Frank Lampard says that Antonio Conte is not going to tolerate with players


Frank Lampard says that Antonio Conte is not going to tolerate with players not in line with his philosophy when he comes to take charge of Chelsea in the summer.

Lampard expects those players to be sold by the Italian without second thoughts.Conte will come to the club after his role with the Italian national ends after the Euro 2016. Lampard admitted that the club was in a state of transition when Jose Mourinho arrived almost three years ago. The arrival of the Portuguese was expected to make the club a dominant force for the next decade.

This was not the case after Mourinho found themselves once again looking for a new job inside three years. The club also has failed to qualify for the Champions League next season. Many now feel that the club has gone backwards. Lampard felt that Chelsea were in a promising position with the likes of Eden Hazard, Juan Mata, and Kevin De Bruyne were all young and starting to dominate the team. Now, those young players have either been sold or they are suffering from a catastrophic dip in form. Lampard says that Conte now has a big job on his hands to rebuild Chelsea from the bottom up. Continue reading

Paolo Di Canio backs Antonio Conte


West Ham legend Paolo Di Canio has given his backing to Antonio Conte, who is widely expected to take charge of Chelsea in the summer.

The 46-year-old has only experienced Italian football up until now in his managerial career. He is currently in charge of the Italian national team. This job was secured on the back of his impressive spell with Juventus. However, Conte recently confirmed that he was stepping down from his role as the national team boss after the Euro 2016. He took charge of Italy only after the World Cup 2014 from Cesare Prandelli.

Many would have expected him to carry on until the 2018 World Cup and this decision comes as a major surprise. However, he has never looked comfortable with national team management since there is no day-to-day involvement. Chelsea have had a revolving door of managers, but there seems to be a change in the attitude of the club in recent times. The club parted company with José Mourinho midway through the 2015-16 season only because results were extremely poor and the club found itself in the middle of a relegation battle. Di Canio revealed that he spoke in length about English football with Conte only two months ago, but the discussion never featured Chelsea according to the West Ham legend. Continue reading

Italy boss set to join Chelsea as manager


The current Italy head coach, Antonio Conte is set to be announced as the next Chelsea manager. He will be the successor to Guus Hiddink, who will stay until the end of the current season.

Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho, who was sacked by the Chelsea board earlier this season because of poor performance.
Antonio Conte has declared that it is an honor to be managing a club like Chelsea especially after having been able to lead his own country’s national team. Continue reading

Italian football went through a very tough period in the previous decade


Italian football went through a very tough period in the previous decade but it is slowly climbing up to the top according to the national team manager Antonio Conte.

Italian clubs were regarded as the finest in the world during the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, rising TV money helped the Premier League to attract a number of stars towards the turn of the century. Even though the Premier league was not able to compete with the Italian league in terms of trophies won on a European scale, the English league was largely seen as the best competition in the world.

The domination now is being conducted by the Spanish league, butConte reckons that the tables are turning in favour of the Italians once again. Juventus reached the Champions League final last season when they were narrowly beaten by Barcelona, who were the huge favourites ahead of the competition. Juventus are now on a winning run of more than 13 matches and it has seen them claim to top of the Italian Serie A from an improbable position only a few months ago. Conte says that the Italian FA has taken similar steps to that of Germany 15 years ago. This means investing in the youth and it will pay dividends in the future according to the former Juve boss. Continue reading

Juventus on course for record season


Serie A leaders Juventus are on course to make history in Italy this season, provided they can keep their run of wins going for a few more games.

The reigning Italian champions brought their consecutive winning streak to 15 games with a 1-0 victory over Napoli recently. Simone Zaza’s goal ensured they picked up maximum points once again in a game against their title rivals, a win which allowed them to leapfrog Napoli to the top of the Serie A standings.

Juventus will now have Inter Milan’s record of 17 consecutive wins in their sights. Inter set that mark during the 2006-2007 season. Their run began early in the campaign in October when they defeated Livorno comfortably 4-1. It then stretched all the way through to late February when they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Udinese.

This latest stretch by Juventus is the fifth time in the club’s history that they have embarked on a winning consecutive run of 10 games or more. They first did so during the 1931-32 season, and have achieved the feat four more times since 2013.

The 2015/16 season did not start very well for Juventus under manager Massimiliano Allegri. They failed to win any of their opening three games, with defeats coming against Udinese and Roma in week one and two, respectively.

In September, Juventus lost further ground on the league leaders as they dropped points against Chievo, Frosinone and Napoli as their slow start to the campaign continued. Their poor run of form meant they had dropped all the way down to the bottom half of the standings, a position they are not used to being in.

