JOEY BARTON has branded Antonio Conte a “soft lad” and believes the Chelsea boss acts like a “petulant child” on the touchline.
Conte has been engaged in a war of words with Jose Mourinho in recent weeks after the Manchester United gaffer took aim at the Italian’s behaviour in the dug-out.
Both managers appear to have put the verbal blows on hold for the time being.
But next month’s clash at Old Trafford could see things escalate ever further.
And Barton feels Conte’s antics are proving to be detrimental, with star striker Alvaro Morata struggling for form in the last few games.
Barton told TalkSport: “Morata, who I think is an incredible player, is having a tough time at the minute, missing a couple of chances.
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“But you look to the touchline and there’s soft lad Conte banging the floor, throwing himself around and jumping into the crowd.
“I agree with Mourinho a little bit – behave yourself. Maybe celebrate goals but when your player’s missing a chance, the last thing you want to see on telly is your manager slamming the floor and acting like a petulant child.”
Barton also expressed sympathy for out-of-favour forward Michy Batshuayi, adding: “When you don’t play and you don’t believe that the manager fancies you, every time you get on the pitch you feel like you’re on trial and playing for your existence.
“That can be inhibiting and force a good player to lose form. Clearly Batshuayi doesn’t believe that Conte rates him or wants him within the group.”
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