Citing Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport as their reference, Sport Witness have run an article on the appointment of Antonio Conte as Chelsea manager, being the latest open secret in the managerial musical chairs underway in world football.
The article states that Roman Abramovich travelled to Cobham to inform his players of the appointment, which makes it sound quite theatrical, to be honest. On a serious front though, this is an exciting prospect, not just for the Blues but the Premier League as a whole. Conte is regarded as a man with an astute footballing mind and is also a no-nonsense person. His rant against Gigi Buffon over the latter’s statement about player bonuses in a team meeting has been well documented. There are no ‘stars’ in Conte’s team, an idea that some of the current players in the Chelsea squad might find difficult to comprehend.
Andrea Pirlo, in his autobiography, has praised the Azzurri coach and regards him as the finest manager in his illustrious career. Conte, no doubt is popular amongst his players. Chelsea finds themselves along with Manchester United in a situation where their next appointment has got to work, given the arrivals elsewhere. Pep Guardiola doesn’t require any validation, Jurgen Klopp will be given a handsome budget to stamp his authority at Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino seems to be doing a terrific job in galvanising Tottenham and developing the club from within.
Chelsea can be assured that, Conte, if given the job, won’t be fazed by any of those names given that, he, himself, is such a strong personality. That personality has led to clashes in the past (tussle with the Juventus board), but that was over transfer funds, a subject that will almost never arise at Chelsea. He is often known to use the polarising 3-5-2 formation (rings a bell, United fans?), but we will have to wait and see if he sticks to his guns or goes with the back 4 template in the premier league. Conte, if he does, will arrive at Stamford Bridge amidst great expectations, but as has been seen with many foreign managers, the premier league might just take him by surprise!