Post subject: Conte: The Italian One
29. Jun 2016, 10:05
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|Is Antonio Conte the best coach in the world at the moment? It’s a question that is not too far-fetched given his accomplishments with Juventus and Italy so far at Euro 2016.
The Azzurri’s tactical domination of Spain showed that Conte is capable of out-thinking his opposing numbers, and is not just an outstanding man-motivator that his touchline antics seem to imply. There is much more to the 46-year-old than meets the eye.
Few are as studious as Conte. His staff claim that he spends countless hours studying his opposition, trying to find out any weaknesses he can exploit or areas he needs to try and rectify in time. The results against favourites Spain and Belgium was peak Conte.
La Roja and Belgium both won the possession battles – 60 and 57 percent respectively – but most of that time was spent in non-critical areas. In other words, Italy said ‘we’ll give you the ball and you can hold onto it, but we’ll write the rules’.
When it came to clear chances and shots on goal, the Azzurri came out well on top in both areas. Italy also ran more kilometers than both teams and showed a unified spirit and energy that ensured they would come out with the result they wanted.
Conte has also shown an incredible knack of extracting the maximum out of his players, and giving them their confidence back. Mattia De Sciglio is almost unrecognizable from the bumbling bones of nerves he’s been at AC Milan; Conte has turned him into a man.
Strike pairing Eder and Graziano Pelle were largely reserves at Inter and Southampton in the second half of the season, and now look like threatening every time they walk onto the pitch. Daniele De Rossi is another example of a player reborn.
This is not even taking into account the incredible work he did at the Bianconeri, taking them from near mid-table mediocrity into an unstoppable machine that have won the Scudetto five seasons running.
Undoubtedly, Conte now belongs to the elite class of coaches, joining Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp, Luis Enrique and Diego Simeone. No wonder Chelsea fans are keenly awaiting his arrival.