It had taken Antonio ‘Jackson’ Conte six matches and 45 minutes (into the new season) to finally roll out his famous 3-5-2 formation that was so effective at Juventus and with the Italian national team. It was two weeks ago and Chelsea visited Arsenal but the match was over in the first half and Conte turned to a new strategy to limit the damage.
Of course, that 45 minutes where Arsenal rang rings around his Chelsea team showed Conte the enormity of the task at hand. Three games into the season and three victories over West Ham, Watford and Burnley papered over the cracks. Liverpool’s gegenpressen football humbled the Italian and Arsenal all but confirmed where his Chelsea team are at the moment.
The new formation was rolled out from the start away to Hull last Saturday and to a small extent, Chelsea looked okay. Hull City didn’t really test them and the home team tired in the second half.
There were predictions of Chelsea challenging for the title this season but they seem far-fetched now. Conte would have done a worldie if he gets his team a top four place. It’s difficult to see how they will keep up with a title challenge, especially when you have David ‘playstation defender’ Luiz at the back.
For a manager who has managed streetwise defenders (Bonucci, Chiellini, Barzagli) most of his short career, he must be ruing his luck at been stuck with the lots he has got at Chelsea now.
The Premier League has seemingly humbled Antonio Conte. Passion alone doesn’t cut it here. And he’s got to stop jumping around like a lunatic.
Does anyone notice the Italian has cut back on his touchline antics since the first 45 minutes at the Emirates Stadium?