It has been quite a rollar-coaster of a season for Juventus boss Antonio Conte. He spent the first four months of the season in the stands, due to a ban for failing to report a potential match fixing to authorities while he was at Siena. He always denied the charges, but assistants Massimo Carrera and Angelo Alessio had to take the bench during his suspension.
But since he has came back, Juve have been terrific and have dominated Italian football in Italy the last two seasons. But interestingly, after listening to Conte this week, he does not seem to be settling in to build a dynasty in Turin.
“I am very happy at Juventus and always hoped to come here when I started my coaching career. It was my dream to come back to Juventus and win. What I said yesterday was at the end of two extraordinary seasons when we achieved targets ahead of schedule, it makes sense to sit down with the club and discuss the projects.
“The bar has been raised higher and there is also an economic crisis in Italy. I thank President Andrea Agnelli, who wanted me here at Juventus and for that I will be always grateful. I want what is best for everyone.
“Raising the bar means if we didn’t win the title next year then it would be treated as a problem. We also finished in the top eight in Europe, in front of clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City, who have enormous economic potential.
“We must be very realistic to see what we are capable of doing and where we can end up. I remember the moment we went out against Bayern Munich, we were inundated with criticism from people saying we weren’t up to the task. Every now and then in football you have to sit back, relax and admit the other team was stronger. We doff our hats to Bayern.
“We also know that Juventus always start to win every tournament, but we have to start the season with clear objectives and not raise expectations beyond what is reasonable.”
Interesting comments. It sounds like Conte is looking for new challenges including winning the Champions League and that he is not sure whether Juve have the finances to compete with the big European clubs.
They don’t, and I would not be surprised if next summer, 2014, if Conte heads to England or Germany for a new challenge and a bigger club.