You can hardly blame Jose Mourinho for harbouring just a little bitterness towards Chelsea.
For all he achieved with the Blues, he never commanded the sort of respect that Arsene Wenger enjoys at Arsenal – while the Frenchman is untouchable, Mourinho was effectively fired twice by Roman Abramovich, even if the first occasion was ostensibly a case of mutual consent.
The last thing the Special One would have wanted was for a Chelsea revival under Antonio Conte, but that’s exactly what has happened.
His own project at Manchester United is taking a little longer.
Mourinho has effectively admitted the Red Devils cannot catch his old club in the title race – but not without aiming a little dig at Conte’s playing style.
“You have to be honest and say that is very difficult,” he said, per the Telegraph, when asked if United could still win it.
“It’s not just the difference in points, it’s also the Chelsea philosophy of playing.
“They score one goal and they win. They defend a lot. They defend well. They are winning and, in the last 20 minutes, they bring defenders in.
“They don’t care what people say, what people think. They just want to win. And, because of that, I don’t see them losing many points.”
If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, then what is? Mourinho may be famed for parking the bus, but he clearly doesn’t like it when the boot’s on the other foot.
United’s defensive problems this season mean he can’t adopt the same approach, as injuries to Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling have left him with a makeshift backline.
Conte, meanwhile, seems to have worked wonders with Chelsea’s defence.
If the Blues boss does lift the Premier League trophy in his first season in charge, though, he won’t be expecting any congratulations from his predecessor.