, Napoli and Genoa so there was a lot of pressure on Conte to start well. Instead he struggled in his first 9 matches as a coach- after 4 draws and 5 losses he was fired from the job. Conte decided to improve his coaching knowledge by taking a trip to Holland. He visited the Ajax youth teams and became obsessed with Dutch coaching legend Louis Van Gaal (Conte recently complimented him for his work at Bayern Munich) who at the time was coaching AZ Alkmaar. In the book, Conte states that he was inspired by Van Gaal describing himself as “dominant and arrogant” two character traits that have often been often used for Conte as well (although there is no doubt Conte has toned down his arrogance in 2013). Conte describes attending two of Van Gaal’s coaching sessions- one of which was closed to the public. He was caught by a security guard (whom Conte describes as a mean version of Ronald Koeman) and was told in English to leave the training session. Conte mentions how this episode gave him motivation to learn English as he was barely able to understand what he was being told.

In March of 2007, Conte is asked to return to Arezzo as coach. Before accepting the offer, Conte makes it very clear to DS Pieroni that he wants more power on how the team is run (this certainly sounds familiar to all Juventini).  Maybe going to Holland really helped, as he was able to collect 24 points in the last 10 matches, mainly by using the 4 2 4 formation he was supposed to bring to Juve. Ironically, Juve would mathematically win promotion to Serie A by defeating Arezzo (Conte describes complimenting his former teammate Deschamps for his work as Juve’s coach after the match), but would also relegate Arezzo by losing to La Spezia a few weeks later (Arezzo would have also avoided relegation without the 6 point deduction). Conte almost joined Sorrento in Serie C (Italy’s third division) for the following season but decided to wait for an opportunity in Serie B. He travelled to see numerous training sessions of other clubs at the beginning of the season, including Atalanta’s which had Del Neri as the manager at the time.
 
During the 2007 season, Conte’s friend Perinetti had become the DS at Bari. Conte would often ask him about the coaching job there, but Perinetti had strong reservations on hiring someone from Lecce as Bari coach since the there is a strong rivalry between the two cities. Conte was upset over this, since he strongly believes that if you are a professional these things shouldn’t matter (he often says this when asked about potentially coaching a Serie A team other than Juve as well). Ironically, Bari’s coach would resign after losing 4-0 to Lecce,  and Conte was immediately offered the job. At the time, Bari had less than 1,000 paying customers at many of their home games, but after Conte improved the team’s result and quality of play the team had close to 15,000 spectators. Bari would finish the season with a comfortable mid table placement, by then Conte had become the idol of the Bari fan base. Conte very much appreciated how during the summer, Perinetti planned all of the summer transfers with him. Sounds familiar right?

Conte and Juventus: Part 6
Secco, Blanc and Diego

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/243059-conte-and-juventus-part-6.html

In life sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good, also the timing of when things happen is a key component to finding success rather than failure in a given situation. While we can’t know for sure, I suspect Conte wouldn’t have become Juve’s next great coach had he arrived in the summer of 2009 rather than in 2011. The chapter on almost joining Juve while Secco was still the  DS of the club, gives us great insight in the types of players Conte looks for.

In March of 2009, Conte’s Bari is well on it’s way to returning to Serie A while using the famed 4 2 4 formation. Juve, on the other hand, is somewhat struggling under then coach Ranieri (I had to chuckle when I read Tevez calling him one of the world’s best manager when asked about joining Monaco this weekend). Secco contacts Conte to ask him what he would do if he were to become Juve’s coach, they set up a meeting in Milan to discuss it in person. Conte explains that he wants a team that attacks and defends together (if you remember Conte was inspired by Lippi asking his forward trio of Vialli/Ravanelli/Del Piero to help out their teammates defensively), and the two agree to remain in the touch before the summer mercato starts.

