Jose Mourinho’s abrupt end to his tenure at Chelsea was expected to take the Stamford Bridge outlet into a hole that is too deep. But the interim manager Guus Hiddink has done no harm to his reputation as he has bought the team back into the top half of the points table.
Though they will not play Champions League next season, they needed a top class manager to get the team back to where it belongs after a disastrous season and they have got one in Italian national coach Antonio Conte.
Conte who will lead Italy in the EURO16 is officially taking charge of the Blues at the start of the next season and with a three-year deal on the cards, he will have plenty of problems to fix in his time at Stamford Bridge.
Here are 5 challenges Antonio Conte will face coming the start of the next season:
- The hectic Premier League schedule:
Conte has been successful in Serie A where he has won 5 league titles in his time in Italy. However, the number of games played in Italy is more than just a shade less than the Premier League and Conte will have to learn to juggle his players accordingly. It will be important to balance between the competitions and the kind of a manager Conte is, he will want to win everything in his first year in charge. He will, however, have to take his time and get used to the intense schedule of the Premier League.
- Lack of on-field leadership:
With clubs skipper John Terry retiring, Antonio Conte has not a real leader in the squad who can control the tempo of the game in the middle. The calming influence that a captain give to his team will be missing and with no authoritative figure like Terry in the squad, Chelsea will need someone to lead the team next season. Though a number of players might make the move to the club in the summer it is hard to see them taking the armband in their first season. It has to be seen if the lack of leadership qualities on the field will affect Chelsea next season.
- Squad overhaul:
Just a season after winning the Premier League trophy, Chelsea will enter into the summer where a lot at the club will change. With no Champions League football to offer, the likes of Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, and Oscar are all touted to leave the club at the end of the season. This will leave Conte with the job of building up the spine of the squad as he will have to get in players that suit his style of play. And with new players coming in, they will take the time to settle into the Premier League leaving Conte with a season of transition.
Conte is the second European manager set to take hold of an English club next summer. Manchester City have already announced that Spanish genius Pep Guardiola will take over the Etihad outfit next season. With Klopp already at Liverpool and Mourinho tipped off to replace Van Gaal at United, the Premier League will see some great tacticians at work next season. It will be interesting to see who comes out triumph come to the end of the next season.
- The English media:
Conte will move to the Premier League for the first time in his career as a manager and he will learn a lot in the first full season at Stamford Bridge. The biggest challenge for Conte will be the way he handles the English media. The media in the UK is known to get under the skin of managers and this will surely effect Conte who is not known for his patience. He is an aggressive person by nature and his patience will surely be tested by the news outlets all around the country.
Do you think Conte can take Chelsea back to its best?