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Juventus

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Simone Zaza moved to Serie A club Juventus last summer but has only managed 4 starts since his arrival.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is willing to let the player leave, but only for the right price. Which is said to be around £24m.

According to Talksport, Chelsea, Arsenal, AC Milan and Roma are interested in signing the 24-year-old.

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Thierry Henry thinks that Antonio Conte won’t be worried to speak his mind and then he will probably be brutally honest with Chelsea’s players.

The Frenchman worked under Conte when he was at Juventus, before he joined Arsenal in 1999.

Henry wrote in his column for Sun on Sunday: “Chelsea’s players had better be prepared for some painful home truths when Antonio Conte arrives at Stamford Bridge, because that’s exactly what they’re going to get from their new manager.”

“Andrea Pirlo revealed that the first thing Conte said to the Juventus players when he was appointed as their coach in 2011 was: ‘When are you going to stop being so s***?'”“Well, I don’t know if he’ll use exactly the same words at the Bridge but the sentiments will be identical because it’s astonishing how poor Chelsea have been this season.”

“I still don’t believe it was right to sack Jose Mourinho because he was entitled to be given the benefit of the doubt for one average campaign after all he had done for the club. But you can be sure that Conte will hold the players to account for their shortcomings and he won’t spare anyone’s feelings in his analysis of what has gone wrong.”

 

 

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Giuseppe Andriani in an Italian journalist who followed Antonio Conte throughout his experience at Juventus.

He know his philosophy and his style on the pitch really well, so we asked him to tell us what Chelsea fans can expect from him, why he was so important for Juventus and what is his tactical credo. Here it is what he told us.

Antonio Conte raised up Juventus after the Serie B experience and some very bad seasons between 2007 and 2011, he opened a winning cycle that today, with evolution and improvement, still goes on.

He took charge of a team that finished two seasons in a row at Serie A seventh place and took them to win the title.

He built that side from nothing, from the ruins of the previous disastrous managers’ spells.

What he will find at Chelsea is similar of what he found at Juventus. The significant difference is that, today, he arrives to Chelsea with another kind of reputation, a better reputation: he won everything with Juventus in Italy and he also managed to coach the Italian national team, a choice that later he regretted a little bit.

When he arrived to Juventus he was the personal bet, then won, of the chairman, Andrea Agnelli.

He arrived to the Bianconeri as a 442 integralist, that he used at Bari and Siena. He wanted to sign Eljero Elia because his idea was to play with two wings, that could help in defense when the team had no ball possession. He changed his mind after the pre-season, deciding to play with 443.

Also this idea lasted a few months, about three: Conte played a fundamental game in Napoli with 352, it was a really important game for Juventus, who came back and won with this tactical system and the Italian manager never stopped to use it since there.

When the team has no ball possession they defend with 4 players, with one the wingers that goes back to help the defenders, and when the team got the ball a 334, with the wingers to attack depth or the central defenders and midfielders to show up in the attack zone.

Conte uses the same tactical system with Italy, playing the same defenders he got at Juventus: Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini. Without them, especially Bonucci, probably Conte would change his tactical system again.

If we analyse his figure outside of the tactical systems, Conte is a very gutsy and leathery coach.

He has not got Guardiola‘s aplomb, but he’s got a great charisma and he’s got this huge ability to transmit this passion and energy to his own players. His Juventus won a league win 102 points, so the word “relax” is not in his dictionary.

He likes to have the game in control and his teams start to play from the defense. His playing style is not tiki-taka, but the team control the game with a great ball possession starting form the defense, to arrive to other side box through the wingers.

He will probably ask to sign a central defender able to start the playing, and probably a midfielder playmaker.

Antonio Conte is a smart coach, and he won’t try to just reproduce what he did at Juventus at Chelsea.

He will probably have the confidence and the trust to bring back Chelsea where they belong, at football top levels, also in Europe. He never got that kind of trust from the club at Juventus. And he never showed to be a top manager in European competitions until now.

But in Serie A he was a smart coach, able to adapt to any situation, with lots of energy and good tactical ability. For these reason Chelsea made a really good deal.

