Although very few within the wider English footballing community ever foresaw Jose Mourinho’s dramatic mid-season departure from Stamford Bridge ahead of the current 2015/16 domestic campaign, the determined Blues faithful now need to pull themselves together after such a poor Premier League offering from their side and look towards the new season full of renewed confidence and much-needed hope.
Guus Hiddink has served to impress whilst keeping Chelsea afloat throughout this undoubtedly testing period in the club’s recent history, but as former Juventus manager, and current boss of the Italian national side, Antonio Conte, will find himself tasked with picking up the managerial baton down at Stamford Bridge next season, a new high profile chapter in the Londoners’ history will look to begin sooner rather than later.
So then, as the 46-year-old Italian tactician will reportedly look to employ an ambitious 4-2-4 formation when he steps in: will such a bold move really serve to improve the Blues’ domestic fortunes ahead of the new season, or is Antonio Conte bound to struggle on the back of his daring new approach?
Well, although Chelsea enjoyed a great period of success under Mourinho’s admittedly defensive tactics, perhaps the new domestic term could nonetheless signal an opportune moment for the Blues to rethink their philosophy.
Chelsea have certainly improved their all-round defensive make-up since Mourinho was forced to bid farewell from Stamford Bridge in rather unceremonious circumstances earlier on this term, but as the likes of Eden Hazard, Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa have floundered in front of goal in 2015/16, maybe a new attacking approach could be just what the doctor ordered for Chelsea going into the new season.
Leicester City have certainly benefitted from taking on an obvious forward-thinking system of late. Although Claudio Ranieri’s determined Foxes have clearly excelled from a defensive point of view of late, they ultimately wouldn’t be enjoying their current place atop the table if it wasn’t for the combined presence of two recognised centre-forwards who banged in the goals early on.
If Conte is able to secure just a small selection of the many high profile names to subsequently be linked with an illustrious switch to Stamford Bridge on the back of the his upcoming arrival in London – such as the somewhat forgotten figure of Javier Pastore at PSG and Atletico Madrid’s widely admired forward Antoine Griezmann – then Chelsea really could be on the verge of achieving something truly special next term.
Yes, the 46-year-old tactician could theoretically witness a great deal of criticism come his way upon initially introducing the 4-2-4 formation within the English top-flight next term, but as Chelsea arguably need to redefine their approach it seems as if Conte could perhaps be on to something seriously enticing if circumstances prove favourable for the Italian next season.
So then, whilst such an ambitious decision could upset some isolated voices within the Stamford Bridge faithful on initial appearances alone next term, Antonio Conte could nonetheless earn a great deal of credit by trying to re-establish Chelsea’s once untouchable dominance in such a bold fashion.