Chelsea confirmed on Monday that Antonio Conte will become their new head coach after Euro 2016, and the club have certainly got the right man for the job.
Conte will sign a three-year deal with the reigning Premier League champions when his contract with the FIGC expires this summer, as reported by Sky Sports, with his priority for now being Italy’s progress in France in June.
The timing of the announcement is certainly welcomed by all concerned though, as it gives Chelsea supporters the opportunity to look ahead to having a long-term coach in place while the uncertainty over Conte’s future had been taking the limelight away from the Azzurri’s preparations to an extent.
Nevertheless, with the deal confirmed all that can be put aside moving forward, and Chelsea should be pleased with their appointment as the 46-year-old is arguably the perfect man for the role.
Conte’s track record at club level speaks for itself having won three consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus, going unbeaten in his first year in charge and proving just how important he was to their success with his tactical flexibility and relentless work ethic.
As a result, it is a matter of his approach and system of working matching the culture at Chelsea, and the two parties appear to be a great fit.
Building on the success that Jose Mourinho brought to Stamford Bridge in his second spell was always going to be a difficult task. Guus Hiddink deserves plenty of credit for the stability he has brought in and the overall job he has done since arriving in December, but Conte is undoubtedly a step forward in the right direction.
As seen at Manchester United, it has been a disastrous spell for the club for the most part since Sir Alex Ferguson left, with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal failing to meet expectations.
The differences in philosophies and styles of play have contributed to that, and it is a situation that Arsenal may find themselves in sooner rather than later when Arsene Wenger eventually steps down.
While there is no absolute guarantee that Conte will achieve success with Chelsea, and certainly not immediately given the level of competition in the Premier League next season, he remains a smart move from the west London outfit.
The Italian tactician will bring his own ideas and sign his own players, but ultimately he won’t look to oversee a dramatic overhaul and a change in mentality as his demands of the players will not be unfamiliar to them.
It may well have been the same had Diego Simeone arrived from Atletico Madrid this summer, as Chelsea, like many other clubs, are built a certain type of way and succeed playing a certain style of football, regardless of whether or not those outside the club like it or not.
Conte will continue that work and look to improve on it, and for that reason, Chelsea should be commended for landing their man and it should lead to a successful few years with him at the helm.