 

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pogba
Pogba stayed at Juventus last summer but hinted an exit soon

Daily Express has no doubts that Chelsea are will try to place a shocking bid to Juventus to sign their star Paul Pogba: the Blues and Antonio Conte want to offer Willian and Oscar to get the French midfielder.

Chelsea are really keen to sign Pogba, that’s why they are ready to sacrifice their two Brazilian stars.

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The Daily Mail claimed Conte has Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal on top of his shopping list. It is understood he said: “I’d take Vidal too. He’s an amazing player, he has extraordinary physical and technical attributes, if I get to coach him a little more it’d be fantastic. I want him in all my teams.”

Anyway Vidal has admitted it would not be eager to leave Bayern Munich because he is ‘happy’ in Germany.

“I’m very happy here” he told BioBio.

“I’m winning important things and I have to think about my family too. But I’m very happy here and still have much of my contract left.”

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Ex Italian striker Fabrizio Ravanelli knows Antonio Conte very well since they were team-mates at Juventus in late 90s: they won a couple of Italian titles and a Champions League together and they remained friends throughout these years.

Ravanelli also coached Juventus youth teams for two years when Conte was in charge at Bianconeri, and also helped him in his experience in the Italian national team, so he knows his way of working really well.

That’s why The Sun asked him an opinion about new Chelsea manager and what he can bring to the West London side:

“Chelsea have made the right choice if they want to win back the Premier League,” Ravanelli told to the English newspaper.

“I think, under Conte, it’s a guarantee.

He is one of the most meticulous managers in the world – but also a fighter.

“He demands professionalism. He is meticulous – especially on tactics. Chelsea have made a great decision.

“But when he did start his new career — even if he had endured some difficult times — you could see he was going to be successful.

“He always had a great determination. He always had a willingness to make it to the top — and that shows in his incredible rise.

“He won promotions, he won three league titles in a row. He’s an extraordinary boss.”

Conte doesn’t have a great score in the Champions League: his best result is a quarter final in 2013, when Juventus was knocked out by future champions of Europe, Bayern Munich, and was even kicked out at the group stage in the following edition, after a controversial defeat in Turkey against Galatasaray.

Ravanelli claimed he is sure Conte will success in the major European competition too:

“He has always said that, having won it as a player, he wants to win it as a manager.

“No, he will win it as a manager.

“I think in his future there will be a Champions League victory and I hope for him it’s with Chelsea,” Ravanelli concluded.

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Antonio Conte made a surprise visit yesterday travelling to Cobham training ground along with Chelsea sporting director Michaeal Emenalo.

The Italian manager wanted to meet the players and he was supposed to have watched to training.

Conte will have to make important decisions on the squad next summer, in fact some players are not sure to stay: Eden Hazard has got offers from PSG and Real Madrid and with Chelsea not taking part to next Champions League a huge income from his sale would be great for FFP, so the club could invest some more money to revamp the squad.

Thibaut Courtois is in a similar situation and after what he said last week a move from him wouldn’t be so strange. He has been targeted by Real Madrid and PSG too.

Diego Costa is wanted by Atletico Madrid, who dream about his return, but the Colchoneros chairman stated that his a tough negotiation and Conte would like to keep him.

John Terry still doesn’t know if he will remain or not, and he is in talks with the board. Conte would like to keep him too to have a leader in the dressing room to help him with his delicate job.

Nemanja Matic is set to leave after he got a small playing time in this season, especially after Guus Hiddink took charge, so the Conte had to decide on his future too since Chelsea invested £ 25m two years ago to bring him back from Benfica, an effort that was in part repaid last season where Matic was fundamental in the title race with impressive performances on Fabregas‘ side.

Chelsea also got interesting youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Bertrand Traore, Jake Clarke-Salter or Kenedy and, of course, Conte want to realise if they are really ready to be part of the first team squad for next year.

It won’t be an easy job for the Italian manager, that’s why he’s starting to work now for next season: he wants to bring Chelsea back to glory, as he did with Juventus four years ago.

