“Football is a game of errors,” Simeone once declared. “The fewer mistakes you make, the closer you are to a victory. It’s a lie that he who attacks the most is closer to winning. It’s he who makes the fewest mistakes. And for that we work on what we feel are the opposition weak points.”
This is a belief lived and shared by Atletico Madrid Coach, Diego Simeone, a one-time Chelsea target. I’m quite sure Antonio Conte also share the same belief. His magic wand transformed Chelsea from underachievers to super achievers last season. Winning the title was admirable and swashbuckling, but the turning point of Conte’s remarkable season was his change of formation to his preferred 3-4-3 formation.
The formation built on a strong defensive unit that kept 16 clean sheets in 38 league games and even shone in Chelsea’s sequence of 13 consecutive wins during last season. Conte’s success at Chelsea was built on a cohesive unit propelled by a strong defensive brick wall. His preference for a back three helped bring out the best in his players. Though they were not used to the system, but eventually they were built with a staying power to conquer all wars.
Inasmuch as Conte’s Chelsea defense looked formidable last season there were almost suspect moments of jittery and panic in their play intensified by lack of defensive cover, injuries and suspensions, misfit backups and lack of positional play. An obvious weakness of Chelsea last season was conceding goals through set pieces and dead-ball deliveries. Conte must have pinpointed out this and that’s exactly the reason for summer deals for Antonio Rudiger and Alex Sandro. They will provide defensive cover, upgrade, steel and technical forte in both Chelsea’s all round play next season.
The Italian is taking nothing for granted as encountered two seasons ago. The Italian has realised that to successfully orchestrate Chelsea’s title defence next season, building a solid defense is a powerful strategy in winning silverware. Will he succeed? Let’s watch out!
Let’s keep our hopes alive. Cheers!