Secco called Conte out of the blue to ask his opinion on Werder Bremen trequartista Diego, who was valued at 25 million euro at the time. Conte tells him that considering Juve already had Amauri, Trezeguet, Del Piero and Iaquinta (who back then was playing very well) he did not think spending a small fortune on Diego was a wise idea. Conte explains that to make his formation work at Juve he would need great wingers- he suggests Robben and Walcott to Secco instead of Diego. Quick tangent - I give a lot of credit to Conte for adapting his formation to Juve’s personnel since becoming the club’s coach. We know from previous chapters, Van Gaal (a self described dominant and arrogant coach) was his role model, so I find it interesting Conte was willing to change his trademark formation to suit the needs of club. Once Vidal and Pirlo were acquired, Conte set aside the 4 2 4 and built his team on the centre midfielders. Once Bonucci, Chiellini, Barzagli developed great chemistry he installed the 3 CB defense and finally once Pogba exploded on the scene he switched once again to a 3 5 1 1. It will be very interesting to see what he does next season formation wise, but I do suspect Conte will continue to adapt his formation to strenght of club rather than other way around.

After Juve continued to struggle under Ranieri, Secco leaked to the press the fact the club was close to signing Diego, as a way to placate the fans. Secco called Conte in early May to tell him the deal for Diego was done (proving once again that many deals are sealed well before transfer period “officially” opens). Conte tells him he envisions using Diego in as either one of the central strikers in 4 2 4 or as a “trequartista” in a 4 2 3 1.

Finally on May 18th Ranieri is sacked as Juve’s coach, Conte’s former teammate Ciro Ferrara (judging by the book they were never particularly close) is named the interim coach- he was previously overseeing Juve’s youth teams. Conte is still however the front runner for the job the following season. The final hurdle for getting the is a meeting with then team president Jean Claude Blanc (who at least deserves a lot of credit for his efforts building Juve Stadium) which lasts 5 hours. Conte once again stresses how important it is for him to have strong wing players (I’m sure he did not envision facing Bayern Munich with the likes of Peluso and Padoin), strikers willing to help out the team defensively, and finally a strong athletic coach coach (remember Ventrone was the one who got him his first job at Siena on De Canio’s staff so I wonder if he was trying to return the favor). Shortly after the meeting ended, Secco tells Conte his return to Juve as coach is essentially a done deal. A few weeks later, Bari is mathematically promoted to Serie A but the rumors of Conte’s departure are the talk of the town.

Just as Conte is starting to plan his move back to Turin, Secco calls him to tell him there is a problem. Diego only wants to play in a 4 3 1 2 and isn’t thrilled to hear of Conte’s plans to go with a different formation. Conte is furios (remember how upset he was when Moggi did not live up to his promises?) and tells Secco he will never succed if he changes his plans based on what one players wants. Shortly after this conversation, Juve removes the “interim” tag from Ferrara’s title and he is named coach for the following season. Quick tangent - I strongly believe “the Diego incident” was the best thing that happened to Conte as a coach. Juve was in a much worse situation in 2009, Marotta/Paratici had yet to arrive so the team didn’t have Vidal, Pirlo, Bonucci, Barzagli, Lichtsteiner on the roster yet. While Conte would have likely done better than Ferrara/Zaccheroni/DelNeri he was much better off gaining more experience as coach, and arriving when Juve had a much better roster. While Diego was a disappointment at Juve, he did have a strong impact on the past two scudetti after all.

On top of not getting the Juve job, Conte would also have to leave Bari when the club did not want to bring him the players he requested for the new season in Serie A. Conte had agreed to general terms on a new 1 year extension (the club wanted to offer him a two year deal) with Bari, but when it came time to sign the real contract, the owner told him buying the players necessary to use in the 4 2 4 would be too expensive. Conte would decide to join Atalanta instead on a matter of principle. This episode leads me to believe the recent meetings between Conte and Juve’s top brass (Andrea Agnelli, Marotta, Nedved, Paratici) gave me him enough guarantees Juve’s roster will be up to his standards.
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2014, 09:25 AM »
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Conte and Juventus: Part 7
Meeting Andrea Agnelli

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/243239-conte-and-juventus-part-7.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

After coming close to joining Juve after the Ranieri years, Conte finds himself jobless and still dreaming of returning to his former club. Prior to getting a job interview with Andrea Agnelli, Conte would have to go through 4 tumoultous months at Atalanta and a succesful season at Siena.

At the beginning of 2009-10 season, Conte finds himself without a team. He had previously turned down an offer from Atalanta since he believed he was going to be Bari’s coach in Serie A, but that did not go according to plan- Conte mentioned that was a very important lesson for him (which explains why he has never fully committed to being Juve’s Ferguson in interviews). Ironically after Atalanta lost to Bari 4-1, they called him asking him to take over for coach Gregucci (who had replaced Del Neri who had accepted the Sampdoria job where he would work with Marotta). Conte agrees as long as he is given full control of the team as well as just a 1 year deal, this would give him the freedom to leave the following summer (this has been a constant in Conte’s career, and I believe we will continue to see this in his relationship with Juve).

