EPL 2016-17: Antonio Conte finds it incredible that someone like Victor Moses has been underestimated
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has taken a dig at previous Blues manager Jose Mourinho regarding how he overlooked the ability of Victor Moses. The Nigerian has enjoyed a re-invention of sorts after the Italian manager Conte realised the strengths he possessed and converted the rather floundering winger into a proper wing back.
Moses has, in a short space of time, become a surprise package this season, putting in a number of top performances for the Blues as the right wing-back after they switched to a 3-4-3 formation.
Conte said that he could see Moses’ ability early on in pre-season itself , “I could see his[Moses’] potential from the first days of the summer training camp,” said Conte. “Moses has important qualities: technique, physical strength, the ability to cover 70m of the pitch. I find it incredible that someone like him has been underestimated,” he added.
Since Moses entered the side and the switch to a back three happened, Chelsea have won six Premier League games on the trot and have not conceded any goals. The Blues have quickly gone to the top of the Premier League table and are leading the rest after their exceptional performances.
While Diego Costa and Eden Hazard have been the stand out performers for the Blues, Moses has been heralded for his role in the new system. While speaking about formation Conte said, “My starting choice was 4-2-4. I wanted to repeat the script of Bari, Siena and initially at Juve. Then we switched to 3-5-2 and finally we hit on 3-4-3 because it’s the best shape for this team.
“Ideas are the basis of our work, but you have to take the characteristics of the players into account. I’ve always considered balance a fundamental skill for a team. The two phases, offensive and defensive, are equally important and interact with each other. The first defenders are the strikers in terms of winning the ball back and the strikers often work on the movement of the defenders.”
While highlighting the importance of a good mentality within the club he said, “A winning mentality is in the cultural heritage of a club, you need people to keep it at high levels.
“You can’t be successful just based on history or trophies won, you need the daily contribution of the men who work at the club. A winning mentality means daily work, the way you deal with your opponents and the effort put into the smallest details.”
Victor Moses was signed from Wigan Athletic for 9 million pounds in 2012 and made 43 appearances during his first season under Roberto di Matteo and interim manager Rafael Benitez. However, once Jose Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge for his second spell, Moses was overlooked and loaned out to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham until Antonio Conte gave the 25-year-old his chance this season.
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