CONTE: CHELSEA ARE STILL REBUILDING
Despite Premier League leaders Chelsea clear to lift the title this week, head coach Antonio Conte has said that the team was still building.
Conte could do a double this term in winning the league and the FA Cup – though they have Arsenal to contend with – but he insists that more is yet to come as the team was in “transition.”
After lifting the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho in 2015, the team slumped the following season. The former Juventus and Italy coach took over the team last summer and he has quickly transformed the team.
The current Chelsea team do not look anything like a side that were lucky to finish tenth in the league after a dismal start. They last did the local double in 2010 under Carlo Ancelotti but they could repeat it under Conte in the Italian’s debut term.
“I think that now at Chelsea we are in a period of transition. In this season, we have lost [Branislav] Ivanovic, [John Obi Mikel] and next season we lose John Terry. We are talking about players who wrote the history of this club.
“They won a lot. Now we have to find the right substitutes for these players and then work to put these players at the same level,” Conte said.
Conte referred to Ancelotti as the best Italian coach and a man he has “great respect” for. He added that Ancelotti had a strong squad that aided their achievements but that he needs more time to build “something important.”
Conte asked for patience as they were working from down up, with the hope to improve every season. While winning is a must, the preference for free flowing football by the club owner Roman Abramovichadds to the pressure of being a top rated English club.
The coach admitted that there was a lot of work to be done on the team. He subtly complimented Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino for the work he has done with the team but added that he has been there for three years now while he only took over months ago.