EPL 2016-17: Thibaut Courtois rates Antonio Conte as the best tactician ahead of Jose Mourinho and Diego Simeone
Chelsea have emerged from their last season's slumber and occupy the second spot in the Premier League, just one point behind leaders Liverpool. The main reason behind their rise has to be Antonio Conte whose disciplined yet fresh ideas have taken the Blues' football to a new level altogether. Thibaut Courtois has played under a number of world class managers and recently rated Conte as the best manager that he has played under.
The Blues were struggling at the start of the new campaign but a tactical change from Conte changed their fortunes. A change from 4-3-3 to 3-4-3 following a poor run of form enabled the Blues to start picking up points on a regular basis which included a thumping 4-0 win over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.
Conte ahead of Simeone, Mourinho and Wilmots
Courtois revealed the tactics used by Conte in the preseason and also talked about the different managers that he has played under. Speaking after Belgium's 8-1 win over Estonia, Courtois said, "Conte is the one that works most tactically. Then there is Diego Simeone, then Mourinho and finally Marc Wilmots."
Consecutive defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea made manager Antonio Conte rethink the system they were playing under and it seems to have worked wonders as the Blues are yet to concede a goal since reverting to a back three.
Arsenal loss sparked a change
Courtois revealed, "We started the season 4-3-3. We started well with three wins but then we drew 2-2 at Swansea and lost against Liverpool playing a bad game. That was also the case against Arsenal. Then Conte said, 'we will change'. At Hull, things were rather mixed at first and then against Leicester, Manchester United, Southampton and especially against Everton, we really saw the quality of the team."
On training under the Italian tactician, the Belgian added, "In pre-season, he tried the 4-2-4 but he saw that it was not working very well, so he went to 4-3-3 because he knew that Willian and Eden Hazard were strong in one against ones. But he found that too many avoidable goals were scored and decided to play safely by moving to three at the back. "
Eden Hazard is said to be the biggest beneficiary from Conte's arrival at the club as the winger is looking like his previous self which made him the best player in England two seasons prior. The player has himself revealed that a change in formation has been crucial in him returning back to his marauding best.
(Video courtesy: RoMarsh YouTube channel)
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