“The word ‘coach’ has to encompass everything. You can’t only be good at tactics, just as you can’t only be good at motivation, just as you can’t only be good from a psychological point of view, just as you can’t only be good in how you manage the club and the media. You have got to be good at everything. You have got to try and excel at everything. To do this you have got to study and since I became a coach, for me, it has been continuous study.” –Conte’s coaching philosophy.
From an epic player in Juventus to the historic manager to acquire three back to back Manager of the Month titles in the very first season of his job with Chelsea, Antonio Conte has traversed his football journey reaping success from his struggle. Beginning as a midfielder some three decades ago, Conte has manifested his playing skills in three teams and served as the head coach in more than half a dozen clubs.
Conte before Chelsea: The Start and Afterwards
Whizzing into Conte’s past, where he first stepped into ‘the beautiful game’, we see him kicking in Via del Mare for his hometown club U.S. Lecce in 1986. He set off with a 1-1 draw with Pisa and had been a prominent member of the squad, but had to disrupt his attendance due to a grave tibia injury that even threatened termination to his career. But he returned.
Life in Juventus
Conte left his native team to go for Juventus, where he stayed for 13 seasons, signed by the then manager Giovanni Trapattoni. The club saw him handle the captaincy following five years of his join. And it was here that Conte got illuminated with a long array of awards and honours with the team. Venturing out on a long list will make us count the 5 Serie A titles with Juventus, 1994–95 Coppa Italia, the 1992–93 UEFA Cup, and the 1995–96 UEFA Champions League, as well as four Supercoppa Italiana titles, the 1996 UEFA Super Cup, the 1996 Intercontinental Cup (which he had to miss due to injury) and the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup, winning all possible top tier club titles, aside from the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
He made 295 appearances in the Series A, hitting a total of 29 goals.
In the National Team
Conte entered the Italian National Team in 1994 under Arrigo Sacchi, along with his Turin Juventus.
With his team, he paced to the runner-up position in FIFA world cup in his start year also for 2000 UEFA European Championships. He scored twice in the twenty appearances for the team.
As a Manager: A brief Chronology
Conte commenced his managerial career with Arezzo, but it came up as a woeful start, as he was sacked following a series of club’s failures. However, he was recalled shortly whereby he led the club to the steps of consecutive victories, making 19 points out of seven matches.
This was succeeded by his join to Bari, Atlanta and Sienna.
In the middle of 2011, Conte emerged with Juventus substituting Luigi Delneri, amidst huge anticipations, which transformed into success when he led the club squad to Coppa Italia for the first time in eight years after Marcello Lippi. Following his work with Juventus for three seasons, Conte was appointed the head coach of Italian National Team before negotiating with the English Chelsea in the opening of April last year.
Conte in Chelsea
Chelsea savoured victory in first three matches in the guidance of Conte-2-1 home win against West Ham United, then against Watford and Burnley. After this, there was a draw and a defeat.
The stream of success, however, set on a flow when his side went winning a number of matches without conceding a single goal.
The dynamic transcendence of the club was attributed to shifting the formation tactics to 3-4-3 from 4-2-3-1 by the manager.
But this didn’t mean that the team didn’t inflict losses at all. On 26th of October last year, Chelsea was eliminated from the fourth round of EFL cup. Still, as a consequence of its 2-0 victory over Southampton, Chelsea was declared to have won four of the Premier League matches in the month, with seven goals and clean sheet in all.
On 5th November, the Stamford Bridge witnessed the club’s 5-0 magnificent win over Everton, which earned Conte wide appreciation. BBC Pundit announced it as ‘the best 90-minute performance he ever saw in the Premier League.’ Conte’s management pushed the Blues to become the second team to win 13th consecutive wins in Premier League matches after Arsenal.
Eyeing the Future
A chance of the 47-year old’s transfer in a near future (I mean in a half a year or so) is wiped out by the three-year tenure of the contract he signed with the Chelsea. However, just a day before Conte broke a discourse over his plans. Even in the conclusion of this period, Conte intends to stay, “Yes, I hope [I can manage here for years]. Usually, when you start a project with a new team you want to stay many years and to build something important with the club.”
“Now, it is important to continue in this way because anything can happen until the end but we want to continue to stay on top of the table.”
Conte has already been a brilliant player and an exceptional manager. And Chelsea is already ruling the league table. In the upcoming years of his stay with Chelsea, he can be named the most successful managers of all time in the history of the game.