Amid speculation and rumors, Chelsea Football Club have finally announced their new First Team Head Coach for the 2016/2017 season. Antonio Conte, formerly the manager of the Italian national team, signed for three years and will begin his campaign after the summer’s Euro 2016 tournament.
So far, this season has been less than magnificent compared to our title winning bravado last year. The sacking of Jose Mourinho had disheartened many fans throughout the world, and replacing him will be a monumental task for the club to fill.
However, Antonio Conte will be the right man for the job. Taking a look at his accomplishments, it is immediately apparent that the man knows football. Aside from having played more than 400 games for Juventus, he was also in charge of the team for three years- providing three straight Serie A titles. Prior to Conte’s arrival, the club had been finishing seventh, with an eight year league championship drought.
Along with that silver, he managed to win two Italian Super Cups as well as sign Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Carlos Tevez, and Arturo Vidal. His campaign was so effective that he claimed Serie A Coach of the Year every season he was there. Of course, Chelsea is not in the position Juventus was when Conte had taken over. The Blues are coming off of a successful title claim, and a strong team. This season has scared many fans though, with a brief relegation possibility and numerous, unnecessary upsets.
Despite Conte’s consistent track record, he will have some daunting questions to answer when he takes the helm. One of the highest being John Terry’s future. Cutting Terry will mean new squad leadership, and many fans believe we don’t have a suitable replacement for the Chelsea legend. Not to mention what Conte may do with the rest of the first squad, who have been receiving their own criticisms on loyalty and dedication to the club. Will he axe those that remain apathetic? Signing new members may be critical to rekindling the fire that burned so bright last season. Perhaps dipping into the pool of talent youth might do the trick.
Whatever decision Conte makes, it will be made with experience and integrity. He has the knowledge needed to lift the team back up, and establish a new vision we desperately crave. It may be a bumpy road, but given the right tools, there is no doubt Chelsea is back on its way to championship glory.
Written by Justin Young of the LA Chelsea Blues