For a while now, the world of football has been engulfed in a debate of who the best coach in the business is. It was always a keenly contested affair between former Chelsea boss, Jose Mourinho and current City boss, Pep Guardiola. Some pundits believed it was Mourinho at a time, and some chose Pep ahead of the Portuguese. None of the two was ever really ahead of the other, but like they say, times change; at least, this season has proven this statement to be true.
Before the current campaign started, a lot of people expected the two ‘best’ coaches in the world to be at the fore in the battle for the Premier League title, especially Pep Guardiola who had just come off an impressive spell in Germany. Not many gave Chelsea a chance. Yes, we got a good deal in Conte, but the top four was the only realistic target this term. However, Conte has surpassed all expectations, and has bested the very best in the race to the title this season. We have only lost to 3 of the top 7 sides this season, and that does not include Manchester United and City. Instead, we beat them both; the two teams with managers considered the greatest ever in the sport.
On Wednesday night, Conte completed a double over Pep, making him the first manager to ever do so. This impressive record of the Italian so far has got people drawing comparisons between the two of them, and asking if Conte is the new best manager in the planet. Well, it surely is still a tad early to judge, but I will, and if Pep’s pre match press conference statement is anything to go by, Conte may yet be the best. While responding to questions from the press on Wednesday, Pep said, “I learn a lot when I see his teams – Juventus, Italy and now. I like to do that because you see what they want to do. Their teams control a lot of aspects. Maybe he’s the best.”
Those words may have been a sly attempt to get into his head according to a school of thought, but the truth remains that Conte is a world-class coach that has proven his mettle in two world-class leagues. He probably didn’t get enough credit before now because he wasn’t in England or Spain, but now he is, and he’s doing better than those famously touted to be better. And if you disagree with my stance, I would like you to prove me wrong by naming a manager who is presently doing better than Conte anywhere in the world.