Antonio Conte has revealed his delight at Michy Batshuayi’s strong form for Chelsea this season.
The Belgian forward was the hero when he came off the bench to net the dramatic winner in Chelsea’s thrilling 2-1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night.
Batshuayi struggled to hold down a regular spot in the first team at Chelsea last season following his transfer from Marseille in the summer of 2016.
However, he did net the all important goal which clinched Chelsea the title at West Brom back in May.
The 23-year-old has still only started one game in the Premier League for Chelsea so far this season.
But Conte has been thrilled by the striker’s recent improvements with Chelsea.
Speaking at his post-match news conference last week, Conte said of Batshuayi: “I think it’s important for Michy.
“Don’t forget he is another young player, and last season he struggled a lot to understand the league. I think he is improving and his commitment is very good during training sessions.
“He has a lot of room for improvement and he has to continue to work in this way.
“When there is the possibility to play it is right to give this type of answer and don’t forget he scored in the previous game against Qarabag and against Nottingham Forest he scored three. For a striker to score is always important for your confidence.
“I want this type of player with great ability to give me the possibility to make changes game by game.”
The striker will be hoping to be involved when Chelsea return to Premier League action on Saturday evening with a crunch clash against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues head into the game in third place in the Premier League table and knowing that victory over the Citizens would move them level on points with Pep Guardiola’s leaders.
Chelsea won the Premier League title in Conte’s first season at the club last term.
Chelsea v Manchester City: Pep Guardiola explains the differences between Antonio Conte and
It’s one of the biggest games in our season as Chelsea take on Manchester City at Stamford Bridge and arguably two of the most talented managers in the game come head to head.
Plenty will continue to be made of both managers and the comparison between the two leading up to the game as Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring Manchester City take on Antonio Conte’s well-oiled disciplined side that can defend as a unit but hurt anyone in attack.
It’s an intriguing game for many reasons with battles being fought all over the pitch. Both managers will use the game as a benchmark for where they see their teams progress at this early stage of the season.
Speaking ahead of the game, Pep Guardiola spoke of the difference between his tactical approach to football compared to Antonio Conte’s and it was more than interesting to hear his take on things. He said:
“The best way to explain what we are at Manchester City is with a glass of wine in front of the TV and watch the team play. When I see Conte it’s like a team that he has to defend compact, 10 players, and after use the counter-attack like a machine with Pedro, Willian, [Eden] Hazard, [Alvaro] Morata, [Diego] Costa in the past. When they can attack, they can attack.
They’ve been strong since a long time ago, Chelsea. They are all tall and strong. They are a really good team. One of the best teams in Europe. It’s a big chance to see what we are. It’s a good test for us against the last champions of the Premier League.
Especially what I like the most is they don’t create a lot of chances. They shoot four times and score four goals against Tottenham [in the FA Cup semi-final]. When this happens it means a lot, it’s a top team. They have that ability – they are killers when they have one chance – one goal. That’s why they’re a good team.” – Source: The Telegraph.
Personally, I respect Pep Guardiola for what he has achieved at Barcelona in creating arguably the best club side in the world at the time back then. I do not feel the same for his time at Bayern Munich because let’s face it, he made a choice to join a league and a club that has one or possibly two main threats to their title every year being an easy option. The fact that he came to Manchester City and the toughest league in the world and won nothing at all for the first time in his career is the wake up call he needed.
The again, his comments explain perfectly for me why he didn’t win anything over here last year. It’s all well and good playing free-flowing football through midfield into attack but you also need to be defensively sound.
You MUST defend well as a unit, as a team to have any chance of being successful. I personally believe that Manchester City have missed a trick this summer as they decided to invest heavily in three wing-backs (with one now out for the season) and not a world class centre back. Without Vincent Kompany in that back line, City are nowhere near the same and will miss him his evening. John Stones is not yet at the level he needs to be on a consistent basis and Otamendi is erratic when really put under pressure as Chelsea demonstrated at The Etihad last season scoring three second half goals to win the game 1-3.
Antonio Conte’s title success last year has re-iterated that he is a tactical genius that studies his opponents to set up his team to beat them and counter-act the threat they pose. In doing so, he ensures that his team has the right balance to it through defence, midfield and into attacking areas.
As we know, he commands/demands discipline and hard work from his team all over the pitch and gets exactly that from everyone. It’s worth noting that he also is not afraid to make big decisions to replace a player if he isn’t giving Conte what he demands.
In addition to being defensively sound, he encourages attacking play and his decision to give Eden Hazard licence to roam as an out-and-out number ten a master stroke in the week.
One thing I will say about his comments about Conte’s Chelsea is that I disagree totally when he said that we do not create many chances. Did he not see our performance against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday? Did he not see Conte’s Chelsea team dominate Atletico, create numerous chances and become the first English team to beat Diego Simeone’s side in the Champions League? Did he not see Stoke last week?