Dietmar Hamann: What Antonio Conte has changed about Chelsea

The Liverpool legend heaps praise on Antonio Conte for his impact at Chelsea

Dietmar Hamann has praised Antonio Conte for striking the right balance between defence and attack with his Chelsea side.

The Italian coach made a promising start to his Chelsea reign following his appointment as Guus Hiddink’s permanent successor after victories over West Ham United, Watford and Burnley in their opening three Premier League games.

However, Chelsea followed up a disappointing 2-2 stalemate at Swansea City with back-to-back defeats by title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal as the Blues were comprehensively outplayed.

The ex Juventus boss switched to a 3-4-3 formation and the tactical change has proven a masterstroke after a run of six successive Premier League victories ahead of the visit of Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday evening.

Chelsea were particularly impressive in their dismantling of Manchester United in a 4-0 win before producing what some have described as their best Premier League performance in a 5-0 victory over Everton.

Writing in his Paddy Power blog ahead of Chelsea’s derby clash against Tottenham on Saturday evening, Hamann explained what is different about Conte’s Chelsea.

“Antonio Conte has found a system that really compliments all of his top players at Chelsea.

“The first 45 minutes against Everton in November when they went 3-0 up was one of the best displays of football I’ve seen in a long time. The manager plays a big part in getting the best out of his players, and Chelsea’s success at the moment has got a lot to do with Conte.

“They are strong at the back and they’ve already kept seven clean sheets this season, but they play exciting, attacking football. That’s something you didn’t use to associate with Chelsea.

“Although they were successful, physical and functional, they were never free-flowing. They are a completely different team under Conte.”

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