The Italian who recently led the Azzurri to the quarter finals of the European Championships was officially presented to the press today, and he sure had a lot to talk about. Conte started work as new Chelsea coach on Monday, and the expectations are definitely high from the club and fans alike. His personality and track record with Juventus were major factors that influenced his appointment, and he has been saddled with the responsibility of turning the tides around at the Stamford Bridge outfit following their dismal campaign last term. What will happen next season and during his time in charge is summarized below.
WORK WORK WORK!!!
Known for his intense drilling training methods, Conte didn’t hesitate to reveal a lot of them await his players all season long. Andrea Pirlo talked about the work ethic of the tactician upon his confirmation as Chelsea’s new handler months ago, and a that will be the order of the day at the club hence. Players will have as much as 2 training sessions daily in order to keep up with the demands that comes with his style of play. The master tactician admitted,
“In these two days I saw players with the right attitude and a great will to fight for this shirt. To fight to come back very soon and compete to win the title. The most important message is that I’m a worker. I like to work and I only know only to win. I know only this word: work, work and work.”
Emphasis is definitely being placed on the title, and Conte is aware of that. Given how woeful things turned out last time as they sort out a title defence, it’s unsurprising that’s the goal for the new term. But with the new circumstances that have seen the likes of Pep, Mourinho and Klopp emerge as Conte’s competitions, landing the title won’t come easy, a reality he was quick to come in terms with,
“We know it’s much more difficult than in other divisions. In England, six or seven teams can win. It’s normal when you are a player or manager of a great club like Chelsea, you must play to win the title or reach your targets.”
The 34-year-old skipper wasn’t a regular face on the pitch last season, and contract extension talks stalled as it emerged that he could be let gone after playing in the Blues Jersey all his life. However, Terry signed a year deal and will continue to play a great role as a leader of his side according to the new coach. The new chief has clearly recognized the importance to keep hold of the legendary player, and was quick to act when he agreed that the ex England international should be kept around for another season.
“John Terry is captain, when he plays and when he doesn’t play. He is the captain always. He’s the captain of this team and a great player, with great personality and great charisma. For me he is an important player. All the players know that I see the pitch during training to choose my starting eleven.”
Even if the title shot is too big a dream, returning to the Champions League isn’t for Chelsea. Finishing in 10th place last season saw them miss out on both the elite competition and Europa League, but a top 3 finish is the target this time around and for his entire duration in the Chelsea dugout. The same target of Arsenal, Tottenham, Liverpool, and the Manchester clubs. He sums it up thus,
“Chelsea belongs to the Champions League and we must stay there.”
The 46-year-old is an avid follower of the 3-5-2 formation, having stuck with it during his times at Juve and the Italian national team. The results are there for everyone to see. But he says he would be flexible in Chelsea and will have to use a formation the players at his disposal are able to carry out well on the field.
“Usually, when I arrive in a new team, I search to find the right positions for the players. Three at the back? Four at the back? It’s not important. What’s important is the right spirit of the team and to give good organisation”