Conte is hired and he brings along his athletic coach Ventrone, the team gets off to a strong start with 9 points in first 5 games. The honeymoon abruptly ends when Conte subs fan idol Doni against Siena (which ironically would be Conte’s next team) and the two have a blow up in the locker room. The president of the club clearly sides with the player, which really upsets Conte (remember he was furious when Secco let Diego dictate Juve’s formation). Things settle down temporarily until a bad loss against Napoli (ironically Quagliarella and Pazienza, who would both be on Conte’s first Juve, scored the winning goals) the fans, still upset over the Doni incident, want a meeting with Conte which he accepts. He is called “gobbo di ___” and “stronzo Juventino” by the ultras because of his past at Juve (which would be a great omen for Conte’s future)- the argument is so bad that Conte decides to resign, by doing so he forfeits the rest of his salary for the season.

Conte takes the coaching job at Siena, which was offered once again from his friend Perinetti. Conte develops strong ties to the city and he gets them right back to Serie A while having the best offense and defense. In the meantime, Juve continues to struggle, the ultras disappointed in Del Neri, even start chanting Conte’s name during games. The club is linked to Villa Boas, Mazzarri, Spalletti and Hiddink which worries Conte since they are all more established coaches than he is. His friend Silvio Baldini (former Empoli coach) suggests he finds a way to speak to Andrea Agnelli, since Baldini believes the two of them would be able to form an immediate connection. Conte reaches out to an unnamed (in the book) friend who knows Andrea Agnelli well, he is told he believes Juve will keep Del Neri but that he would set up the meeting anyway.

 The meeting happens at Andrea Agnelli’s house. Conte decides to wear jeans instead of a more formal suit, and he takes it as a great sign that Andrea Agnelli decided to do the same (Conte described seeing a much younger Andrea Agnelli at Juve’s training ground with his father Umberto when he was still playing for Juve in the Ancelotti chapter). Conte is immediately impressed at how well Andrea Agnelli’s daughter speaks English (Agnelli’s wife is English), and once again tells himself he needs to learn the language (remember the Van Gaal episode ?).

At first, Conte believes the meeting will not lead to a job offer as Agnelli asks him if he would take some of Juve’s players to his current club Siena (I would imagine he was referring to Motta, Lanzafame, Ekdal types). But Agnelli starts being more engaged once Conte tells him the current Juve is playing like a “provinciale” and that opponents no longer fear facing the Old Lady. Conte tells him that when he was a player at Lecce, he remembered being scared when playing against Juve and that is missing to today’s club.  Conte stresses that Juve players must have pride in wearing the club’s jersey and that for Juve to return to prominence they need to empower and relaunch the old guard (I found this ironic considering what happened to Del Piero). Conte tells Agnelli that if he gives him the job, he will make sure Juve attacks and defends as a team the way Barcelona does, and that the players will have hunger to win games. Agnelli is very impressed and tells him, Conte will have to meet with Marotta to go further in the process.

Conte leaves the meeting hopeful, but after what happened with Secco, he vows to not get excited until he signs the contract. Marotta’s call never comes (maybe this is why he can’t land top strikers?) and Juve gives Del Neri another chance until a tough loss against Parma. Conte finally meets with Marotta and Paratici and he is optimistic despite fact he thinks Villa Boas is the front runner. Juve would not hire Villa Boas because they weren’t willing to pay his exit clause (I bet this is why Juve is supposedly looking to add one in Conte’s next contract and why Conte doesn’t want one) and Marotta eventually called Conte to offer him the job he had always dreamed of. Siena graciously agrees to let Conte go without any compensation (he had one year left on the deal with them) and Conte signs a two year deal with Juve. Rather than being given formal bonuses Conte asks that Andrea Agnelli be the one to decide the bonus at end of the season. After signing the contract with Juve, Conte decides to go pet the Champions League cup he won as player 17 years ago to the day I am writing this article.

