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

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

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

Italy sent Signal after winning Group Match


When Italy toppled England in their first group match in the World Cup in Brazil last year, they sent a signal to the rest of the World. They made the statement that they were well and truly in the fight. They were there to become the Champions again.

Nine months down the road, here we are feeling pity over the situation of Italian Football.

How unpredictable can the Sports be at times?

The England win that the Azzurri achieved to get started in Brazil, that was followed by a couple of defeats and let alone winning the competition, they had been knocked out before the knockouts.

Something had to give and that happened to be the resignation of Cesare Prandelli.

Prandelli, while leaving, blamed the clubs in the Italian top tier for not working in tandem with the national team management and not cooperating enough. But, at that point of time, it was seen just as a mere excuse from the outgoing manager to hide his failure.

However, the new man Antonio Conte seems to have started feeling the same now. He has had to deal with the reluctance of the clubs to let the players go on national duty that often.

The players get released if a FIFA game is there in the schedule, but, apart from that, there is no allowance from the clubs, not even for short camps and that is becoming a reason of frustration for Conte now. Continue reading

Andrea Pirlo announces his Retirement


Following the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup, Andrea Pirlo announced his plans to retire from playing at the international scene but even at his 35 years of age, Pirlo is one of the most influential and key figures not only for his club Juventus but also for Italy.

The head coach of Italy, Antonio Conte decided to have a meeting with Pirlo and somehow managed to convince the experienced midfielder on staying with the Italian team for a few more years.

When Pirlo was asked in an interview about the possibility of retiring, the Italian midfielder responded by saying: “Of course, there’s enough Pirlo to go for a while. I still have a few years of football ahead.I still love this sport the way I did when I was 15. When I wake up one day and that’s no longer the case, I’ll retire.But that moment is still very distant. Antonio Conte called me and asked me if I would be willing to lend my country a hand for Euro 2016. And he convinced me.

“In 2006 we had an unrepeatable generation and that year’s World Cup was our moment.”

Andrea Pirlo’s decision to continue playing for a few more years is a sigh of relief for many supporters of the Italian national side as there still has not been any other player that can replace him. Continue reading