There’s certainly a feeling that Chelsea’s game on Monday night against West Bromwich Albion is a must-win, and preferably in some style after back-to-back three-goal margin humiliations against AFC Bournemouth and Watford. And while the two defeats were somewhat different in nature, they shared several common themes, including giving up multiple goals in a brief period of time. Bournemouth scored three goals in 15 while Watford scored three goals in just 8 minutes, though for Conte, the latter was far more concerning due to the team’s attitude.
“We’ve started to work in the way that we know. I like to play football, I like to try to dominate the game and to do this you must have personality to play the ball. I think against Watford it was a really bad game for us, but yeah this can happen and the most important thing is it happens only once.”
“I think that every single player knows very well our results, every single player knows very well that we have to improve. For sure we have to improve and play better than the game against Watford, for the game against Bournemouth we shoot a lot, against Watford I think it was totally negative our performance.
We weren’t good enough, our choices weren’t good. This could be an excuse but I repeat when you have this type of game you have to look at yourself and understand that something was wrong for me and my players.”
Against Bournemouth we created chances to score and I think that we weren’t so clinical in this game and we paid a lot for it and we conceded three goals from three shots. Against Watford it was different because the performance was negative from the start and we didn’t create a lot of chances to score. We conceded three goals in only eight minutes and I think that the coach has to understand and try to find the best solution to avoid this type of situation but for sure I didn’t like the Watford performance but I’m sure that [my players didn’t like] the performance against Watford [either].
As much as Conte wants to work and work and work and fix things, he acquiesced to the squad’s request for an extended three-day break this week. Refreshed, the team should hopefully be ready to tackle the season ahead, especially this next month of matches that will see a three-game homestand followed by three of four away against Manchester United, Manchester City, and Barcelona. Tough to think of a more daunting set of fixtures. but we’ll just have to take it one game at a time.
“We have to try to stop this bad run and to try and get three points against West Brom, it won’t be very easy as you know in this type of situation the confidence will not be very high but we have to try and trust in our work and in our football to try and get three points.”
At the end of the day, three points is all that matters. Football is a results-based business, after all. Conte is certainly no stranger to this concept, and knows that he will be judged on those first and foremost, even if there are extenuating circumstances. But until the proverbial judgement day, he is fully committed and trusts his players to do the same.
“I’m not thinking for even one moment the possibility of going away from this club. My commitment and the commitment of my players is totally for this club and we are trying to do our best, but as you know very well, because we’re talking about football, you know that a lot of times — I don’t agree but a lot of times — that the manager, the coach depends on the result. In this case we are having poor results and for this reason we have to pay great attention.”
-Antonio Conte; source: /r/chelseafc
Nothing could improve the current situation as much as a nice, comfortable win. Or any sort of win, for that matter. Just win, baby.