Legend addresses difference between Antonio Conte and Jose Mourinho at Chelsea

Michael Ballack explains why Antonio Conte has succeeded at Chelsea where Jose Mourinho failed at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea legend Michael Ballack Photo: BT Sport

Michael Ballack believes Jose Mourinho’s abrasive personality led to his Chelsea demise.

The Blues legend was sacked in December 2015 after a disappointing start to the defence of their Premier League crown in his third season at Stamford Bridge during his second spell at the west London club.

Guus Hiddink took over the reins on an interim basis until the end of the 2015-16 season before former Italy and Juventus manager Antonio Conte was appointed as Mourinho’s permanent successor.

The former defender has guided Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League table after their tenth-placed finish last season.

Conte has even managed to mastermind two victories over Mourinho and his Manchester United in both the Premier League and the FA Cup in the 2016-17 season.

Chelsea suffered a 2-1 loss to Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace last weekend to give their title rivals some faint hope of a collapse.

Former Blues midfielder Ballack hailed Conte as the perfect manager to replace Mourinho and restore happiness to the Chelsea squad.

“Mourinho did well for a couple of seasons and then in the third one there was a problem. He is not an easy character and sometimes players are not easy characters. And sometimes when things are not working and they are not going in the right direction you should change it,” Ballack told the Daily Express.

“Conte is fresh. He was the right candidate and he is proving a fantastic coach. He came to Chelsea with no sentimentality in terms of anyone, he was completely new. He has adapted to a new league which is totally different to what he was used to as a player and manager. He has his ideas, he has put them across to his squad and it has worked. He has brought structure and happiness back to the players – they are enjoying their football.”

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Mourinho won the Premier League title and the League Cup during his second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were 4-0 winners against Manchester United in the Premier League back in October before a 1-0 victory over Mourinho’s men in the FA Cup last month.

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