It was been speculated for quite some time that the former Juventus manager, Antonio Conte would take over as the Chelsea manager, starting from 2016-17 season. Rumours turned to be true, as Chelsea announced that Antonio Conte, the current Italy national team boss would take over at Stamford Bridge after the Euro 2016.
Chelsea’s 2015-16 season has been absolutely nightmarish, and they will not play in the UEFA Champion’s League in the next season. Jose Mourinho who led Chelsea to the domestic double in 2014-15 season was sacked in December last year after losing out of 16 matches and languishing at 16th place. Since then, Guus Hiddink has been the interim manager, but he announced that he will leave at the end of the season. Chelsea also fared poorly in FA Cup, being knocked out by Everton, and also in UEFA Champions League, being knocked out by PSG. Chelsea would definitely not want a repeat of this season in their 2016-17 season.
Antonio Conte, who led Juventus to three successive titles up to 2014, replaced Cesare Prandelli on a two-year deal after Italy’s group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup. He will take over a Chelsea team who have endured the worst season in the Abramovich era. Conte will be the fifth Italian to manage Chelsea, following on from Gianluca Vialli, Claudio Ranieri, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo.
“I am very excited about the prospect of working at Chelsea Football Club. I am proud to be the coach of the national team of my country and only a role as attractive as manager of Chelsea could follow that,” said Conte.
“I am looking forward to meeting everyone at the club and the day-to-day challenge of competing in the Premier League. Chelsea and English football are watched wherever you go, the fans are passionate and my ambition is to have more success to follow the victories I enjoyed in Italy. I am happy we have made the announcement now so everything is clear and we can end the speculation. I will continue to focus on my job with the Italian national team and will reserve speaking about Chelsea again until after the Euros.” he added.
Chelsea have already approved to bring Conte’s long-term assistants, Angelo Alessio and Massimo Carrera to Stamford Bridge. Steve Holland, the incumbent assistant first-team coach, is expected to remain on the coaching staff.
The Chelsea chairman, Bruce Buck, said “Antonio Conte has a record of consistent success in his career as a manager and as a player. We look forward to welcoming him to Stamford Bridge and are confident he will find all he needs to maintain that high standard of achievement.”
What can Chelsea achieve under their new manager remains to be seen. But the general feeling amongst the fans and inside the camp is positive, after a torrid season.
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