The Weekend Interview part one: Antonio Conte


This weekend Antonio  is able to enjoy a thoroughly well-earned rest from guiding his Chelsea team through match action.
Work, and especially working hard, are phrases never far from the lips of our head coach when he discusses how his first season in London is progressing, and no-one could accuse Conte of not leading by example.
A midfielder famed for his energy as well as his

s technique and tactical nous, he has taken that on into his managerial career where his animated instructions from inside the technical area are already one of the most well-known sights of today’s Premier League, leading to a joke or two about him almost joining in with the pressing of the opposition defence.
What is clear from Conte’s words before and after games, and his activity on the touchline, is that Chelsea at the moment is a work in progress, but with an outstanding October followed by that stellar opening to November’s fixtures against Everton, it is a project currently coming along nicely.

It is four months since it began, and the perfect moment for Conte to speak to the official Chelsea website about the progress made and about how he is settling into west London life – questions he begins by considering together.
‘Now for four months we have been working very hard with the players and I enjoy this,’ he says.
‘It is not easy to arrive in a new club and to find out about a new country, a new language, and also you have to bring your new method, your new philosophy of football. But after four months I am pleased about it all, because the players always have shown me a great attitude, a great work-rate during the training sessions and also during the games.


Initial misconceptions from some observers that he is wedded to one system of play that yielded success with past teams have quickly been banished. Conte explained early in the season he was prepared to try different formations and would continue to do so until the goals stopped going in at the wrong end. Happily, it has not taken long.
‘We started the season with another system because the idea in my mind was that I wanted to play with the 4-2-4, and then we switched with 4-3-3 and we played also in the same way like last year, 4-2-3-1.
‘But I noticed in some circumstances we didn’t have the right balance because when you concede more goals than your opponent and even more chances to score a goal, it is never a good thing. For this reason, we switched to the new system of 3-4-3 and I think this is a good fit for our squad because also we have the strikers adapted for this system.

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