“We must be excited to play this type of game, especially against this team. I consider Barcelona one of the best teams in the world.”Conte also considers himself one of the best coaches in the world, referring to himself despite a recent 4-1 drubbing at Watford as “a winner.”He does so with some justification.In a glittering coaching career, Conte made Juventus title winners again with three consecutive Serie A titles after a five-year drought.He also surpassed expectations by leading an Italy side short on star names to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, and delivered the Premier League in his debut season at Chelsea.However, a second season slump at the Bridge and his fractious relationship with the club’s hierarchy means most believe the Italian won’t last at Chelsea beyond the end of the season at the latest.Whether it is to convince Roman Abramovich and close aid Marina Granovskaia he should remain in charge next season or to attract the attention of Europe’s other giants who may be looking for a coach come the summer, Conte needs Champions League nights to remember.His two years in the competition at Juventus ended in a 4-0 quarter-final aggregate thrashing from Bayern Munich and an embarrassing group stage exit behind Galatasaray.Conte complained then it was impossible for Italian sides to compete at the latter stages of the Champions League.It didn’t help his case then that his successor Massimiliano Allegri then led Juve to two Champions League finals in three seasons.– Conte’s money complaints –There have been similarities between Conte’s final days at Juventus and many of his public outbursts against the Chelsea ownership this season over his lack of input over recruitment and how much is spent.“I think I’m a bit of a disaster to convince the club to buy the players,” Conte said last week.“I have to speak more with the managers who are very, very good to persuade their clubs to spend money and buy top players.”Conte may then welcome his meeting with the more softly-spoken Ernesto Valverde this week.Barcelona’s coach Ernesto Valverde’s calm has restored stability to a club that badly needed a steady hand after a tumultuous summer © AFP/File / Josep LAGOIn Valverde’s eight-month spell in charge, Barca have smashed their club record transfer fee twice for Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.Yet, it is in a very different way that Conte may be able to learn from Valverde as neither Dembele or Coutinho have made much impact on Barca opening up a seven-point La Liga lead and booking their place in the Copa del Rey final.Instead, Valverde has made the best of what he inherited to turn Barca from the depths of a pre-season crisis into potential treble winners.Neymar’s decision to walk out on the club for a world record 222 million euros to Paris Saint-Germain was a huge loss that Valverde has used as an opportunity to reconstruct a more solid side that maintains the firepower of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in attack.A change from Barca’s traditional 4-3-3 to a 4-4-2 has seen them concede just once in their six Champions League games to date, and 11 times in 24 La Liga outings.Meanwhile, the space left unoccupied by Neymar has unleashed left-back Jordi Alba as an attacking threat.Alba was on target as Barca equalled a club record by avoiding defeat for a 31st straight La Liga game in a 2-0 win at Eibar on Saturday.Most of all, Valverde’s calm has restored stability to a club that badly needed a steady hand after a tumultuous summer.That may be the lesson Conte and Chelsea can learn from most of all before careering towards another messy divorce at the end of the season.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte considers himself one of the best coaches in the world © AFP/File / Glyn KIRKLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 19 – Barcelona’s visit to Chelsea on Tuesday gives Antonio Conte the perfect opportunity to reaffirm his stature as one of Europe’s greatest coaches.“To play against Barcelona is a great challenge for us,” Conte said after easing the pressure on his job with back-to-back home wins over West Brom and Hull in the past week.
