It's not been a bad season at all for Antonio Conte. Having only arrived in English football last summer, he appeared to make light work of bringing the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge at the first attempt, and could even make it a double when he leads his side out at Wembley against Arsenal in the FA Cup final.
He's made sure that the club have secured their return to the Champions League ahead of next term, and the expectations on him to deliver are all set to rise once again.
Expectations are part of what football is all about, and last summer the main expectation for the club would have been to avoid another calamitous campaign like the one they suffered in 2015/16.
Chelsea would have been hoping for an immediate impact from the passionate Italian, though he admits that at one point he felt that the title may have been just out of reach.
Earlier in the season while still finding his feet in English football, Conte's Chelsea took on today's opponents Arsenal after suffered a heavy 3-0 defeat.
It was a result that made Conte question whether the title was actually achievable and he admitted that at that point he would have happily settled for a top four finish rather than the big prize.
“It was very difficult to think about celebrating winning the league after the Arsenal defeat," he said per the Mirror.
“Honestly, that felt very difficult. Not impossible but, in that period, we had a lot of big problems to solve. To find the right solution quickly is not easy.
“You must be very good, very prepared, but also lucky in these circumstances. You must also have the players to give you the possibility to impose your ideas.
“At the start of the season, if you’d said we could qualify for the Champions League, I’d have signed for that. Then I found great players, and we were able to change our season.”
After that, Conte changed the the Blues' formation to a 3-4-3 and then went on a record equalling 13-match unbeaten run while the Gunners eventually fell out of the top four altogether.
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