Chelsea are just few steps away from becoming the winners of the Premier League 2016/17, as Tottenham, the only challengers for the title, suffered a surprise loss against West Ham United last Friday.
The defeat against the Hammers left Tottenham in the second place, and favourable fixtures in the rest of the season should not put Chelsea in any danger of conceding the trophy. However, the manager Antonio Conte knows perfectly well that it is easier to reach the top than to stay there. Next season, Chelsea will have to ply their trade in Champions League and will have to stay in contention for League Cup and FA Cup, along with the weekly hustles of the Premier League. Naturally, the boss took no time to admit that he would need a bigger squad.
In this regard, Conte pointed at Tottenham and their disastrous display in the European competitions, “Don’t forget that Tottenham dropped at the first group stage [of the Champions League] and then dropped in the first [round] in the Europa League. If you consider our games and theirs, there is a difference of what, eight games?”
“But if you consider the squads, the numbers in each squad, you can see the difference: one team prepared to play the Champions League with 25 or 26 players, and another prepared to play the league, the FA Cup and the League Cup.”
The Italian further noted that Mauricio Pochettino has been working the Spurs team for three years now, and he thinks that it was an advantage for Tottenham. Admitting that Pochettino is “a really good manager”, Conte said, “Tottenham, last season, fought to win the title and Chelsea arrived 10th. You can see our transfer market, and Tottenham’s transfer market. Then I think Tottenham, in their project, have an advantage if you compare them to us.”
“This is my first season and I found a lot of situations, a lot of players. Pochettino has been working there for three years and has changed a lot of players, and is working very well. For me, Tottenham are a really strong team and it’s normal to see them fighting for the title,” Conte added.
It seems the Chelsea boss will soon start working on his transfer strategies, and the negotiation battles would be really interesting over the summer window!
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