It’s official — Antonio Conte has built two solid teams in his few months as Chelsea manager.
Chelsea kickstarted the month of October with a 3-4-3 formation that has turned the Blues to the most dominant team in the league. Since then, Conte has known his best team, and Chelsea have gone on to win all their league games ever since, dropping points only once, in the 2-0 loss to Tottenham.
The difference between Chelsea and other teams this season is that Conte has built a team. Chelsea might not have the depth of the Manchester clubs, but Conte managed to build two strong teams with the players at his disposal.
If you take a closer look at Conte’s line-up, it’s easy to spot Conte’s first 11 — Conte has a permanent first 11 which he only tweaks on occasions, mostly caused by injuries and suspension. Also, a closer look at our last 2 FA Cup games will also show you that Conte has built a second 11, that’s also doing great things. The likes of Asmir Begovic, Nathaniel Chalobah, Michy Batshuayi, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Willian, Cesc Fabregas, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Kurt Zouma have been dominant in the second 11, and more recently Nathan Ake, with Ola Aina. Chelsea have been very convincing in the FA Cup thus far compared to our shaky EFL Cup games this season, and on two occasions, Conte has made nine changes to the team to play the FA Cup, and they didn’t just win, but they won convincingly, scoring 4 goals on both occasions.
While many teams struggle when they make that number of changes, even when they play lower oppositions, it’s different with Chelsea — the team still play good football, are dominant, and one will think it’s the first 11 playing.
It might still be early days, but Chelsea have shown that you shouldn’t bet against them to win the FA Cup, and due credit must be given to Antonio Conte for building two good Chelsea teams, when we couldn’t have one last season.