Conte and Juventus: Part 8
First Scudetto as Coach

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/243439-conte-and-juventus-part-8.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

Conte describes his initial press conference as Juve coach, the 2011 summer transfer period, how he created a strong bond with Marotta, Paratici and especially Andrea Agnelli and how motivated his players. This chapters also focuses on specific games of the 2011/12 season. While Del Piero is mentioned a few times, there is no insight into Conte’s (supposed) strain relationship with the former Juve captain.

The longest chapter in Conte’s book is (not surprisingly) on his first season as Juve coach. It surprisingly begins with the Lecce match that almost cost Juve the scudetto. If you remember, Buffon made an awful mistake which caused Bertolacci’s goal that tied the game in the 85th minute. Juve finds itself with only a 1 point lead with 2 games to go as a result. After the game, Conte receives a text message from Buffon at midnight in which the legendary GK states he would have preferred to break his knee ligaments than make such an awful mistake. Conte responds that Buffon doesn't have to say he is sorry to anyone- not his coach, teammates and even the fans because of all he has done in his career for Juve. Conte used this story to start the chapter, as he believes it exemplifies the tight bond he has with his players, the strong team spirit Juve currently has and the mutual respect he has with the best players on the club.

Conte goes on to describe his initial press conference as Juve coach on May 31st 2011. One of the first questions he is asked is how he feels about fact he was Juve’s 6 or 7th choice as coach (remember club was also pursuing Villa Boas, Hiddink, Mazzarri, Spalletti). This made me think how, while Conte has done amazing work at Juve and the club owes him a ton, he also owes Andrea Agnelli and Juve a lot- the club took an enormous chance by hiring and it’s not like Conte had any comparable choices to Juve back then (he probably would have just stayed with newly promoted Siena). Conte is also asked how we will handle managing Buffon and Del Piero since they had been teammates of his in the past. Conte’s response is that he is grateful to have them on the team because they know how to win.

Conte mentions how he worked hand and hand with Marotta and Paratici during the summer transfer period. From previous chapters in the book, we know how important it was for Conte to feel that he was being listened to while his teams were being assembled. Conte is very grateful to Marotta and Paratici because they treat him as if he had been their pick as coach (remember it was essentially Andrea Agnelli who choose Conte) which is significant when you consider that Conte replaced Del Neri, who came with Marotta/Paratici to Juve from Sampdoria. This particular chapter in the book, removes any doubt I may have had that Conte is not on the same page as Marotta when it comes to how to run Juve.

Considering that there is no dirt on his relationship with Del Piero, the most interesting parts of this chapter are the insights on Juve’s transfer period that summer. Conte describes getting a call from Pirlo’s agent (Juve had been negotiating with him to bring Pirlo to Turin before Conte was hired as coach), who tells him Pirlo has offers from Manchester City and Inter in addition to Juve, and that he is concerned on how Pirlo would fit into Conte’s 4 2 4. Conte tells him not worry about that and that he is certain Pirlo would enjoy playing for him (Pirlo has recently stated he has been so impressed with Conte’s methods, that he is now also considering a career in coaching once his playing days end).

Next on the list are Lichsteiner and midfielder Inler. Conte goes with Paratici to London (they were there this past Saturday too for the Champions League final) to observe both of them during an England-Switzerland friendly. Conte immediately recognizes Lichtsteiner could play well in his system (in my opinion especially since back then Conte still intended to use a 4 man defense at Juve) but also comes to conclusion Inler is too similar to Pirlo to be a smart purchase for Juve. After discussing these evaluations with Paratici- they call Marotta, who shortly after closes the deal with Lazio (I believe this is how Juve typically goes about making transfer moves, Conte/Paratici evaluate players and Marotta negotiates). Juve had already been following Bayern Leverkusen’s Vidal, a player Conte admits he did not know much about. Conte however believes he would be a great purchase once he finds out Bayern Munich is also interested in Vidal, we have seen especially this season, how much Conte respects Bayern Munich as a club (probably also because his idol Van Gaal was their coach around this time). Luckily for Juve, the DS for Bayern Leverkusen, former Roma player Rudi Voller, has no intention of selling Vidal to Bayern Munich since they are one of their direct competitors and rivals.