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It’s now been nearly 24 hours since Italian manager Antonio Conte was announced as the next Chelsea boss. But what will he have to change at Stamford Bridge to bring back success?

Conte won three consecutive Serie A titles at Juventus between 2011-2014 during which he amassed the highest points total of any team in Serie A history in the 2011/12 season. Having taken over from the club when they finished just 7th in the league.

Having taken over the Italian national team and qualified them for Euro 2016 unbeaten, winning seven and drawing three he will lead the team to France this summer before making his switch to London.

But the job at Stamford Bridge could well be Conte’s biggest challenge. Having never managed in England before, he will be under the microscope with an extremely talented squad and, I’m sure, plenty of money to spend. So how does he bring the good times back to West London?

Give John Terry a new deal

Chelsea captain John Terry has been the clubs talisman for the last 15 years. Being captain during the most successful period in the clubs 111 year history. He has been starting nearly every game he’s been fit for this season, and is still obviously one of the club’s best centre backs currently.

It would make no sense to get rid of John Terry. Even if the former England captain isn’t seen as a first team regular under Conte, his role in the dressing room would be key to any success Chelsea were to have. His experience and know how on the big Champions League and Premier League games would be key for the next 2-3 years at least.

Build a spine

When fellow Italian Carlo Ancelotti took over at Stamford Bridge in 2009 from interim boss Guus Hiddink the Blues had a very strong spine to their team. Cech, Terry, Cole, Lampard and Drogba who went on to win countless trophies including the Champions League. This was the catalyst to Chelsea’s success over the last decade. Now only one of those players remains.

Chelsea have a strong squad of young players. There is the potential for a great spine there. Courtois, Zouma, Fabregas, Hazard, Costa. You can change some of those names, but essentially those are Chelsea’s best players in their respective positions. With Chelsea in a sense of transition, the club will need to build a team around these players in the hope they will stay without Champions League football next season.

Sort out the current squad before identifying new signings

With over thirty first team players out on loan and an incredible youth setup to his disposal, Antonio Conte needs sort through plenty of players before even attempting to make any new signings. Yes investment may be needed but it will be difficult to attract the top players without Champions League football. Therefore identifying those players who can really improve the team from within will be vital.

As discussed in my previous article, loan players such as Patrick Bamford, Nathan Ake, Juan Cuadrado and many more could well improve this current squad of players. Youngsters such as Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Baba Rahman and Kenedy who have had a taste of first team football will have even more to prove to the new manager.

There are plenty of players out of form, such as Matic, Hazard, Oscar and Remy. Conte will need to decide who will stay, who goes and most importantly, who will replace them.

There is a lot of work for the Italian man to do. But with a talented squad of players at his disposal and the backing of the board in summer, he could well turn this club around. Let’s face it, it can’t get any worse then this season surely?

 

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Antonio Conte‘s lawyer, Leonardo Cammarata, spoke about the judge request of six months jail sentence for match fixing for his client, a request that was formalized this morning by the Court of Cremona, head of the trial in Italy.

His legal team have ruled out a plea bargain in the trial though Cammarata has described the protracted process as “a nightmare”.

Conte missed fifteen of Juventus’ Serie A matches and six Champions League games because of the suspension in from August 2012 to December 2012.

“He is very tired of it,” Cammarata said.

“It has been a nightmare, completely crazy. We are convinced he is innocent and asked for this trial to be fast-tracked because we did not want a long and boring trial which would turn into a TV show at a time when he wants to concentrate on his football.”

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There are many chances for an intense negotiation between Chelsea and Juventus in the summer.

Paul Pogba is always on Blues’ wishlist but Bianconeri are not willing to sell him; though they expressed an interest in signing the Chelsea midfielder and Brazilian international Oscar and, according to Tuttosport, Beppe Marotta would be ready to fork out £24m for the 24-year-old during.

The same newspaper claims that Antonio Conte wants to revamp Chelsea’s midfield and Oscar may not be included in the Italian’s future plans, then Serie A champions remain interested in signing him and appear to be contemplating a potential move this summer.

 

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