“When Conte speaks, his words assault you, they crash through the doors of your mind, often quite violently and settle deep within you. I have lost track of the number of times i have found myself saying: Hell, he said something really spot-on today..” wrote the Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo in his book I Think Therefore I Play. That is how one of the biggest football brains we saw in recent years was impressed by the former Juventus and Italian National Team Boss.
The reception at the Bridge was no different, with main man Eden Hazard admitting that he will prove his
qualities afterConte’s postive comments on him and Gary Cahill who stated how much the team benefited from the intensity the new boss brought to their pre-season period, as well as the fans who were raring to see that Charasmatic new man in charge. All were signs but what we saw on Monday was a real encourgement, finally ushering a new dawn after experiencing hard sledding for a while. We sensed a spark in the atmosphere there; the players hunger, belief and spirit were obviously different and the fans were finally believing that the players are putting their heart and soul into it after a shadow of doubts and uncertainties about that last season.
Antonio Conte will intially be delighted that his Chelsea regin has started with the whole 3 points-in a London Derby too, but he will also be reasonbly pleased with his team performances that night. Although the team was not really creative in central positions,they brillantly used the flanks generating reasonble number of clear-cut chances as well as looking the dominant side and clearly more threatening than their opponents throughout the game.
Another major point was the omission of Cesc Fabregas, who we might see him leaving by the end of this month.The former Arsenal and Barcelona player‘s game is all about forward running and going ahead of the ball, something that put him away from being the ideal pick by a manager who prefer oraganization and discpline in the middle of the pitch. With Oscar who came out of the blue especially after struggling with both Mourinho and Gus Hiddink being the real deal, pressing up high to recover the ball- winning 6 successful tackles, more than any other player and continually adjusting his movement along side Nemanja Matic into wider zones allowing the full backs to burst up high, all came after being one of the main players on the pre-season which put Fabregas in contention for a decision either to leave or be on the bench for more time than before.
Even After that equaliser from Collins, Conte did not turn to Cesc Fabregas, introducing Pedro, Moses and the new boy Michy Batshyui who assisted the second goal after turning the play to 4-2-4 in an absolutely brave manner which paid off completing a dream debut for the new boss.