Conte then briefly mentions Juve’s interest in Aguero, while he does say Juve did pursue him to the best of their abilities, he also knew from the beginning it was very unlikely he would arrive since he was a very expensive purchase both transfer fee wise and player wages (I find blaming Marotta for Juve’s inability to land big name strikers is incredibly misguided, Conte’s book seems to confirm this). Instead, Juve acquires Roma’s Vucinic (someone Conte almost played with when he was close to signing with Lecce after leaving Juve). We know Conte has often defended Vucinic this season- in the book he describes Mirko as “fortissimo” (very strong player) and someone who was “functional” to project, which probably means someone Juve could actually afford unlike Aguero.

After the mercato, Conte describes his first training sessions with Juve. He mentions how he immediately told the team he no longer wanted Juve to play like a “provinciale” (something he had also told Andrea Agnelli during their meeting) and that he expects Juve to play at high rhythms and to press their opponents. He also describes how much he relied on the old guard- Buffon, Pirlo, Del Piero- to transmit a winning mentality to the rest of his teammates. It’s interesting how in this chapter, Del Piero’s name (which comes up a few times) is almost always mentioned with Buffon’s- there is no inside information on the (supposed) tough relationship between Conte and Del Piero. Conte also describes how Chiellini, Marchisio, Barzagli and Bonucci became team leaders almost immediately after his arrival.

Conte goes on to described the summer preparation. He mentions the US tour as the time he realized he had a special team in large part due to an episode in Philadelphia where it was very hot and humid. Conte believed his players were being somewhat lazy until he decided to go for a run at the training ground. He could only complete 25% of his planned jogging session, making him realize how hard his players were trying. Conte mentions that while he is a very demanding manager he believes it is important to praise those who work hard. After his failed run in the Philadelphia heat, Conte summons the team and tells them he realized they had all been working hard and thanks them for their efforts (Conte later describes a time in which he had all of the Juve players thank the gardeners and Juve’s training staff for clearing the snow covered fields in Vinovo that winter, as another example of how he is not afraid to make people feel appreciated when they exceed his expectations).

Before the season starts, Juve opens it’s new stadium in a friendly against Notts County. Conte describes that night as a key moment for his team, since there was a new energy in home games (Conte loves the fact the fans are so close to the pitch like in most English stadiums) and because that night there were so many Juve legends in attendance, it was very important for Conte that the current Juve players truly understand what it means to be a Juve player and that night helped ensure that would happen.

Conte then describes numerous games of that season. The opening one against Parma was significant because Conte realized two things: 1)Krasic was just too predictable to be a successful win player in his formation and 2) Vidal was going to be a star, Arturo would score the first goal less than 5 minutes after coming in as a substitute and changed the game immediately in other ways as well. After the game, Conte decides to put aside the 4 2 4 (he started having doubts on it a few weeks before during a friendly against Betis) and instead goes with a 4 3 3 than can morph into a 4 -1-4-1. Conte would move permanently to the 3 5 2 in the game against Napoli at San Paolo stadium, which Conte describes as the key match that season. Juve came back to tie the game 3-3 after falling behind twice, the players really started to believe in Conte and themselves after that match. Conte then describes the “goal di Muntari” match against Milan and his confrontation with Galliani at half time (Conte would later call Galliani to apologize), I liked that Conte mentions the Matri goal that was disallowed due to a non existant off side call. Conte ends the chapter describing the overwhelming joy he felt when Juve won the scudetto in Trieste against Cagliari, and the hug he shared with Marotta (the one in the picture at top of article).

I really enjoyed reading about the strong bond between Andrea Agnelli and Conte in this chapter. Conte describes Andrea Agnelli as a great listener and someone he has a constant relationship with. While Andrea Agnelli asks a lot of questions, Conte says he never once tried to impose his ideas on Conte. While I do not think Conte will be Juve’s Ferguson (it’s just something that doesn’t happen in Italy and Conte has never hid his desire to coach abroad someday), I do think the strong bond between Conte and Andrea Agnelli will ensure a long partnership between the two, and a lot of wins for Juve.
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2014, 09:27 AM »
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Conte and Juventus: Part 9
The Suspension

http://www.vavel.com/en/international-football/italy-calcio/243660-conte-and-juventus-part-9.html

As told in Conte’s book “Testa, Cuore e Gambe”, co written with Antonio Di Rosa published by Rizzoli.

