There’s a big interview with Antonio Conte in Saturday’s print edition of Italian newspaper La Repubblica, a preview of which is posted online on their website. That’s not entirely useful; fortunately a more complete translation can be on Football Italia.
In this interview, Conte touches on several familiar topics — family now moving after staying behind to complete school; getting the players to buy into his strict dietary restrictions (though he apparently relented on the no pre-match scrambled eggs) and repetitive training methods; all that touchline and post-match exuberance — but there are a couple interesting takes as well concerning the past as well as the future.
Starting with the former, Conte recounts the thought process behind the famous formation switch after the Arsenal loss, a decision that discarded a good bit of work he had done with the players since pre-season and hit the rest button on the team’s tactics.
“The team would go out on to the field and I didn’t know what was going to happen: that’s the worst sensation for a Coach. Defeat for me lasts two days, while victory is only an hour.”
“I thought: if I have to die, let me die by my own ideas. My own conviction, my own meticulous work. I am not someone who compromises. I was giving my all and didn’t feel under pressure, but I couldn’t change my nature. The squad respected me and my past spoke for me, including as a player.”
At the time, Conte said he didn’t have a magic wand to fix the squad’s problems. He simply had his convictions, his commitment, and his passion. And the work. Always the work. The work that never stops. The work that’s only beginning.
“My objective is to lay the foundations so Chelsea can continue to win.”
“This is already a big club, but it’s inconsistent. They won the Champions League, then went out in the first round. They won the Premier League and then finished 10th. Chelsea need to find stability at the top. I will speak to Roman Abramovich soon.”
-Antonio Conte; source: La Repubblica via Football Italia
With Conte set for a new contract, the future looks as bright as ever.