With two games to spare Chelsea became champions of England for the sixth time. After a beleaguered season in 2015-16, Chelsea turned things around dramatically to go on and win the title. But that would not have been possible without the Midas touch of Antonio Conte. After inheriting a squad full of champions who seemed out of focus, Conte, put the pieces, one by one, back together to create a fresh champion team.
Conte, who took charge at Chelsea after Euro 2016, began his reign with a 2-1 win over West Ham in August. But soon a 2-2 draw at Swansea, followed by defeat at home to Liverpool and a 3-0 loss at Arsenal made Conte realise the arduous task of what lay ahead.
Conte immediately got to work and envisaged a new plan by switching to a three-man defensive formation.
In an interview with BBC sport Conte said,”It was very frustrating for me because at the end of the Arsenal game I didn’t see anything from my work or my ideas on football. But in this moment I found the strength to change and take responsibility and find a system for the players. It was a key moment in the season because every single player found in this system the best for him.”
He further added,”That decision changed our season. We had to change and find a new suit for our team. In my mind, there was this option
to play a 3-4-3 because I knew I had the players to do that.”
Noticeably Chelsea recorded an incredible number of 13 wins after the change.
In this Premier League season, Conte has shown that he has all the qualities required from a good manager. Bringing in Ngolo Kante and David Luiz in the transfer market proved to be a remarkable decision. He also has the ability to spot a problem and this was visible when Chelsea suffered a defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace. But most importantly he brought back the energy and desire to win among players like Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard. He also gave chances to younger players like Victor Moses, who has been a revelation in his new position of right wing-back.
For now all that’s left for Conte now is to win the FA Cup and complete the double – thereby turning a good season into a great one.