Chelsea is dripping, the blues have failed woefully in their bid to defend the title. The gaffer seems confused, the board has lost shape, the owner is in a state of despair, the players are weak and tired, the fans’ passion has dwindled. This is the sorry state the ex-defending champion of the English premier league found themselves. The boss has been in the major build up to this sorry state as he had made some mistakes without remorse since his inception as the coach.
Conte became the fan’s favorite when he won last season’s EPL trophy. The season was tremendous for him as he played a 13-match winning streak which automatically gave him an edge and created the needed gap to secure the trophy. His famous 3 central defence shook the entire premier league teams in his trophy winning season. Despite having a successsful last season, the gaffer had allowed emotions to play a major part in his downfall this season. He made some decisions that seems unforgivable, decisions that left the players a bit shaken. Decisions that made him lose some fans favour. Antonio Conte has out-rightly played against Chelsea’s tradition in several ways. Let’s take a look at some of the decisions that has cost the club, the others would be discussed in the next series.
A tradition Chelsea had always have especially since Mourinho’s first spell in Chelsea is the legacy of a double defensive midfielder popularly called blocking 4. There is always a standing 4 as played by the likes of Makelele, Mikel, Essien. There is the second one which is characteristically called the moving 4 obviously played by the likes of Lampard, Ballack, Schurlle. The moving “4’s” are known for their powerful shots and accuracy. To an extent, Conte maintained this in his title winning season as the role between the standing and moving ‘4’ was beautifully shared between Kante and Matic for some time. The tradition started drifting when the gaffer wanted Matic, a normally slow player to attempt a more attacking role. Conflicts came in the midfield towards the end of last season and the fantastic midfielder completely lost Conte’s favour. Matic was sold to Manchester United where he was played in his preferred position and has been fantastic since then. Now, since then, Kante appeared to be the only defensive midfielder in the team playing both the standing and the moving role. While Fabregas was known only for his sleek passes and assists, Kante played the dual role of a standing and moving 4. Carrying this tactics to this season as the defending champion was unproductive, unlike the former times no player in the Chelsea midfield could be referred to as the ‘shots specialist’ as was the case with Lampard and Ballack. Bakayoko again was given a more attacking role, a player whose stature, physique and pace fits that of a standing 4 was again earned an attacking role and hence became very unproductive. Recently, Drinkwater and Barkley were added to the team, this should have been a huge cushion to the team, but unfortunately for reasons best known to the boss he seldom used this players. Now Kante is getting weak due to mismanagement and there are players like Barkley and Drinkwater wasting away. Conte needs to remove emotional surge from his coaching style. It’s costing him, it’s costing the players and it’s costing the club at large as the club’s hope for a champions league spot is very slim. Conte needs to respect TRADITIONS. It’s very important.
Stay in touch for another tradition Conte out rightly neglected having negative impact on the club in the Part 2 of this article.