Chelsea aren't going to find it as easy as they think next year

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Earlier this year, Chelsea announced that Antonio Conte would become their 10th manager in 12 years, taking over from interim manager Guus Hiddink ahead of next season.

Although he is a manager who could have relative success in South-West London, it will be far from a straightforward job, especially from the start.

As teams like Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur have demonstrated this season, it's not all about money, it's not all about big-name players. It's about team spirit, the relationship with the fans, and playing for the badge on the front of the shirt and forgetting about the name on the back.


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This is something Chelsea have found difficult over the years, and one of the many things that ultimately cost them this term.

It's not as if Chelsea just need one or two players to bolster their squad, they need pretty much a complete overhaul of a team which has failed miserably this season. 

At the end of the 2014/15 season, after being so impressive for the entire campaign, you would struggle to be able to identify one position that they would need to improve in. 12 months later, and you could make a strong case for them needing at least three new defenders, a new central midfielder, an attacking midfielder who can change a game when their team isn't playing well, and at least one new striker. What a difference a year makes. But this will be far from simple.

First, they will have to identify the correct players. After the abysmal 2015 summer transfer window, where the likes of Papy Djilobodji and Radamel Falcao were brought in to 'improve their squad', a lot regarding transfer activity will need to change.

A club the size of Chelsea should be looking at bringing in Europe's most sought-after players. Those linked to the Blues at this current moment in time are the likes of Radja Nainggolan, John Stones, Paul Pogba, Gonzalo Higuain and Antoine Griezmann. Although these may not come off, Chelsea should try to be more ambitious and attempt to lure this type of calibre to Stamford Bridge. 

World class players don't just improve a team with their quality, they make the players around them play better, as the existing players would feel as if they need to up their game to match the 'new world class signing'.

Okay, so let's say Chelsea recruit well, and their squad is in good shape for the 2016/17 season. All seems rosey, doesn't it? Well, unfortunately not Chelsea fans. Look, we can't predict the future. For all we know, Conte, a manager unproven in the hardest league in the world, may miraculously bed in all of these players straight away and win the league in his first season. But, as demonstrated by Manchester United and Louis van Gaal, it isn't necessarily that easy.

Conte will first have to get his new look Chelsea side playing his way,which will take time, rise above all the egos, and ensure that all his new signings are fully adapted to the Premier League. This is far from a straightforward process, especially the last one, as Spurs' 'magnificent seven' signings of 2014 will tell you.

So as well as the problems Conte will face regarding a huge summer clear out, new signings and his style being transferred from the tactics board onto the pitch, a challenge from another team in London will certainly be a problem. No, not the usual early season optimism from Arsenal, which ends in what could only be described as a civil war between their fans, the new challenge is from the other team in North London, Tottenham.

At this moment, they obtain something that isn't currently being possessed by the usual challengers. Stability. A young, ambitious manager accompanied with a young, ambitious squad and a very ambitious chairman in Daniel Levy.

With a couple of new signings to bolster the squad accompanied by now having the much-needed experience of being in a title race, it could be said that in order to win the league, Chelsea and Conte will first have to finish above Mauricio Pochettino's men, which won't be easy.

Then again, in the summer of 2015, it seemed Chelsea only needed a couple of players to improve their squad, just like Spurs do now. It all sounds too familiar.

Maybe Chelsea will just rise from mid-table obscurity and win the league at the first time of asking under Conte's guidance.

Where do you see Chelsea finishing next season under Antonio Conte? Have YOUR say in the comment section below!

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