It goes without saying that last season we saw the worst title defense in the Premier League from a defending champion. Chelsea finished 10th on the log and also endured the worst season in their history (Premier League history, that is). A lot was going on at Stamford Bridge last season, from Mourinho not getting the players he asked for, to players losing faith in him and eventually the Portuguese’s 2nd spell coming to an end. In April, the Blues announced that former Juventus coach Antonio Conte would take over as Mourinho’s permanent successor after Guus Hiddink stepped in as an interim manager. The Italian has vowed to get the Blues to fight for the title again. Here are three reasons why the West Londoners should be back in the picture as far as title contention is concerned.
Conte is a natural winner
The Euros gave Chelsea fans around the world an opportunity to see what the future holds for them as they paid close attention to Conte’s Italy. The Azzurri, under the stewardship of Conte provided some entertaining games as they downed Belgium and Spain. Those wins were finely crafted with Conte’s tactical nous and organization. The 46-year-old manager had to work with the worst talented generation of players in the history of Italian football and did a superb job. He transferred his passion to the squad and instilled a strong team spirit. With the talented squad of Chelsea, one can only imagine what the former Juventus manager can achieve in London.
The talented Chelsea players have a lot to prove
There is no doubt that there is a lot of quality at Conte’s disposal. This is the same group of players that handsomely won the title in 2015, staying at the summit of the table from almost the first day to the last. Last season however, they had a season to forget. Almost the entire Chelsea squad could not produce the form that saw 6 of their players named in PFA’s team of the season in the year prior. For that reason alone, these players have a lot to prove and guide Abramovich’s ship back to where it belongs.
Summer acquisitions will improve the squad
The Blues have so far made two signings. Conte beefed up his strike force by signing Belgian forward Mitchy Batshuayi from Marseille. The young Belgian forward possesses a lot of quality and potential and he’s been compared to former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba by many. The Belgian will team-up with Diego Costa up front as Conte looks to play 2 striker system. The Blues also made what could prove to be the signing of the summer as they captured N’Golo Kante’s signature from champions Leicester. Kante played an integral role as Leicester won the title in 2015/16 and the Frenchman will boost the Blues in the middle of the park and provide competition to Nemanja Matic and John Mikel Obi.
The task awaiting Conte at Chelsea will not be an easy one because of the competitiveness of the English league. It will also be interesting to see how Conte will do against the likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger. With just two weeks to go, lovers of the beautiful game around the world are relishing the beginning of the new premier league season.