Chelsea aims for 14th straight
Many doubted the signing of Chelsea´s new coach. A man never tested outside of Italy with the 3-4-3 formation as his favorite. Seeing that Conte was what is called “a real Italian” in football, a guy that only think about his defense, was maybe the wrong choice for a club that went from Champions to almost regulated in one season. And when the summer window opened he took home David Luiz, lured Kante from Leicester and dragged Alonso from Fiorentina with him. Otherwise not that much happened. Players like Eden Hazard, Matic, Fabregas and Diego Costa that was heavily criticized last season had the coach confidence and remained at the Stamford Bridge.
Now almost a half-year after his appointment few, if even anyone, can criticize the Italian. He has made a total change in a club that was desperate for glory after missing the Champions League. His start was not so bad if one only looks at the results. Only two defeats one against Liverpool and one against Arsenal. The latter one would become the game that changed Chelsea. Otherwise they were racking up wins and only one draw against Swansea. After the Arsenal game critics saw their chance to take shots at the new coach. 3-0 to the bitter London rival was never the result Conte was hoping for and a changed had to be done.
After the Arsenal game Conte changed formation to the one that made him so popular at Juventus, 3-4-3. With Cahill, David Luiz and Azpilicueta as the three center-backs and Alonso with Victor Moses starting on each side of the flanks covered a lot of ground forward and backward. Matic and Kante controlled the center of the pitch while Costa, Hazard and Willian where given the chance to lead the teams attack. And something great came out of the new formation. Everything was in place, like this was really meant for this team. Costa started firing his shots, Hazard had a wonderful time at the left-side showing us his true colors that we have been missing for an entire season. An at the back they were strong and calm. Willian and Diego Costa scored each a goal and Chelsea won 2-0 away against Hull.
We fast forward 12 games. Leicester, Manchester United, Southampton, Everton, Middlesbrough, Tottenham, Manchester City, West Brom, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Stoke City has been the opponents of Chelsea in the league. All of them have tasted the defeat of the disciplined Conte. During their impressive 13 in a row win streak they have managed to keep a clean sheet in 10. Which also makes them the greatest defensive side of the league.
As if the wins were not enough Conte succeeded to bring the players that were out of form back again. Diego Costa is the league top scorer with 14 goals, two more than Ibrahimovic and Alexis Sanchez. Pedro that had a difficult start under Mourinho where shining and showing his best form reminding us of his time at Barcelona. Fabregas is now controlling the midfield the way only he can. And the flanks guarded by Alonso and Moses seems to be as secure as ever.
On Wednesday Conte´s men will visit White hart lane to take on Pochettino´s men. A derby and a record is in the pot. If Chelsea grabs their 14th win this means they have the record of the longest winning streak during one season in the Premier League. Their latest 4-2 win against Stoke put them level with Arsenal´s Invincible record of 13 wins. And right now it feels that Conte has the right tools to put his name in the record books during his first year in England.