Antonio Conte recently announced that he would be stepping down from his position as Italy’s national team manager at the end of this summer’s European Championship. The 46-year-old, who has been strongly linked with the vacant Chelsea job, revealed that he wants to have the opportunity to manage a club on a daily basis. This has fuelled further suggestions that Conte will move to Stamford Bridge before next season.
If nothing else, Conte would be an interesting appointment and football fans from all over the world would be fascinated to see if his unique, defensive brand of football prevailed in England’s top flight. Jose Mourinho was heavily criticised at times during his tenure at Chelsea for his negative philosophy. In the first half of the 2014-15 campaign, Chelsea were phenomenal under Mourinho but in the latter stages, they struggled to inspire confidence with a number of 1-0 victories on their way to the title. If Conte is to truly win over the supporters at Stamford Bridge, he will need to bring both success and entertainment to the club.
For now, the Italy boss must remain focused on his side’s chances of success at this year’s European Championship. If Conte knows he’s going to Stamford Bridge, he will already have some transfer targets in mind and a little bit of forward planning shouldn’t affect Italy’s preparations in the build-up to June’s event. This will especially be the case if reports of a verbal contract between himself and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are accurate.
It’s hard to think of anybody else more suited to taking over the current Chelsea side. Conte is a proven winner and will use any method necessary to ensure his side is successful. Whether that means playing physically and bullying opposing teams or exploiting defences with the long ball game, Conte has plenty of different styles on his résumé. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Chelsea adapt to a number of different formations if the Italy head coach does indeed move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the Euros.
Is Conte the man to bring the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge? Only time will tell. If truth be told, the Italian doesn’t have a great record outside of his homeland and it will be fascinating to see if he can adapt quickly to England’s top flight. If he does, Chelsea could be on for a very successful season next year. But if their struggles continue, it might not be too long before impatient owner Roman Abramovich acts again.