They did it again – trophy number 5 is a fact.
It’s been an interesting journey for Chelsea because winning a trophy a season is a must. Conte came in and everyone thought he was going to play a very defensive game, not much different to the style of Mourinho. And that was myself included because I know the tradition of the Italians is enforcing a defensive that’s unbeatable.
I know defending is an art but I love to add goals to that. He implemented the new system of 3 defenders, wingback, two holding midfielders and freedom for the front 3 from the begin of the season. The only problem he was dealing with was that he had a lot of players that had to adjust to the fact he was stepping away from the old system of 4-3-3 that had brought so much glory to Chelsea in the Mourinho days.
The season started with a similar system of Mourinho but when they got outclassed by Arsenal the alarm bells started ringing and there was no time to get used to the new system. Conte’s 3-4-3 had to start there and then, and he would only revert to the old system if it would suit the situation. What he’s done to the players is make them more disciplined and responsible, as well as given them freedom. Those three were key and were what he kept repeating from the technical area.
His team started playing some great football. Everything was set and some players started to shine again. Hazard was back to his best, Kante showed why he’s the key in this system and Fabregas used his intelligence either from the start or the bench when the team wasn’t playing well.
We can go on about the likes of Moses and Luiz playing their best football, while Costa wasn’t just out there looking for red cards but solely to score goals. After Arsenal they had another big moment in the season against Manchester City. They had to show they could bounce back from losing the previous game. When they did that I was like if people weren’t sure they were going to win it they were now.
Man Utd found a way to stop them by man marking Hazard, and that will happen again but that just shows how good the Belgian is. It will only make him better because I’m sure after the game he must have thought I couldn’t unlock myself but next time I’ll be ready, and that’s what we saw against Everton.
They asked me before the game if I thought they were going to win the title against West Brom on Radio 5 and I said for sure. The mindset of Conte is so strong that it’s all about winning and not looking for draws. That’s why Inter Milan wants to do whatever it takes to bring him home again. But he has started something very beautiful in London and I don’t think it will make sense to go to Inter and play clean up before he can start making them shine too.
I have enjoyed this season and I want to thank all of my fans for talking about this beautiful game online and in person.
Congratulations to all my fellow blues. Now it’s all about the FA Cup, and trust me, Conte wants nothing more than the double. Next season I can bet you the Champions league is the only thing that would make him sit on his bench for more than just a minute because that man has some energy!
N’Golo Kante will be a great addition to the Chelsea squad.
Every team would want a player who knows how to break down opponents and influence the counterattack as well as Kante does. After an amazing season at Leicester he said that moving to Chelsea, with a manager as brilliant as Conte and world class players, was an easy decision to make.
He will have learned a lot from Ranieri. His teams are about studying the opponent, finding their weaknesses and capitalising on them, and I’m sure Kante will bring that philosophy to the Chelsea team. He can bring balance to the team, and hold everyone together when the team is under pressure.
It’s always a good sign when a midfielder-come-coach wants you in his team, and especially when that man is Conte, who is a true leader and demands the best of everyone around him, as he did as a player and now from the sidelines. It will be interesting to see if Antonio can squeeze even more out of N’Golo.
Kante is maybe a more quiet type of player, sometimes seen as the unsung hero because he’ll do his job while others run away with the glory. At Leicester the success was due to the whole team’s effort, but it was the likes of Vardy and Mahrez getting the headlines with their goals and exciting attacking play.
Vardy has chosen to stay at the King Power stadium, but there are rumours that Mahrez might be on his way out too. Will Leicester react similarly to Southampton, and keep building on what they started, or will they crumble and get caught in a relegation battle?
It will be an important season for Chelsea because no Champions League football will feel strange after being in it for so many consecutive years. This season is one that can’t repeat itself, so we’re looking for a better start and hoping that the blues can come out of the pre-season better, fitter and sharper than the last one.