What can Chelsea fans expect from Antonio Conte?

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Football News

With Antonio Conte set to take the reigns at Chelsea next season, we took a closer look at the charismatic Italian, what fans can expect and whether he can turn around their fortunes in the upcoming campaign.

The main question Chelsea fans will be asking this summer is will Conte implement his trademark 3-5-2 system on the Blues this season? The Italian used both 3-5-2 and 3-5-1-1 while in charge of Italy's impressive run to the quarter-finals of Euro 2016 and at Juventus.

It is fair to say that Chelsea do not currently possess the players to accommodate a 3-5-2 system. Conte would need to make a number of signings in order to play his preferred formation, most notably another striker, centre back and a more energetic wing back to replace Branislav Ivanovic.


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However, Conte is known for his tactical diversity in Italy and has played formations which best suit his player's ability and style. Before settling with 3-5-2, Juventus played: 4-2-4, 4-1-4-1, 3-4-3 and 4-3-3. Chelsea fans and owner Roman Abramovich will need to give their new manager time to find the system which best suits his new team.

Conte will be very aware of the recent fortunes of a back three/five in the Premier League. Roberto Martinez failed to effectively use it during spells with Wigan and Everton. Louis van Gaal also failed to turn around the fortunes of Manchester United by trialling the system and quickly resorted back to a more recognised four-man defence.

However, Southampton flourished playing three at the back under Ronald Koeman and enjoyed two back-to-back best-placed finishes in the Premier League. Conte's quick, direct passing and tireless work ethic amongst his players is not too dissimilar from Koeman's managerial philosophy.

The 46-year-old Italian started management from the bottom in Italy's third division back in 2006. Conte enjoyed large success while in the Serie B with Bari and Sienna, earning promotion to the top flight with both. His only experience of Serie A management before Juventus was with Atalanta in 2009 but resigned after just four months in charge due to threats from ultra fans and left them in 19th place.

With a war chest to spend at Chelsea, fans should not be surprised to see their club linked to the likes of 31-year-old Emanuele Giaccherini. Conte is known for his savvy signings and has acquired some of his most notable players on the cheap.

Both Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba were acquired on free transfers after being snubbed by their former clubs, meanwhile, Arturo Vidal, Stephan Lichsteiner, Kwando Asamoah and Carlos Tevez all joined Juventus for less than £10 million.

The man himself is one of the most interesting characters in football. Conte has been likened to Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson due to his man management, tactical astuteness and task-master style. The 46-year-old is passion personified and often seen berating his players from the touchline for a full 90 minutes.

In a notable incident at Juventus, Conte once called his team halfwits and banished them from the dressing room before a match after Gigi Buffon enquired about player bonuses. Pirlo even claimed that when Conte speaks his words "assault" you.

No matter what system Conte implements on Chelsea, his philosophy will remain the same. Fans can expect fast flowing football, with quick short passing in the midfield and accurate long balls up to the forwards. His sides are known for the width, with wing backs pushing high to support attacks but dropping alongside their defence to maintain a solid backline.

Conte will build his new team from the back and look to perfect his defensive line before anything else, much like Mourinho. While with Juventus and Italy Conte utilised Leonardo Bonucci as a playmaker from within the back three, dribbling into the midfield and playing long passes into the channels, however it looks unlikely he will be able to mould one of Chelsea's current centre-backs into a similar role.

Lecce-born Conte will demand high levels of physical fitness from his players and much of his sides' success has been down to the lung-busting performances from the likes of Claudio Marchisio, Vidal, Alessandro Florenzi and Antonio Candreva to name a few.

It will be interesting to see where Conte will position his midfield playmaker in the Premier League. In his previous roles, the Italian has been blessed with Andrea Pirlo and Danielle De Rossi so his standards will be very high.

Of Chelsea's current squad, Cesc Fabregas is probably the best suited to becoming Conte's main man. With energetic midfielders in front of him, creating space, the Spaniard will be able to have time to look up and accurately pick his pass, theoretically adding even more assists to his game.

The quicker Antonio Conte can put all of these pieces together, the quicker Chelsea can forget last season's horror show and get back to winning ways.

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