1Awaiting the Appointment of Antonio Conte
Weeks of speculation surrounding who is going to replace interim boss Guus Hiddink seems to be coming to a close with Antonio Conte days away of being announced as the new Chelsea boss.
The former Juventus man announced on Tuesday that he would step down as the Italy manager paving the way to take over at Stamford Bridge after the European Championships. He lead Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles and that is one of many reasons why Chelsea fans should get excited ahead of next season.
He is very versatile in terms of his formation and the way he sets his team up too play. Conte usually varies between the 3-5-2 formation and 4-3-3 which could work well if he were able to get the right players in during the summer transfer window.
His own style of play translates to how he manages and wants his team to play. Quick, energetic and versatile sounds familiar to the 3-5-2 formation doesn’t it?
This would be a breath of fresh air for the Chelsea players and fans who have seen their team employ the 4-2-3-1 formation over the past years. This would therefore see Chelsea play a more attacking game which hasn’t been seen very much in the past few months.
Recent reports have seen Conte compared to Jose Mourinho in terms of how he runs the club and the way he goes about his business. A no-nonsense policy which would immediately stamp Conte’s authority on the club, he is renowned for his in depth planning of fixtures, analysis of the game and for anyone who doesn’t buy into his philosophy you haven’t got much hope of having a Chelsea career for much longer.
He is also a born winner on and off the pitch and if he could transfer this into the players it could be a successful season for the men in blue.
2The Summer Transfer Window.
No doubt fresh faces are needed in every transfer window but this Chelsea squad needs a huge overhaul. An extremely disappointing season is nearing the end and Chelsea are seeming to end up without a trophy which Roman Abramovich will be furious at. One of a few owners who actually cares massively about the club and will surely want his team to improve.
Firstly outgoing players include Loic Remy who isn’t trusted by any manager, Eden Hazard who’s head is somewhere else and clearly doesn’t want to be a Chelsea player any longer. Oscar who flatters to deceive every season and many fans get extremely frustrated watching him.
Another is Baba Rahman who apart from having a good game away against PSG has been disappointing since joining and his physicality lets him down. Therefore maybe a loan move would benefit him and the club more. If Chelsea can coup 100m between them players along with the money Abramovich gives Conte it could be an exciting window.
Most importantly keep John Terry! Even if he is a squad player his leadership and stature is crucial. 3-5-2 is widely tipped to be Conte’s favoured formation and therefore needs to bring in the right players. Loan players will also come back into the reckoning, Nathan Ake who has had an impressive season with Watford deserves a chance in the first team squad.
Juan Cuadrado will also be back and he will be vital in Chelsea’s plans as he can be employed as the wing back or even behind the strikers. Talks of Andreas Christensen’s loan being cut to just one year would be good news for Chelsea as he can play anywhere across the back 3.
Conte will surely being eyeing up the Serie A for players too bring with him, unfortunately for Chelsea one of the best Paul Pogba would be extremely tough to get and with no European football that prospect will be even tougher.
Central defence is area in which Chelsea need to improve in, Leanardo Bonacci who Conte enjoyed a great relationship with at Juventus has to be top of the list; a fearless ball playing centre back would be a great addition.
John Stones who Chelsea were chasing all last summer is still on their radar and again another ball playing centre back and a replacement for John Terry if Chelsea decide to let the great man leave.
Energetic midfielders such as Radja Nainoggolan and Miralem Pjanic are being closely looked at it and would fit right into Conte’s philosophy. So that’s defence and midfield targets looked at it, now the attack and this is huge if Hazard and Oscar were to leave.
James Rodriguez of Real Madrid is now seen as realistic target as he isn’t getting the first team football week in week out he wants and this is the same as his Madrid teammate Isco. Both attaching midfielders who play behind the striker and will create plenty of chances for the strikers.
Loic Remy looks as though he will be sold in the summer along with Alexandre Pato and Radamel Falcao who’s loan spells will end both of which have been unsuccessful. Even though we haven’t seen Pato play he is deemed as ‘un match fit’ another ludicrous decision by the board to sign him.
That means this will Chelsea have only 2 team first team strikers Diego Costa who again needs to be rejuvenated by Conte and Bertrand Traore who has impressed scoring 4 goals since Hiddink brought him into the team. Edinson Cavani seems extremely frustrated at PSG and Chelsea can offer him first team football by employing the new formation with two up front. A goalscorer who would provide great support for Diego Costa.
Another is Alvaro Morata who’s performance against Bayern Munich in the second leg has everyone talking. A quick powerful striker who is destined to succeed in the premier league but will not be cheap, but with the money being spoken about surely he is a target who Chelsea can explore.
Finally Zlatan Ibrahimovic a free agent in the summer, has won trophies in every country but England for two years he is surely worth a punt. Chelsea clearly need a massive overhaul of the squad to drastically improve this seasons performances and the summer transfer window is the perfect opportunity to do so.
3No European Football
With the Champions League seeming to be out of sight for Chelsea their only hope is the Europa League. But as many as 3 teams fighting for one Champions League spot and the Europa League is now surely a long shot too. That means no European football for Chelsea next season and they can focus on regaining the title.
With only the Capital One cup being the only cup competition until January, Chelsea and Conte will need to take the Premier League by storm. Conte’s first target will be to get Chelsea back into the champions league where they belong but there is no reason why they can’t compete for the title.
Incoming Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will have a huge amount of pressure on him to succeed in Europe and domestically. That will only benefit Chelsea as City and Guardiola may chose to prioritise one but they still remain Chelsea’s biggest challengers. Will Leicester recreate their heroics from this season?
Tottenham are seeming to improve every season and you still have Manchester United who will spend big and Liverpool who will be looking to improve even further under Jurgen Klopp. You still have Arsenal in contention too.
But this has to a realistic aim for Chelsea. No Champions League games on Tuesday’s and Wednesdays’s before January ensure’s Conte can rest his star names for important league matches.
The new blood and squad dynamics will ensure Chelsea are hungry for success next season and will subsequently need to buy into Conte’s philosophy too have a real good chance of winning the title in his first season.
It’s the end of an era for all the Chelsea players and the fans will need to give the new breed plenty of time to settle in. Most importantly the board need to give Conte time to build his own squad and let him deal with everything a manager has too.
By bringing his own back room staff in it will provide a new sense of positivity at Chelsea and every man will understand their role at the club. Here are my 3 reasons why I believe Chelsea should be challenging for the Premier League title next season.