Chelsea have announced that Antonio Conte will take over the reigns of the Blues from next season, confirming the appointment on their website. Conte is currently the manager of the Italian National Team and will take over from Guus Hiddink, once Italy’s campaign in the 2016 Euros ends.
The London giants have endured a miserable season, with Jose Mourinho being sacked midway as the Blues hovered above the relegation zone, while Guus Hiddink has come in and stablized the ship, although Chelsea still find themsleves in 10th place in the table.
As such, Conte has a sizable task ahead of him to revitalize the defending Premier League champions. Here are 5 things we can expect from Antonio Conte’s Chelsea:
1) A revamped defence
John Terry in his prime was the very epitomy of the sort of defender Antonio Conte favours. However, the Blues legend hasn’t been the same this season, and with his contract winding down with Chelsea reportedly unwilling to offer him a new deal, Terry looks set to have left the club when Conte arrives in the summer.
In addition, given Chelsea’s absolutely abysmal form in defence, many expect that Conte will dip in to the transfer market to revamp Chelsea’s defence, with players such as Branislav Ivanovic and Baba Rahman facing the axe.
However, this ignores Conte’s history of eking out the best from his players, especially defenders. The best example of this very improvement would be the case of Leonardo Bonucci, part of Juventus’ miserly defence. The Italian defender credited Conte with his starring role, saying “I must say that Conte has really taught me a lot at a tactical level. If today I’m among the best players in Europe a good part of the credit lies with him.”
Thus, it is quite likely that Conte will stick to tactical advice to revitalize the same Chelsea defence that was rock solid when they won the league in 2014/15. Defenders such as Kurt Zouma and Baba Rahman, who possess all the raw materials but lack positional sense, will definitely profit from the former Juventus central midfielder known for his tactical nous and his ability to impart it to his players.