HomeEPL - TeamsChelseaChanges we might see from Chelsea & Conte in 2016-17

Changes we might see from Chelsea & Conte in 2016-17

Antonio Conte’s Italian side lit up the European Championships and looked on course to challenge for the victory before they were knocked out be Germany on penalties in the quarter-final. Chelsea fans would’ve been delighted to see the style of football that their new manager could bring to Chelsea and there’s a lot more optimism surrounding Stamford Bridge than there was at Christmas time. After a disappointing season, there’ll be lots of changes at Chelsea and we can expect to see some big decisions being made. Here’s just a few things that we might see happen down in London…

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The return of Eden Hazard

After one of the biggest drop in form, Hazard has shown flashes of his old self when representing Belgium at the European Championships. He went from being the PFA Player of the Year to arguably the PFA Flop of the Year in the space of 12 months so he’ll be looking to bounce straight back this season. There’s no question of the talent he possesses. He has great pace, balance and creativity and if he can play with freedom and composure, he’ll be a key player once again.

New faces

Chelsea are always looking to buy and with Roman Abramovich in charge, they have millions to spend. They’ve already announced the signing of Michy Batshuiyi from Marseille for over £30m and there will no doubt be a few more big names making their way to London.

Similarities with Mourinho and Conte

Although they’ll be a number of changes on the pitch, Conte’s personality has been mirrored with Mourinho’s on many occasions. The manager has a philosophy and demands full loyalty to his work; pushing his players to achieve by using goals from outside the club to drive them forward. He’s a feisty character who isn’t shy of making enemies with his opponents, like Mourinho, and he’ll always do his best to divert attention from the failures of his own team.

Direct football-playing style

Antonio Conte is a complex manager who can adapt his playing styles in a number of formations but he usually applies a more direct football style. Unlike Pochettino and Guardiola who will prefer possession football at Tottenham and Manchester City, the Chelsea man likes his side to use the wide players and feed the strikers early. Hazard and Oscar will play important roles in this and the pace and movement of Diego Costa will also be tested.

No bus parking

Although Conte’s team usually revolves around a solid defence, he likes his team to play high-pressing football when not in possession. He’ll ask a lot of his players in terms of work-rate and desire and he’ll expect the Chelsea players to squeeze the space out of the opposition. With the pacey players in Chelsea’s squad you can see how this would be effective and if he can get his team to perform to his standards, there’s no doubt Chelsea can be a handful.

A strengthened defence

Chelsea had a lot of problems at the back last season and it’s certainly an area Conte will address immediately. The Italian demands a solid defence – whether it’s a back four or a back three. With John Terry’s contract up in a year and Gary Cahill’s lack of form, there’s lots of room for improvement. Kurt Zouma may be given a leadership role in that back line but Conte may look to bring in some new signings to strengthen his defence. Chelsea have some good full-backs on offer but if the new manager opts to play with three at the back, like he did at Juventus, then he may be looking to bring in some more solidarity.

Desire

Last season Chelsea had everything to lose; they were the defending Premier League champions and had been dubbed as one of the strongest teams English football has seen in recent years. There were comparisons made with Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ of Arsenal and the ‘Class of 92’ from Manchester United. Perhaps the pressure got too much and ‘the Special One’s’ powers had finally failed. This season, they’ve got nothing to prove, they’re a team not expected to deliver and have been largely knocked out of the title race discussions by Leicester City and Tottenham who both provided exhilarating football last season. It’ll be a test of nerve but Chelsea fans recognise there are changes going to be made and Conte will need time to deliver the goods.

Emma Sanders
Emma Sandershttp://Emma-sanders.blogspot.com
Currently studying Journalism at Media City UK, I specialise in Sports Journalism and news writing. My favourite sports include football, tennis, hockey and cricket. This is reflected in my writing.
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