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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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Chelsea current manager Guus Hiddink praised new Blues head coach Antonio Conte, that was appointed earlier this week by the London club to start to work next summer after he will finish his experience at EURO 2016 with Italy:

It’s joy for the club when you look at his records, he made a good spell at Juventus, wining the title in Italy.

“Chelsea is always a big job, regardless the issues Chelsea had this year, you always have the pleasure to manage a club a like this.

“He was presented on Monday, he requested if he could come and meet the players and I didn’t do any obstruction on this. 

“I had a short meeting with him about football, about Italy, about what we did in the past months. As I said, if they need me I am here.

“If I give him advice, I won’t do it here.”

Hiddink also spoke about the power of Conte to attract new players without big competitions like Champions League for next season:

“It depends on the project, if you can provide the players a plan for the future there might be some attraction.

“Of course the CV of a manager can also attract the players, and Conte got a good CV.”

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Guus Hiddink press conference ahead of Swansea game away:

CONTE – “It’s joy for the club when you look at his records, he made a good spell at Juventus, wining the title in Italy.

“Chelsea is always a big job, regardless the issues Chelsea had this year, you always have the pleasure to manage a club a like this.

“He was presented on Monday, he requested if he could come and meet the players and I didn’t do any obstruction on this. 

“I had a short meeting with him about football, about Italy, about what we did in the past months. As I said, if they need me I am here.

“If I give him advice, I won’t do it here.”

EDEN HAZARD’S FUTURE –It’s rather easy to answer for me on Hazard‘s future,  because I am not responsible, you have to ask to people in charge. It’s not good for me to speak about the future.”

TERRY’S FUTURE – “Once more if I had something to say, I would do it directly.

INJURIES – Terry is not available, he was on the pitch training but not available. Diego Costa, Matic and Remy are out. Nevertheless we bring some youngsters as we did last week.

“I don’t know when Remy will recover, but (his injury) it’s a groin problem.

“We’ll see who will play up front tomorrow, you will see tomorrow because we still have to train and the players themselves don’t know who will play yet.

Cahill‘s fitness… we’ll see this afternoon, he got a little tendon injury in his hip side. 

Matic got an injury in his lower leg, a severe contusion. I think he might be available next weekend.

LAST 7 GAMES – “We know the club is not in the place it deserves to be, we will do everything to get a place to play in Europa League.

EMENALO’S FUTURE“I don’t have any comment about that, we’ll see the future and the future plans you have to ask to people that will be here in the future.”

CHELSEA’s RUN under HIM – “We were very happy to get out of relegation zone in a fast period, like six weeks, and we got in a safe zone, but overall we are not in a zone standing for Chelsea’s standards. It’s much value if you see what we achieved from December, we have been one of the teams top of the table since there.

HIS FUTURE – “I’d love to be every day with the guys, especially the youngsters, the U21, for me it’s always a challenge to see where these guys can go. I will not do anything on a daily base. I am not young anymore.

DIFFERENCES with 2009 – “When I came in 2009 there was a little transition but by that time the team was formed, regarding the personality, we had Terry, Lampard, Ballack, Essien, Drogba, Cech…now it’s different, it’s not easy. 

CHELSEA’s APPEAL for FUTURE PLAYERS – “It depends on the project, if you can provide the players a plan for the future there might be some attraction.

“Of course the CV of a manager can also attract the players, and Conte got a good CV.

UNBEATEAN RECORD in PL – “I don’t chase the unbeaten record in the PL. I prefer to risk young players, I risk a defeat, but I prefer them to get some experience in the Premier League. If you bring youngsters in very experienced teams, it’s better for them. I prefer this to have unbeaten record, but I like the record as well.

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konstantinos manolas

Chelsea have held talks with Roma about signing defender Kostas Manolas, according to Sky Sports.

Sky Sport Italia say the centre-back is wanted by newly-appointed Blues head coach Antonio Conte.

The Greece international moved to Roma from Olympiacos in 2014 and impressed in these two years in Serie A.

Chelsea need to revamp their defense since they are not sure to keep John Terry at the end of this season and they are not sure when, and in which conditions, they can Kurt Zouma back after his serious knee injury, but it won’t be easy for the Blues to negotiate with Roma, that are keen to keep the Greek defender.

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Football pundit Graeme Souness believes that Conte has a very difficult job with Chelsea next year and they could face another up and down season.

Antonio Conte will join Chelsea after he has taken Italy to the European Championships in France this summer, he will replace current interim boss Guus Hiddink, who is unbeaten so far this year after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho in December.

