Antonio Conte hasn’t done a bad job in the Premier League, has he?
Since inheriting the role of Chelsea manager last summer, the Italian has propelled the Blues to an FA Cup final and the league title. You’d be hard pressed to review the season as anything short of an overwhelming success.
What makes the achievement all the more impressive is just how poor Chelsea were as little as a year ago. After all, Conte has lifted the west London side from the ignominy of a tenth place to the dizzying heights of top spot.
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While nobody doubted his managerial prowess nor the strength of his team, Chelsea weren’t fancied for the title. Manchester United and Manchester City proved the favourites but, ultimately, couldn’t match Conte and co.
Furthermore, the 47-year-old reached such achievements without any great upheaval in the transfer window. United broke the bank for Paul Pogba and Chelsea kept the faith with Victor Moses, the rest is history.
So, what is the secret to Conte’s success – the signing of N’Golo Kante or rejuvenating Eden Hazard?
Well, one man who is very much entitled to an opinion on the matter proves Frank Lampard. The 38-year-old is the Blues’ all time top scorer, after all.
The ex-midfielder greatly emphasises the role of passion and belief. This is certainly a trait of Conte’s with the coach often seen wildly celebrating goals on the touchline, crowd surfing and even swinging from the dugout.
He did, also, make an interesting and perhaps controversial comparison to Jose Mourinho, however.
His full comments, as per the Mirror, can be seen below:
“The job Antonio Conte has done is different class. When Jose came into the club, he took over a team of boys and turned us into winners.
“Antonio inherited a squad that had won the league two years before but were on a real downer, but he has done a similar job to Jose in many ways.
“They both brought an organisation to Chelsea, instilled a winning mentality, brought passion to their teams. Now the big test is for Chelsea to go again next year.”
As unique of a viewpoint as it is, Lampard certainly has a point. Instilling hunger and fight into the squad was a trait of Mourinho’s management at the club too and only when this fizzled out last season did the wins begin to dry up.
The bottom line is that both reaped great benefits from the method. So while Conte may not have been consciously imitating his predecessor, replicating his methods have certainly not done him any harm.
Of course though, there are a number of fundamental differences. It’s hard to see Mourinho taking a gamble with players such as Moses or having the bravery to introduce the 3-4-3 to the Premier League.
Either way, however, both Lampard and Conte have great reason to celebrate with Chelsea now confirmed as champions. If Mourinho follows suit with Europa League success then at least he too can finish the season with silverware.
Do you think Chelsea will retain the Premier League title next season? Have YOUR say in the comment box below
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