The Godfather Way : Paradise in London
Changing a team which is accustomed to a traditional four-man defence to Italian adopted three-man defence in PL was a huge risk to gulp. Much has been made of the defensive stability Chelsea have demonstrated since the decision was made to switch formation to 3-4-3. One thing is clear, Chelsea are now defending together as one. The Mastermind behind this success is none other than Antonio Conte .
After winning the Premier League in 2014-15 season , Who would have thought Chelsea will be of torrid tales of tragedy under Jose Mourinho ? It was a season where the outgoing champions of England embroiled themselves in sexism rows, transfer disarray, long summers, managerial upheaval and player power rearing its ugliest of heads culminated in the worst ever defence of the Premier League title, what can be said of Chelsea?
10th place. Trophy less. Gutless. Exiled from Europe. It’s quite damning, an indictment even. Therefore, Chelsea in 2015-2016 has been indeed nothing short of an uninspiring, dismal, despairing disaster.
Appointed as Chelsea Manager , Antonio Conte took the team into a whole new level .. Coming from SerieA, EPL is a different type of football and he's got to grips with the toughness of the Premier League, and the physicality of it. Without any doubt, Conte has been a revolution . He inherited the players likes of Cahill , David Luiz and Veteran captain Terry. Not only that , The Biggest acquisition of this year PL is Kante in Chelsea ! Agree or not , he has been phenomenal and Conte paired him with Serbian Matic . Deployment of Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses in wingback paid off . Eventually this plan helped wide midfielders , Now They are not required to track back . Hazard found a space to breathe in and play like he should have been and Costa has been sensational . There has been one aspect of this eleven match unbeaten run that stands out for everyone and that’s just - teamwork. Everyone can see the quality in the Conte's revitalised Chelsea squad .
Think back to Jose Mourinho’s time here at Chelsea and the demands he put onto his players. The likes of Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah, Andre Schurrle and Eden Hazard were all asked to remain wide, to play their part in a high block and to work hard defensively which as we all witnessed, was not their strong point by any stretch of the imagination. As a result, four of those five players now play their football elsewhere.
At that time, you always got the impression that the players when asked would state reluctantly that they were to track back or to do a job for the team. It never felt as though it was an idea that they openly bought into and accepted.
Step forward to the current day and if we take a look back at this Seventeen match run, you will see a marked difference in the approach of the players. Have a look at their pre and post match interviews and you will hear each of them talk about the team coming first, the team winning the game being the most important.
Chelsea fans have to be impressed with what has happened in the last few months or so. Antonio Conte has improved the defensive aspect and tactical awareness of our players in this run and looks as though he has found the perfect solution that suits them perfectly. Chelsea look solid, difficult to break down and a real threat for oppositions .
The decision to change formation to 3-4-3 is proving to be a masterstroke . David Luiz , Gary Cahill , Azpilicueta are anchoring the defence line . David Luiz and Gary Cahill organizing and leading the system from back and also providing some of the more incisive distribution along the lines of what fabregas used to do from midfield. David Luiz, a defender once described by Gary Neville as playing like he was controlled by a “10-year-old on a PlayStation,” suddenly looks assured at the heart of the defence. In theory , moments of madness still exists in his game and he is perfect in his imperfection . Antonio Conte deployed azpilicueta at center back from his natural full back position. Tackling , marking , reading of the game , stamina , strength , composure , concentration and communication skill with Victor Moses has helped the team . Although Gary Cahill made silly , impactful errors earlier in this season , now he seems to be settled down and leading the team in absence of Captain John Terry .
Signing Marcos Alonso turned out to be good thing , he proved everyone wrong and showed his abilities week in week out during these 12 wins . Switching to right wing back , Victor Moses , most unexpected player to be in the first team squad , has been a revelation . His Speed and direct running posing questions on offence and strength and stamina paying dividends on defence .
Conte was known for hard working and strong teams built around defensive and midfield strength . Securing N’golo Kante from Leicester was the best signing of this year Premier league ! With his all-action , speed , hardworking attitude and stamina Chelsea finally found composure . And Deploying Kante with Matic , gave Matic a sense of relief . Now Matic can attack or defend from his position as he has got a companion who will always be any place where no other players can run . The best thing about Conte is he gives chance to youngsters. Chalobah has finally given his opportunities and has proved to be capable in the First Team . Under Conte , Fabregas did not show up for starts which led many to believe , he has been forsaken . But Conte proved them wrong and played fabregas in Manchester City match and the result was imminent, 3-1 away victory. If given chance , fabregas can also assist players to get goals and help to get red card . Oscar has been disappointing and from prodigy to outcast , what an irony !
So far … Chelsea’s player of this season is Diego Costa. He is the leading goalscorer and It’s amazing to see how he is seen at Field these days, there is no sign of brute force , all you can see is Diego running for ball and scoring amazing goals week in week out . The Most Enjoyable treat for everyone in this season is Eden Hazard. Under Conte , Chelsea fans are getting to see Hazard magic . This is the best form that anyone could see so far. Last season had been traumatizing for him but this season surely has been a chance to prove himself and he has been doing it quite brilliantly ! Pedro has been a revolutionary figure under Conte. Benching last season’s best player Willian takes a great effort and Pedro is giving his best. Pedro’s more direct approach fits the system and Willian is also playing good recently after coming from the shock. This year Chelsea signed a social media all star oozing with talent , Belgian Michy Batshuayi. He started the season tremendously as a sub and made impact . Challenges are up for him in the coming matches .
The amazing scene of each Chelsea match is Conte! Antonio Conte stands at the edge of his technical area , shouts and directs every player to get their positions. He is so connected with the team and fans that we can see from his face during the match , Team scores a goal , you would see a lunatic running in joy and diving over fans to share the moment . Team concedes a goal or makes mistake , you can probably his shouts from your tv screen! That’s not it , Chelsea not only found a passionate coach but also got a guardian . It’s a very promising start if Conte is to persist with this new system.
The Italian’s changes worked well, despite a slow opening 45 minutes, and Hazard looks far more of a threat when he received the ball and dribbles towards defenders in his central position. The way Chelsea have been playing is quite direct and full of counterattacks.
Chelsea sit top of the league , 6 points ahead of Liverpool with 18 games played . Under Coach Antonio Conte , Chelsea have hit a truly rich vein of form . 12 wins in a row and average of 3 goals scored per against the likes of Manchester United , Everton and Southampton. Almost the midway of the season and with this winning streak , Chelsea are brimming with confidence and hope to win the league after a horrible title-defending.
Well, It is visible that Chelsea will be top of the league in the first half of this season and Here’s the question lies, “Can Chelsea continue this league run and win PL Under Italian Godfather- Antonio Conte ? ”
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