24 April 2014 Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will deliver the keynote address at a high-level academic conference reflecting on South Africa’s first 20 years of democracy at Oxford University in the UK on Friday. The two-day event will be preceded on Thursday evening by a special performance of Matthew Hahn’s The Robben Island Bible, with a post-performance reception sponsored by Brand South Africa. Friday will open with a series of panel discussions, followed by Motlanthe’s address in the afternoon, and in the evening a plenary session involving Wits University vice- chancellor Professor Adam Habib, political analyst and commentator Professor Xolela Mangcu, former Constitutional Court judge Kate O’Regan and former leader of the opposition Tony Leon. The plenary will be chaired by award-winning South African writer and scholar Jonny Steinberg. Further panels, including sessions looking at the African National Congress (ANC) in power and South Africa’s upcoming national election, will take place on Saturday, along with a number of new book launches.Motlanthe on working visit to UK Deputy President Motlanthe, who kicked off a four-day working visit to the UK on Wednesday, will also be the guest of honour at the South African High Commission’s Freedom Day reception. He is also expected to engage with high-level business people, as well as attend a meeting with representatives of the South African Diaspora during his visit. According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa and the United Kingdom “have long-standing historic relations that cover a wide spectrum and have a far-reaching impact. “The United Kingdom is one of the important sources of foreign direct investment into South Africa from Europe, with total investment for the period January 2009 to June 2012 at R44.3-billion,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday. “In 2012, the United Kingdom was South Africa’s seventh-largest export market. It also continues to be one of the important sources of long-haul tourists to South Africa.” SAinfo reporter
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After most of the state got blasted with a winter storm this weekend, and most areas picked up anticipated snow totals, we shift into an interesting pattern that is developing for the coming 10 days. The extended 11-16 day period features a good deal of uncertainty too. There looks to be a few instances of “whipsaw” like weather, particularly as it relates to temperatures, between now and the end of the month.Today we remain cold. Likely the coldest temps of this blast came in overnight last night, particularly in NW Ohio, but we will be slow to rebound day. The slow move up in temps today will be mostly due to a strong north wind component, which can trigger some lake effect snows in north central and northeast Ohio. We expect some lake enhanced clouds in other areas. However, the rest of the state should turn out at least partly sunny. Temps will be below normal. South winds develop overnight tonight and really ramp up through the day tomorrow. This will quickly drive temps higher, and tomorrow we can actually be a bit above normal for this time of year – mid 30s in northern Ohio, and 40s potentially south of I-70. This strong south flow will be in advance of or next system, which begins to nose in overnight tomorrow night. Rain arrives after near to shortly after midnight tomorrow night and continues through a good chunk of Wednesday, ending as some light, wet snow. Yes, we are talking rain as this thing gets started overnight tomorrow night. However, temps will not be THAT warm…so we continue to have some concern about wet snow flakes mixing in, at least over far northern and NW Ohio. But we will take another look at the profile tomorrow morning. For now, we project .25”-.75” of rain, and then a coating to 3 inches of snow, depending on where you are at, before everything ends by Thursday morning. The best chances of snow will be over the eastern half of the state. The maps below snow precipitation totals (liquid equivalent) by midnight Wednesday along with snow that can fall in the same period. We can’t rule out the development of lake effect snow overnight Wednesday night into Thursday in northern Ohio. Strong north winds develop through the day Thursday, which will keep lake effect snow potential top of mind over the northern third of the state, but just clouds and occasional sun elsewhere. Cold air settles in for Friday.This coming weekend will feature snow from Friday night through Saturday, giving a coating to 2 inches over about 60% of the state. The best snow potential will be from I-70 northward, although we wont rule it out anywhere. Then we turn partly sunny for next Sunday, and another push of cold air blasts in. A strong snow storm arrives Monday midday and brings snow from I-70 northward through the rest of the afternoon and evening. Overnight and through Tuesday the snow settles in over southern parts of the state. All told this looks like at least a 1-3 inch event, maybe more, with coverage at 90% of the state. Scattered light snow and flurry action lingers into next Wednesday with lower coverage, and cold air stays. For the extended period, data is all over the place. We believe cold air is here to stay and will hold right on through February. However, some models are throwing a significant warm up in for the first weekend in February, with temps way above normal again. For now, we are looking for a dry Thursday (31st), and then snow for Friday, February 1st, with some minor accumulations. Then we will look for clouds and the potential for another system around the 2nd and 3rd, before drying down for the start of the first full week in February. However, our confidence is low in this extended period pattern at this time.