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Chelsea’s title win shows Conte is the Real Deal

The life of a modern football manager can sometimes be a thankless task. Get it right and the majority of the plaudits will go to the players. Get a few bad results and the buck usually stops with the manager. It is arguable that today’s media pundits are perhaps too quick to dismiss a manager’s influence on a team. Look at Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid. The Frenchman won the Champions League in his first season. On June 3rd, he has the chance to do what no other manager has done in the modern era – retain the Champions League trophy. The problem for Zidane is that he is not lauded as a hero, rather a steward for a collection of great players. You can learn more about the Champions League Final when you check out the latest football matches at William Hill.

Which brings us to Antonio Conte. The Chelsea manager arrived in London last year with a decent reputation, but would it be enough to satisfy a sceptical media? Three Serie A titles with Juventus and a steady tenure as Italy’s national coach was printed on his CV. However, the knives were already sharpened before his team had kicked a ball. After all, ‘anyone’ could win Serie A with Juventus and Italy had not actually won anything under his care.

He took over a Chelsea side that had limped to 10th place in the Premier League the previous season – their lowest position since Roman Abramovich bought the club. The early part of the season saw defeats from Liverpool and a heavy one from Arsenal. Chelsea were given no chance to catch early runaway leaders Manchester City.
The 3-0 Arsenal defeat was a watershed. The moment that Conte was able to step into the breach and make forge the team in his own image. He switched to three at the back, employing two-wing backs to maraud down the flanks. He unleashed Eden Hazard, giving the Belgian a free roll behind the fiery, but prolific, Diego Costa. To say the team was instantly transformed is an understatement. The team reeled off thirteen wins in a row, equalling a record for most in a Premier League season. The team was a juggernaut, who eventually powered their way to a well-deserved Premier League title.

Perhaps not since Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure at Manchester United has a Premier League side owed so much to the will of its manager. This Premier League season was heralded as the battle of the young European managers, with Klopp, Guardiola, Mourinho and Pochettino all spending huge amounts of money to improve their squads. But whereas the teams around them often resembled a group of talented individuals, Conte built Chelsea into a true team, one that seemed to offer more than the sum of its parts. Conte achieved this feat by playing the majority of players that had flattered to deceive in the previous season. The Italian should be held up as the epitome of a great modern manager.

Chelsea may find themselves in a strange position in the coming months. Abramovich, a man who demands instant success, has made a habit of sacking managers who have not constantly delivered. The irony is that it may be Conte who is the one making the demands. The football world has watched on as he delivered a masterclass this season. Would the Italian turn down the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona should they ask? Will he return to his native Italy to rebuild one of the Milan sides? Conte has made himself ‘the Don’ of English football, Premier League fans should enjoy his work while they can.

Norvelyn, a fresh Political Science graduate from Saint Louis University, has brought her skills in writing. Her expertise in sports provides this site quality news.

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