After losing on the road to Sassuolo on October 28, Allegri was starting to come under pressure for his job. Large sections of the Juventus crowd were running out of patience with the 48-year old as the Old Lady looked to be losing their grip on their title. That pressure would have been further intensified if Juan Cuadrado had not scored the winner in the 93rd minute in Juve’s 2-1 win at home to Torino in their very next game. That victory began their 15 game winning streak, a run which has allowed them to climb back to the top of the table in Italy.

The league championship now looks to be a two horse race between Juventus and Napoli as the pair are nine points clear of third placed Roma. Although Juve have stolen all the headlines recently for their consecutive winning run, Napoli have had a fantastic campaign themselves as they have only lost three times in Serie A, with one of those losses coming recently against the defending champions.

Juventus are 8-15 in the latest Serie A odds as they bid for their fifth league championship on the spin. The Old Lady also have a two-legged last 16 Champions League tie with Bayern Munich to contend with in the near future, while they look set to reach the final of Coppa Italia as they beat Inter 3-0 in the first-leg of their semi-final clash.

Belgium have been one of the most surprising packages


Belgium have been one of the most surprising packages in the last few years when it comes to national teams.

They were little known among the European giants, but they have been named as the second-best team in the world in the latest FIFA rankings. Such has been their rise in world football that many of starting them to see is the realistic contenders for the Euro 2016 alongside Germany. This is the view of Italy manager Antonio Conte, who is himself under great pressure to get results with Italy in Euro 2016. Belgium will be in a group containing the likes of Sweden and Republic of Ireland.

However, the biggest opponent in the group will undoubtedly be Italy. After having failed to even get past the group stages of the World Cup 2014, there is a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the Italian players. The team reached the final of the previous European Championship. Hence, they will be at least expected to match or go beyond this stage for the 2016 edition. Sweden will also have a lot to prove since this is expected to be the last major tournament for Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker is regarded as the linchpin of everything good done by the Swedish. Continue reading

Antonio Conte has been able to stabilise the Italian national team


After starting out in disappointing fashion, manager Antonio Conte has been able to stabilise the Italian national team.

The team has managed six wins in the last nine games and will be targeting a seventh win against Norway in the Euro 2016 qualifying match. A victory from this match will surely guarantee a place in the Euro 2016 competition as the winners of the group. Such a position will surely provide Conte with some much needed time to look at other players. For the time being, the game against Norway is on his mind. The former Juventus manager believes that Norway will not be providing any favours for the 2006 world champions.

Only a few qualifiers ago, Italy looked in danger of missing out on the top spot since Croatia were leading for much of the qualification campaign. However, they have come to form at just the right stage to seal the win. Norway cannot be taken for granted since they are on a high after winning the last three games. Høgmo’s team usually do not play for a draw and this fact is aptly demonstrated by Norway’s sole draw in the qualification campaign. As far as the competition itself is concerned, Conte claimed that Italy will no longer be considered as pretournament favourites due to recent showings. Continue reading

Juventus finally managed to end the drought in terms of victories


Juventus finally managed to end the drought in terms of victories by claiming a 2-0 win over Genova during the weekend.

This finally brought an end to the disastrous form that saw them take only one point from the opening three games. Inter had already taken advantage of these slipups by winning four out of the four opening fixtures. They are one of the few teams in Europe five major leagues to have won all of their matches until now. Despite already falling eight points behind the leaders, Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri does not feel pressurised by the situation.

Allegri says that there is a lot of possibilities still left for Juventus to build on this situation. The win over Genova is likely to be utilised in a positive way by the team. Even though Inter have won all of their games so far, these victories have come by the odd goal. It may be only a matter of time before Roberto Mancini’s team slip up. The fixture list could not have thrown a midweek game at a much better time for Juventus, who are up against Frosinone on Wednesday night. It gives them a great opportunity to build on the first win of the campaign. Continue reading

Juventus became the first Italian team to reach the final of the Champions League


Juventus became the first Italian team since Inter Milan back in 2010 to reach the final of the Champions League.

They were seen as one of the underdogs in the tournament, but still managed to knock off the likes of Real Madrid and set up a match against Barcelona. Overwhelming favourites Barcelona managed to clinch the trophy 3-1, but it could have been very different had not been for some poor finishing by the Italians. After having based much of their game on a strong defence, Juventus found themselves extremely unlikely to lose goals via mistakes.

Their former manager Antonio Conte, who is currently in charge of the national team, says that the form shown by the club this season has certainly surprised him. During his few years with the Turin-based outfit,Conte managed to attain legendary status after having seen them get promoted from the second division to becoming the champions of Italy once again. If there was a criticism ofConte, it was that Juventus did not do well in the Champions League. In his defence,Conte was having a team that was still being heavily rebuilt for the European campaign. Since taking over the Italian national team after a disappointing World Cup,Conte has overseen a mediocre performance in the Euro 2016 qualification phase. Continue reading