The reasons for Chelsea's frustrating 2015-16 season will likely remain an open and painful topic of debate for many years to come. However, there's plenty to look forward to next season, especially after Antonio Conte showed off his tactical nous with the Italian national team yesterday. Add to that a renewed sense of purpose and possibly a few new players, and spirits could be running very soon.
Chelsea Player of the Year Willian, in an interview with Chelsea Magazine, is hopeful of palpable improvement.
"The Chelsea fans deserve more and we know that. We need to come back for 2016/17 stronger to win titles for them. It's not a case of using last season as motivation, we need to forget about it. We have the quality to improve next season and for sure we will come back strong and do everything we can to win titles for Chelsea and our fans."
In the first half of last season, with the rest of team crumbling around him, Willian stepped up from reliable supporting cast member to game-changer and game-winner. Willian's determination, key goals, and assists were often the only bright spot of our games and while his performances tailed off in the second half of the season, he still remained the only realistic choice for just about every post-season individual Chelsea award. Now, he wants to get better.
"I put it in my head when I arrived at Chelsea that I always have to keep improving my game and I think I'm doing that. I just focus on playing better from one game to the next and improving season by season, so I hope that next season I will play even better than I have been so far."
"Sometimes it was difficult to play well last season, as our team performances in some games weren't as good as we wanted them to be, but when you don't play well you have to fight and do everything to win that game. I think I am always doing that and I have to continue doing it."
Italy's performance against Belgium yesterday has certainly raised expectations for what Antonio Conte will be able to bring to the team in terms of tactics and man-management -- two of the key factors behind Chelsea's downfall last season. Willian's looking forward to drawing confidence from the new boss.
"I hope he does well with Italy at the Euros and can come to Chelsea happy. Of course, he's a great manager so I think he will come here and help us and I'm sure he will want to win titles here with us."
"We have to get back to playing with confidence in every game and the new manager will help us with that, so I can't wait for next season."
-Willian; Source: Chelsea FC
Neither can I, mate.