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Five key areas Conte has outshined Wenger already

Tuesday 23rd August 2016
Two games, two wins and four goals, Antonio Conte is certainly living the Premier League dream. At a time two rival managers are yet to test victory, the Italian gaffer and Chelsea are already proving to be a match made in heaven.

Many pundits forecasted a tough start for the former Juventus boss who is managing for the first time outside Italy. But after back-to-back wins over West Ham and Watford, he is apparently taking the spotlight off the likes of Arsene Wenger - the oldest manager in the league at the moment.

However, it isn't totally about the wins, Conte has brought an entirely unique personality and charisma to England. And he has definitely outshined the Wenger in so many ways which are having a positive influence on the Blues. Here we examine five of these areas the Italian has surpassed his French counterpart.

His winning mentality



After an abysmal title defence in which the Blues slipped terribly from champions to 10th, a winning mindset was certainly required. The Spanish striker, Diego Costa, abandoned his goal scoring duties for shenanigans - while Eden Hazard was simply a shadow of himself - highlighting the severity of things and then entered Conte.

"He is a coach with a winning mentality who demands a lot from his players," former Chelsea goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, told Goal prior to the Italian's appointment being confirmed.

And he did exactly that ­- injecting passion and animation into a side routinely accused of lacking commitment. Costa struck the winner against West Ham with less than three minutes left and was at it again at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

His epic goal celebrations

Jurgen Klopp does it, Jose Mourinho is known for it and Conte, he is so into it. The happy days are slowly returning to Stamford Bridge thanks to a 100 percent record in the league.

However, it is the way and manner these victories were celebrated that really thrilled the Blues fans. Against West Ham, Conte ran in opposite directions before finally storming into the crowd after Costa's late winner. But this isn't entirely new to many. The gaffer one time hurt his nose while celebrating Italy's opener against Belgium at the 2016 European Championship. This is the sort of thing we might see a lot from a rejuvenated Stamford Bridge dugout.

His Fashion

Has anyone noticed Conte's smart appearances in Chelsea's two league games? The Italian sure knows a thing or two about fashion aside his unrivalled tactical prowess. In both games managed thus far, Conte stunned in well-tailored black suits with black tie and shoe to match. This attire could become a trademark in the Premier League going by his antecedence. No wonder he literally likened himself to a tailor during his unveiling last month.

"The coach is a tailor who must make the best dress for the team. Last season in 10th was a bad season, but we must think to the present."

Flexibility



Who substitutes an Eden Hazard and Oscar for a Victor Moses and Michy Batshuayi? None but Conte. Both players came on against the Hammers and were instrumental in Costa's equaliser. And once again, the 46-year-old tinkered with his formation against Watford sending in the duo alongside Cesc Fabregas when the going got tough. Their effects were immediately felt - Batshuayi got the equaliser while Fabregas assisted the other. This proves the manager isn't rigid and is ready to take risks. Conte even hinted he might start with two strikers in subsequent games something we haven't seen a while.

“Diego is working very hard like the other players. He can improve a lot with work. Also, Batshuayi is a young player with great potential who can improve a lot. They can play together not only during the game but also at the start of the game” he said after the win at the Hornets.

Rarely loses feud with rivals

While Wenger is yet to find the antidote for nemesis, Jose Mourinho, Conte has already gone about his perfectly. He proved this when he came up against bitter rival, Walter Mazzarri, now in charge of Watford. Their feud dates back to their time in the Serie A with Juventus and Napoli respectively. Mazzarri claims his compatriot imitated his tactics which won him the 2011 Scudetto and ever since it's been an endless war of words. Prior to Saturday's meeting, Conte stated their "relationship is very normal" with Mazzarri adding that they're not friends. At this point, it was down to the football pitch to decide. Chelsea won the encounter away from home with Conte earning the bragging right in the first of numerous clashes against his compatriot in England.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 


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