Antonio Conte took responsibility for Chelsea’s subpar result on Wednesday night, crediting the commitment and effort of his players, while admitting that he made a mistake in setting out his team in a more reactive 3-5-2 rather than a more proactive 3-4-3 formation.
The assessment is in stark contrast with Chelsea’s last game, after which Conte supposedly “ripped into” his players for the poor showing in losing to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. This time, Conte questioned his own choice of setting out with a more conservative — even though that got us into a 2-1 lead — and rued his decision not to go with a more proactive 3-4-3 from the start — even though Roma scored two goals after we switched to that in the wake of David Luiz’s substitution.
“I like to be honest. For sure I didn’t like the type of football that we did for a lot of the game.
“It’s right to take responsibility for this. I tried with one hand to protect my team to become more solid, and move a central defender into midfield, Luiz. On the other hand, we totally lost our style of football. I didn’t like this.
“In the end I think the result was fair. We were 2-0 up but we weren’t in control of the game and it’s right to take the responsibility for this. Sometimes you have to find the right solution to try to protect your team. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad.
“When we switched back to our system, we pushed deeper, we had chances and in some instances we played good football.
“You know our situation very well. It was good to draw because Roma deserved this result. I have to praise my players because they showed me a big effort, a big commitment tonight otherwise we lose the game.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Chelsea FC
If nothing else, we should appreciate the candor and the honesty of the man in charge. The players undoubtedly do as well.
There were some good signs we can build on for the weekend, where we’re unlikely to go with another defensive showing, especially since we might be down to just one healthy midfielder. Watford are having a good season and are stronger than their name would lead us to believe. As ever, it won’t be an easy game, but if we can learn from our mistakes, we can hopefully put together a good performance and get back on the winning track.