On Saturday as on Monday then; the late-late show with Antonio Conte continues to enthrall.
Just two episodes in, we already have a regular cast of characters making key cameos, with both Michy Batshuayi and Victor Moses playing key roles in the two wins. Batshuayi grabbed an assist on Monday and a goal today while Moses, especially today, proved far more effective than random little Pedro flitting about on the right wing.
And then, of course, there's Cesc Fàbregas. He may not be on the lead picture because Getty did not provide us with one, but he was no less instrumental in Chelsea turning this game around and winning it just as it looked like we'd be losing it. Just look at this pass, if nothing else. And watch the spin (both of the ball and the center back).
MY WORD. THIS ANGLE OF THE PASS pic.twitter.com/s97JFm3jjB— Antonio Conte (@We_got_history) August 20, 2016
LOOK AT IT.
Antonio Conte was suitably impressed as well.
"We all know Cesc. He's a great player with great technique, with a good pass and a good assist. I made this substitution because at that moment I wanted more quality and I saw Watford were thinking only to defend their goal."
"I am pleased with his attitude. He is working very hard during the training sessions to show me he deserves to play. I want to see this, that all the players show me they deserve to start the game. I am a very happy manager when I see this commitment. When you have many players thinking about the team and not himself, it's important. This situation is happening at Chelsea."
It's a bit of a conundrum now for the Chelsea manager, whether to persist with the 4-3-3 that's in theory our most solid look, or to go for the more adventurous version that includes Cesc Fàbregas (in a three- or a two-man midfield). I doubt Cesc would be happy with being an impact substitute the whole season, but we don't have the defenders needed to play him in a Pirlo-esque role and anything beyond that could be considered too much of a liability from the start.
"It was the same against West Ham It's normal because when you push during the game for 70 minutes, usually the opposition pays for their effort."
"Usually when new players come on during the game it happens that there is a great impact. I'm pleased for Moses, for Cesc, for Batshuayi because their impact was very good. It's important for me, this. It shows the great spirit of the team, the right attitude, the right commitment."
"I understand when you don't start the game usually you aren't happy. The manager must choose the starting XI and then try to find the right solution during the game. We saw this in these two games. I repeat: I'm happy for the commitment and attitude of the players. It shows a good family, a good team."
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
For now, this situation is working out perfectly from a results standpoint — last impact sub we had was André Schürrle — let's see if Conte can make it work from a personnel standpoint. If all the players can buy into the team/family concept, perhaps he will.