Antonio Conte admitted that winning the Premier League title again with Chelsea this season will be harder than retaining Serie A with Juventus after watching his team lose 1-0 at home to rivals Manchester City.
Conte won three successive Serie A titles as manager of Juventus but is already finding it harder to try to retain the Premier League title with Chelsea.
TITLE DEFENCE IS DIFFICULT
Speaking after the defeat, Conte explained that he’s expecting a much tougher title defense than in Italy due to the attitudes of his Premier League rivals.
‘I see the commitment every day, but for sure to defend the title is very difficult,’ he said.
‘It is very difficult for every team in this league. To defend – it is very difficult to win two titles in a row.
‘It wasn’t simple second time, but it was easier. Here, from last season to this season, you have big teams and now they are bigger.
RIVALS SELLING KEY PLAYERS
After Chelsea won the league last season their main rivals, Tottenham, Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal, made a significant investment in their squads. While at the second season at Serie A rivals sold their star players.
‘We won the title with Juventus and I was expecting a really strong challenge from AC Milan, but instead, they sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris St Germain, so they became weaker.’
‘And now after I think a great transfer market, they have improved a lot. It’s not simple to play this league.’
‘And now after I think a great transfer market, they have improved a lot. It’s not simple to play this League.’
LOT OF MATCHES IN SHORT SPACES
Conte also defended his decision to deploy Cesar Azpilicueta at right wing-back while benching Victor Moses, suggesting that Morata’s injury underlines the risk involved in exposing his players to a lot of matches in a short space of time.
“Morata played three games in seven days and got injured,” he explained. “It’s not simple for our wing-backs. Moses played two games against Stoke and Atletico, [Marcos] Alonso one and a half because he came off early against Stoke. You have to try not to put your players in difficulty, but you also take a risk [by not playing them] because Moses is an important player for us.
“To play three games in seven days, you risk. With Morata it was the same but I made this decision to risk Morata in this game because imagine [the criticism] if I decided to put him on the bench.”
PROUD OF HIS PLAYERS
‘I think last season we did a really great job, because we won the League against a really strong team because Man City last season also was a fantastic team.
“I see my players every day and I am proud to be the coach of these players,” he added. “I see their commitment in every training session and during the game. I must be pleased with this. For sure to defend the title is very difficult and for every team to win the league. The past shows it is very difficult to win two titles in a row [in England].”
Antonio Conte admits it was easier to retain the title in Italy than in the Premier League https://t.co/fOBtUt3SlA
— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) October 2, 2017
Only five months have passed since the ex-Italy manager won the Premier League in his maiden campaign at the club, and is already finding difficult to fight in the league. This summer’s transfer business was also highlighted as something that may have swung Conte’s decision, missing out some of the signatures. There are some high-profile vacancies in Italy as AC Milan is still struggling to find their foot in the league. Although there’s much success to be enjoyed at Chelsea if Conte decides to stay.
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