Conte and Chelsea (the story of a love affair that was cut short)

Fresh from his exploits in the UEFA Euro 2016, Antonio Conte was appointed Chelsea manager in 2016 with Chelsea coming from a season that saw the club finish in 10th place in the league ranking position. 

Conte had a task at hand to revive a team that seemed like it couldn’t  function without proper revamping.

Starting the season it was safe to say expectations weren’t really high but everyone was watching to see what the Italian could do with this Chelsea team. 

He had inherited a team that finished in 10th position in the previous season and he needed to make a couple of additions to get his new Chelsea team looking different. 

In came a couple of addition, but one notable addition he made was that he revived Victor Moses’ Chelsea career which for a moment seemed like it was heading nowhere. 

The Nigerian kept getting loaned to different clubs; first to Liverpool and then stoke city before he was then loaned again to West Ham united. 

Conte brought back Moses from loan and got Marcos Alonso and David Luiz. 

With his team not eligible to play in Europe, he had only domestic football to bother himself about.

he started out the season trying other formations Chelsea have been used to. 

Several bookmakers even suggested he was the next manager to get the sack after back to back defeats against Liverpool and Arsenal, but this would mark a turning point that saw conte revert to a formation with 3 central defenders he was well known for. 

He switched on to a 3-4-3 formation and Chelsea went on a winning streak of 13 games, which eventually won Chelsea the title. 

Eden Hazard was revitalised, Costa was scoring freely, he had formed an understanding with fabregas. 

One notable match in that streak was when mourinho brought his Manchester united team to the bridge and Chelsea ran out winners in a 4-0 match. 

Attackers were scoring and the defence became even more solid,. 

You can’t blame Chelsea’s fans if they thought this was the love affair they have been waiting for. 

He had a good relationship with the fans especially with his style of celebration, celebrating with the fans and showing passion and all of sudden it seemed like there was trouble in paradise. 

There were stories about a fallout with costa and after some time it seemed to be resolved. Costa was scoring , everything seemed normal and then Chelsea won the league. 

Conte’s downfall in Chelsea seemed to start the minute he decided to lay Costa off in a manner many would consider to be odd. 

The tension between Costa and conte became very tensed and this would eventually rub off on several players. There were news of a tension between conte and the dressing room. 

That season which was his second was poor as Chelsea would go on to finish in fifth position and miss out on champions league qualification. 

Although he won the FA cup , it was not enough to keep his job. This was in huge contrast to his first season at the club where he was lauded for a bold move to change formation. 

In 2018 he was fired, bringing to an end a relationship everyone thought would flourish.   

Chelsea wrote on their website the words “Chelsea football club and Antonio Conte have parted company”

A relationship which started beautifully would go on to end abruptly and awkwardly but the Italian will definitely be remembered for the spark he brought to the Chelsea team.

Adebayo Oduwole tweets via @adebee_oduwole

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