Conte's Fluid Five In Midfield Working Wonders
It may have taken a bit longer than last season, but Antonio Conte has proved his worth, once again, as one of the top football coaches in the world. Having discovered that his favoured 3-4-3 formation hasn't worked out with his current squad.
Like last season, when he changed from 4-4-2 to 3-4-3 against Arsenal, he's found a formation that suits the players at his disposal this time around. Adopting a 3-5-2 system that is more fluid in the middle of the park, Chelsea have looked stronger, both defensively and when attacking. The system still allows the Italian to use three defenders at the back, although of course at times, the wing-backs slot in to make five.
In midfield, Conte has been reluctant to leave Cesc Fabregas out of his team this season. That may well have been out of necessity following a spate of injuries, but as a pairing with another, be it, N'golo Kante or Tiemoue Bakayoko, the Spaniard has struggled.
With Kante back and fit following his hamstring injury, Fabregas has been given a freer role that allows him to create once again. Bakayoko may still be a bit raw in Premier League terms, but his workrate fits in with the system even if his finishing doesn`t.
The big Frenchman's finishing is inconsequential with Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata up front. As they showed on Saturday, Hazard and Morata are beginning to show signs of becoming a lethal partnership up front.
If Conte can have a team that's settled and injury free for a while, they are more than capable of putting a run of victories together.
It's no wonder Conte gets linked to every top job that becomes available and indeed, some that don't. There`s me thinking it's the media just being mischievous, but of course he get's linked, what team owner wouldn`t want him in charge. Let's hope Roman Abramovich feels the same way.