Gianfranco Zola: What I really think about Antonio Conte at Chelsea this season

Gianfranco Zola admits he has been very impressed by Chelsea's strong start to the season under their new boss

Gianfranco Zola has admitted that Chelsea’s strong start under Antonio Conte has caught him by surprise.

The Blues have been in sensational form this season and head into the hectic festive period flying high at the top of the Premier League table and six points clear of second-placed Liverpool.

Indeed, the west London side have won their last 11 games on the spin to firmly establish themselves as the favourites to win the title this season.

It has been a fantastic start for Conte, who was only appointed as the club’s new manager over the summer, with the Italian still getting to grips with life in the Premier League.

And Chelsea legend Zola admits that he has been hugely impressed by the start to the season Conte has made at Stamford Bridge.

Speaking to Chelsea’s website, Zola said: “I’ve been very impressed because I didn’t expect him to achieve what he has so early, but I know Antonio, I know his qualities as a coach and I had no doubt he was going to do a good job.

“What is good is that he’s been able to get into the system so quickly.

“I hope they continue with the way they’re going because the challenges this season are big, both for him as a coach and Chelsea as a team, so I hope they can keep that consistency and continuity until the end of the season.”

MORE: The latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: The latest Chelsea player tweets

Chelsea’s strong form is in stark contrast to their dismal displays last season, when they finished in 10th place, without a trophy and with their title defence in tatters.

The Blues host Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day.

Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC confident Declan Rice wants to move to Stamford Bridge - report
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal close in on deal for FC Barcelona goalkeeper Neto - report
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta drops hint about remaining Arsneal signings
Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo (Photo: Spurs TV)
Tottenham ready to pay £21.6m for Valencia winger Bryan Gil - report
Paul Merson
Paul Merson names the key signing Chelsea FC need to make
Thomas Tuchel
Chelsea FC confident Declan Rice wants to move to Stamford Bridge - report
Mikel Arteta
Arsenal close in on deal for FC Barcelona goalkeeper Neto - report
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media / Screengrab)
Mikel Arteta drops hint about remaining Arsneal signings
Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo (Photo: Spurs TV)
Tottenham ready to pay £21.6m for Valencia winger Bryan Gil - report
Paul Merson
Paul Merson names the key signing Chelsea FC need to make
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature