Pundit: Pep Guardiola’s struggles highlight Antonio Conte’s success at Chelsea

Alan Smith explains why Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is his manager of the season

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte Photo: The Sport Review

Alan Smith believes Pep Guardiola’s struggles at Manchester City highlights just how good a job Antonio Conte has managed to do at Chelsea this season.

The former Italy head coach and Juventus manager took over the reins of the Stamford Bridge outfit last summer after Chelsea finished in tenth place in the Premier League table last term.

Conte wasted no time signing five players in an attempt to overhaul his squad as Marcos Alonso, David Luiz and N’Golo Kante established themselves as first-team regulars.

The Italian made the decision to switch to a 3-4-3 formation back in September following successive losses to Liverpool and Arsenal before Chelsea went on a 13-game winning run.

Indeed, the Blues are sitting seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table thanks to a 3-1 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday evening.

Former Arsenal striker Smith is under no illusion that Conte has been the manager of the season following Chelsea’s incredible title challenge in the 2016-17 season.

“He is streets ahead of the competition. He didn’t know the country or the league when he arrived and we’ve seen Pep Guardiola experience problems as talented a manager as he is,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“The way Conte has gone about his work has been hugely impressive. He’s turned to his three at the back formation and it’s been a snowball effect from there. It seems a happy camp, he’s learned the language very quickly and it’s been a big success story at Stamford Bridge.”

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Chelsea have only lost two games in their last 25 outings to help the west London side move seven points clear of Tottenham.

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