Souness told sky sports that it will be tough to attract good players to Stamford Bridge without being in the Champions League next year.

“I think he’s got a monster job on now, Chelsea this year have been disappointing to say the least.

“They started as champions and never really got going. When Guus Hiddink come in you thought all their problems would be solved but they weren’t. They’ve been up and down all season, even with the lift a new manager gives you.

“I think Jose saw the writing on the wall, he knew he had been lucky to win the league last year, he must have driven them, cajoled them, bullied them, to get to that point to win it, and at the start of the season he wanted more players and better players, and for some reason he didn’t get them.

“That must have been the reason he fell out with whoever he ended up falling out with, and that would include the players. Looking back, Jose was right, because that group were not good enough to go and retain the title this year.

“Conte coming in, unless he can go out and buy some real quality, it will be another up and down season for Chelsea.”

 

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Pedro Pablo Pasculli shared the dressing room with Antonio Conte at Lecce, the side of new Chelsea manager native city, in the late 80s. Meanwhile he was sharing another dressing room, the one of Argentina national team, with one of the greatest footballer in history: Diego Armando Maradona, with whom he won the World Cup in 1986 in Mexico.

Now Pasculli is a manager, like Conte, and he’s currently in charge at Jumilla, a Spanish third division side.

He is still friend with the Italian coach, they meet whenever their job duties allow them in Italy, so he knows the new Blues manager really well.

We reached him to have an opinion of the new Chelsea boss and what the Blues fans can expect from him:

“I think Chelsea made the right choice appointing Conte, because he’s got a strong character, what he learnt on the pitch when he was playing was then transmitted to his players.

“He demands 110% from the players, from everyone, so I guess he will do a good job in England because of this. English football is tough, very energetic, it’s really focused on physical strength and his sides always played this way, with long balls and a lots of playing on the wings. He’s got the right approach for English football.

“His football is really different from the one of Pep Guardiola, that prefers fast ball possession ( tiki taka). The Spanish manager risks to have issues if he doesn’t adapt a little bit to English style.

“Conte is a great motivator, he demands a lot, I agree with people that compare him to José Mourinho, that is really able to motivate the players, the people that surround him and the fans, and he’s also able to control the press.

“Antonio will do well because he knows he has to give 100% to become popular and respected also out of Italy.

“Next year he won’t play in the Champions League, but this can be a little advantage for him because he has to build a team to compete in the Premier League title race so to qualify again for the Champions League. It would be a problem for Chelsea to not qualify for two years in a row, so he knows he has to do well, I hope he can resist there for at least a couple of years.

“It’s also a personal challenge for him, to do better in the Champions League where he was not very successful in the two seasons with Juventus,  and I think he’s got the strength to do it.

“On the language barrier: I guess he studied English in these months, because he has been in contact with Chelsea for a while, they have been negotiating for months.  Maybe at the beginning he can have some little issues for team speeches, because on the touchline you don’t have to use many words to give directions, but he is a really smart guy, he was also attending the university when we played together in Lecce, and I am sure he prepared himself at his best for this experience.”

Conte and Pasculli when they were playing together at Lecce in the late 80s
Conte and Pasculli when they were playing together at Lecce in the late 80s

 

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Former Juventus midfielder and Italian International star Andrea Pirlo spoke recently about the new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

“The man”he said“can be a beast, a dressing room when he is angry is one of the most dangerous places you can be. I have been in his dressing room at half-time when we have been winning, but he comes in and will be throwing full bottles of water around because of a mistake we made, or because he feels we should be further ahead.”

Then added: “When Conte speaks, his words assault you. They crash through the doors of your mind, often quite violently and settle deep within you.”

conte pirlo

About Conte’s way of life: “His life is football. I know he is up until 3-4am in the morning, studying videos, looking at errors, ­studying the opposition of the next game. He has two wives – Elisabetta and football.”

“I even know he will turn on the bedroom lights in the middle of the night because he has thought of something he needs to write down – you will not find a more understanding woman than her.”

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Ex Chelsea player David Luiz spoke after PSG Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain and gave his opinion about the recent appointment of Antonio Conte as next Blues manager:

“He can be happy there. He is a great coach and Chelsea is a team with a great talent. It’s a great chance for him.

On the game, he said:

“I first came on the ball, then there was a contact, so it was a penalty.

“Despite the 2-2 we still believe in the qualification.

“My ban? I am not happy about the yellow card, but I couldn’t do it in a different way, the booking conditioned my game.”

 

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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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