Former Chelsea player Andy Townsend has praised the players for buying into Antonio Conte’s philosophy after the Blues defeated West Brom 1-0 on Friday night to secure the Premier League title.
“They [Chelsea] have been outstanding; they’ve been the best team; they’ve been the best prepared; they’ve been well-drilled; they haven’t panicked when they’ve had one or two bad moments, they’ve dug in again and regrouped,” Townsend told talkSPORT.
“They’re an amazing team and you can only see them getting stronger.
“I spoke to Thibaut Courtois right after the game (on Friday night), and he said people don’t always appreciate the amount of effort we’ve all had to put in to buy into Antonio Conte, to take on board exactly the way he sees it and the way he believes it works.
“And again, we were interviewing Frank Lampard and Eidur Gudjohnsen after the game, and they said unless you buy into it, unless you believe it, unless you’re prepared to really go with it when a new manager arrives, it’s not going to happen, it won’t work.
“We see someone like Antonio Conte walk through the door and you see him have it a little bit awkward to start with, and then he changes it and goes with what he feels he knows best.
“From that moment Chelsea became the champions-elect if you like, because then, automatically, everything dropped into place and all of a sudden they were one.
“Whereas at the start of the season I think he was having a look at one or two; he was trying to understand what perhaps Chelsea had done previously that had worked for them.
“Then all of a sudden, it was, ‘right, listen, we’re all going to do this my way.'”