Football is a bitch. It can screw you up at one time and at another can also give you ecstasy. Certainly Chelsea Coach, Antonio Conte knows this bitter truth. The Italian’s meteoric rise from grass to grace in his coaching career witnessed eye-catching successes at Arezzo, Bari and Siena, navigating through challenging circumstances were the hallmarks of this career as at then.
Also during his trophy-laden successful period at Juventus, he was scarcely troubled and one of such moments was in December 2013 courtesy of a Wesley Sneijder goal at the Stadio Olimpico that eliminated the Old Lady from the Champions league. Familiar sound-bites of Conte as recalled by one of his former players was: “Never give up because it is only in difficult moments that great sides are born”.
Then came Conte’s stark reminder that improvement always begins on the training pitch. His daring words summed up in one sentence:
“Every session should be played like it is a final,” said Conte. “Those who give up will be left out.”
This brings us to Conte and Chelsea. Conte’s challenges at the club are well-documented – from transfer impasse to indifferent results compared to last season’s title winning heroics. A disappointing start to 2018 was made obvious with Carabao Cup elimination by Arsenal, and two awful defeats against Bournemouth and Watford.
But morale-boosting wins against West Bromwich Albion and Hull City have gradually pulled Chelsea up albeit temporarily with Barcelona waiting in the wings for a juicy Champions League clash tomorrow.
Chelsea and Conte need to sustain the momentum gained in the past week to permanently dispel talks of unrest, lack of professionalism and also lacking the strut of Champions. The players must play every game from now till the end of the season as a final beginning with Barcelona.
Chelsea are famed as a club that overcomes adversity and with Conte, we have a manager that can lead us out victorious from every war we fight. The team needs to be outstanding henceforth so that our flickering fire can burn into a blazing inferno.
Let’s keep the blue flag flying high. Cheers!