Conte just what Chelsea FC need

PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 12: Antonio Conte Manager of Italy looks on during the UEFA Euro 2016 Final Draw Ceremony at Palais des Congres on December 12, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - DECEMBER 12: Antonio Conte Manager of Italy looks on during the UEFA Euro 2016 Final Draw Ceremony at Palais des Congres on December 12, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images) /

Is Antonio Conte the man that Chelsea FC need to move the club in the right direction?

Throughout all the speculation of Antonio Conte joining Chelsea, I’ve tried to stay away from commenting on the Italian’s perceived new job. However, since the Italian Federation announced the departure of the former Juventus manager after the Euro 2016, I think it’s time to talk about it.

Conte is the man credited with re-establishing Juventus as Serie A’s premier side. He took the club from struggling to success. In his first season with the Italian side, they were undefeated domestically, minus a Coppa Italia final loss.

This is the type of heroism that is required at Stamford Bridge to bring the Blues out of mid-table mediocrity.

The best quote I heard after Chelsea lost to PSG was that “PSG swept Chelsea aside like a mid-table BPL club…Oh wait…”

This essentially sums up Chelsea’s season. There a club failing to live up to expectations that they themselves have set.

No longer amongst Europe’s elite, it’ll take a lot more than hard work and few transfers to fix Chelsea. And given his track record in the business of bringing teams out of the darkness, Conte is the man for the job.

Over the last month, people have dissected the Italian’s pedigree, his coaching career, and his past experiences. I would prefer to focus on what exactly this means in terms of Chelsea.

To me, the largest aspect of what Conte brings with him is the loyalty that his former players have for the man. Most of them have nothing but good things to say about the Italian. Given he is prone to the occasional locker room outburst, it’s good to know that he maintains the respect of his players.

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Jose Mourinho didn’t work out the second time at Chelsea because he lost the locker room. Perhaps Conte will have better luck, even if it’s with a similar approach. He’s defined as a ruthless leader and I think that’s what the Blues need most right now, even if some softer ego’s are damaged in the process.

I like Guus Hiddink and his presence in West London has served the side well. He’s steered them clear of relegation and perhaps they are still alive to qualify for Europe, though it looks highly unlikely.

However, the Dutchman doesn’t bring any sort of edge with him. He’s a player’s manager. Which is great for what Chelsea needed in the short-term. However, what he has in individual player management skills, he lacks tactical prowess and a necessity to win.

I am still among the camp that believes sacking Jose was premature. While Hiddink has steadied the ship, he’s yet to get the best out of his players, not including Diego Costa.

They’ve been dumped out of two competitions thus far under his tenure. In each situation, while the players didn’t look up to it, the tactics weren’t there, and the will to win was completely missing from the picture.

It’s not just about performance, the desire has to be present, or else the tactical side of the game is meaningless. Conte brings with him the will to win and he doesn’t hide it.

Win first, ask questions later. That’s the Italian’s method. And Chelsea need that mentality if they are to climb back into Europe’s finest. 

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  • The former Juventus manager also possesses the ability to instill several formation options within his sides. His teams have played with both three and four at the back depending on the match.

    This is hugely important to be successful in the amount of competitions that Chelsea play in. Due to the fact that they play against so many different teams, the ability to utilize several formations is vital.

    Furthermore, if they have the personnel suited to playing in diverse tactical setups, the Blues will be all the better for it. It can allow Conte to make changes during games, at half time, or perhaps on a situational basis.

    The Italian’s tactical knowledge is paralleled by few. He’s dedicated to watching film, working with his players and minimizing mistakes. It’s this attention to detail where the Blues can find success.

    Finally, Conte has a high-profile name that comes along with him. If Chelsea are in a situation where they don’t have European football to offer, they will suffer in recruiting quality players.

    However, the presence of the Italian will help stop the bleeding and perhaps offer alternative motivation for top players to join the West London club.

    Overall, it’s looking increasingly likely that Antonio Conte will be the next manager at Stamford Bridge. If this is the case, it’s good news for Chelsea. With his winning attitude, tactical prowess, and high-profile name, the Blues will be all the better for hiring the Italian.

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    Whether or not Chelsea can claw back into the picture next season is anyone’s guess. However, by bringing in Conte, it surely seems they will do everything in their power to be successful. It’s a good first step from Abramovich. Let’s see if there is more moves to come.