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Quarterly Report: the Evolution of Chelsea Under Conte

Quarterly Report: the Evolution of Chelsea Under Conte

Quarterly Report: the Evolution of Chelsea Under Conte

With an international break upon us, it’s a perfect time to look back on Chelsea’s first quarter of the season. Chelsea has undergone dramatic change and is unrecognizable from the team they were a year ago. We (the Chelsea faithful) sit one point off of Liverpool and have every reason to be optimistic. Antonio Conte has started to leave his stamp on our club. Our club’s culture is changing and the performances are improving with each passing week. It would be criminal to only give Conte credit – I believe his backroom staff deserves credit, as they all really seem to be getting it right!

Last season’s woes are what makes this season’s ascension so remarkable. Pundits and fans alike talked about how our squad had lost their confidence and their desire to win... These were the dire circumstances that Antonio Conte inherited when he became Chelsea’s first team head coach. Conte understands what it takes to be successful as he was a champion himself; the desire to work and win was engrained in his players early in the summer.

Conte Builds Belief

One of the key differences between our squad now and our squad a year ago is the unity. Last season we had 11 individuals playing on a team and this year we have one team comprised of 11 players that are in complete harmony. Conte has fostered an environment at the club that resembles a family. I believe these players are really beginning to love being around one another. 

I noticed after Hazard scored, he ran to the bench embracing Michy and Conte. Our squad’s attitude is as different as night and day. Last season, tension between players as well as players and management was visible. This is no longer an issue since our players really seem to be bonding and creating relationships with one another that transcend the field of play and are more substantial than just teammates.

Conte Simplified our Style

Conte has abandoned flair and replaced it with industrious play. Prior to Conte, our club’s creativity came from moments of brilliance via Fábregas, Oscar, or Hazard, while our only true source of goals was Diego Costa. Under Conte, Chelsea has stopped fielding players whose only contribution to the squad is creativity.

Players like Oscar and Fábregas have found themselves out of the starting 11 and they have been replaced by the tireless Kanté and Moses – two players who never stop moving – and are extremely hard working. Conte seems to reward players that are willing to do the dirty work, but also have enough technique to contribute offensively. He finds a place and use for misfits and castaways to turn them into world-beaters.

The Best Offense is a Good Defense

Our defensive stability has set up our offensive success. Our back 3 and wingbacks have been so strong. David Luiz is operating in the center. His job doesn’t include much man-marking; he is responsible for directing and providing cover defensively. Offensively, he has stepped into Fábregas’ old role of starting the ball out from the back. Luiz has been brilliant distributing the ball from the back as it forces the other team’s defense to always be alert and in a deeper position. Luiz is growing into a leader for a back 3 all while playing a position that seems tailored to his skill set.

What Other Have to Say

John Motson, affectionately known as Motty, has been calling football matches since 1971. Motty said Chelsea’s win over Everton was the, “best ever Premier League performance.” It’s exciting for Chelsea when somebody who’s seen as much football as Motty has says our club put in the best performance he’s ever seen. With Chelsea in their current form, there is no club that we couldn’t beat. Other squads may have more talent (Real, Barca, etc.), but I have yet to see a club play as a cohesive unit for as long as Chelsea has. To put this into perspective, Chelsea did not concede a league goal in the month of October. The last Premier League goal we conceded was on September 24th against Arsenal. At halftime, we switched to a back 3 and tested out our new formation… we haven’t conceded since. Exciting times Chelsea fans! Damn it feels good to be a Blue!

Question Time - What do YOU think?

I would like to engage you the readers to answer a question. Answer in the comments or tweet me @milesj1323:

What have you noticed about Conte’s Chelsea evolution? What has changed? Where can we improve?

Thanks for taking a look. As always, Up The Chels!!

Author: Miles J. Sarbacker

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