The joy of winning the first scudetto as Juve coach is short lived due to the match fixing scandal. Conte handles his defense the same he handled playing and coaching, as a protagonist and with grinta. Conte reluctantly accepts a plea deal and has to watch Juve’s games away from the bench.

After winning the scudetto in Trieste, Conte realizes he desperately needs to rest to recharge his batteries. His soon to be wife Elisabetta organizes a weekend for the two of them in a fancy spa outside of Turin. Conte shuts off his cellphone and finally gets some real rest for 2 days. As he is getting ready to return to Turin on May 28th, he sees an incredible amount of text messages on his cell phone. At first he assumes these are from people contacting him to congratulate him for scudetto, but after checking one of them he realizes a long nightmare is about to begin (it would last 7 months). While Conte was at the spa, his house was searched and his Ipad, PC and older cell phone SIM cards were confiscated. He finally reaches his lawyer who informs him he has been accused of fixing two matches Novara-Siena and Albinoleffe-Siena from the 2010/11 season (interestingly Conte did not mention anything about them in the chapter about his time as Siena coach).

While Conte is devastated, he takes great comfort in fact both Marotta and Andrea Agnelli are firmly standing by him (the strong bond he has with these two men is very evident through out the book, so I doubt the fact there is a supposed strong difference of opinion on how Juve should be run between them). The name of the player who accused Conte of fixing the matches is never revealed in the chapter, but it’s obvious Conte finds the accusations absurd- especially when the player accuses Conte of telling the Siena players specifically that they were supposed to draw the match against Novara.

Conte is concerned since he has to deal with both the Italian penal system and the sporting justice, which Conte describes as very archaic and unfair. The biggest problem with the sporting justice is that the burden of proof is on the accused. Conte points out how difficult it is to prove that what someone else said about you is a lie. To add insult to injury, Conte starts reading in the Italian papers the names of his potential replacements as Juve coach (he doesn’t mention them in the book but I do remember Prandelli being one of them).

Conte decides to handle his defense, the same way he has handled coaching Juve- as a protagonist. He keeps asking his lawyers “What else can we do?” and vows to attend all the court hearings. Since the accuser claimed Conte told the Siena players they were supposed to draw the match against Novara, the defense team decides the best thing to do is to get the testimony of the other 20 players who were in the locker room that day. Most of them actually say Conte gave them an emotional speech to motivate them to win the match.

Prior to the first court hearing on July 13th, Conte goes on vacation to Ibiza and starts his second summer ritiro as Juve coach. When Conte arrives to court, he is shocked to see how antiquated the technology they use is (Conte mentions it took him forever to give his deposition). On July 26th the first sentence arrives, Conte will be charged with failing to report the match fixing rather then being part of the fraud. His lawyers tell him this is good news since it would come with a much lighter sentence, but Conte is angry as he feels he is 100% innocent.

When the trial begins on August 1st, Conte’s lawyers pressure him to take a plea bargain deal and to put his principles aside. Conte reluctantly agrees to do so, because he does realize it will be better for Juve to end the uncertainty on his status. At first it appears Conte will have a 3 month suspension with a heavy fine, but this changes later when prosecutor asks for up to 15 months (trust me Italy is a great place to visit but you do not want to be accused of a crime there).

Conte finally gets back to talking about football (I can assure you I do not enjoy reading and writing about court proceedings) when he describes going to China for the Super Cup match against Napoli. Conte goes back to court for the appeal of his sentence, and while he is acquitted of all wrong doing for the Novara-Siena game his sentence is not halved (honestly when I read these paragraphs I can see why Conte has often said he would like to coach abroad someday). Finally the TNAS (the highest court for sporting matters in Italy) cuts Conte’s sentence from 10 to 4 months, while still allowing Conte to coach the team during practices.

Conte mentions how being suspended on match day, may have been a blessing in disguise as he is even more focused during practices on making the team’s movements and schemes automatic to the players (I personally think Conte’s impact on match day from the bench has always been wildly overrated, and this is not a knock on his overall ability as a coach). Conte will end up watching 22 games from the “Sky Box” in stadiums but is beyond grateful the team makes it through the Champions League group stage so he can make his European debut as coach on Feburary 12th in Glasgow.
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2014, 04:40 PM »
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Anh em chú ý đây chỉ là review của David Amoyal, tay cộng tác viên của Di Marzio, chứ không phải bản tự truyện nhé
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