They are the source of his increasingly-bitter feud with Jose Mourinho and in the build-up to their first encounter since their last war of words, Antonio Conte has revealed the real reason for his touchline antics: his father.
Opening up like never before about his trademark wild celebrations and explosive tantrums, Conte divulged how it all stemmed from dad and former youth-team coach Cosimo – something that might explain why he took such offense at his predecessor at Chelsea insinuating such managers were “clowns”.
In a clear indication, he had no intention of toning things down for Sunday afternoon’s showdown with his nemesis at Manchester United, Conte said: “My first owner when I started to play football, it was my father. He was the owner, the coach, the kitman, the groundsman.
“I spent my life from the start on the pitch following the team of my father. For this reason, I have to thank him for this passion, for the passion I have for this sport.”
His father’s influence remains undimmed, with Conte revealing he had been chastised for failing to show enough passion during Chelsea’s shock 4-1 defeat at Watford this month.
“My father watched the game against Watford and phoned me up and said, ‘I didn’t see you with the right anger, with the right passion’. He told me that.
“Maybe in the future, when I become older, for sure, I have to try and stay calmer and live more relaxed the game.
“But I think, also, this is my strength, to stay on the touchline and push my players, to push myself.”
And it is not just Conte’s father who frets when he is not doing so.
“My wife and my daughter? They start to be worried when they don’t see me very active. Because that means I’m not happy.”
He added: “I was an assistant coach. I remember, in some games, I shouted more than the coach. A lot of times, at the end of the games, I had to say sorry. But this is my way to live the game.”
So much so, he confessed, that he does not even notice what might be happening in the adjacent dugout.
“I don’t see what happens on the other bench, or what the other manager does,” he said. “In that moment, I’m alone and there is the pitch, my players, the game. I don’t see what happens because my focus is only on the pitch. It’s great this, for me.”
Conte and Mourinho first fell out over the Italian’s celebrations when the United boss accused his successor at Chelsea of trying to humiliate him during his 4-0 defeat on his first return to Stamford Bridge.
So despite not mentioning Conte in his remarks about clowns last month, the insinuation was obvious enough for their spat to turn nasty.