Daily Telegraph Journalist Matt Law, believes Conte has changed his tactics, where more focus is on Eden Hazard to perform.
Conte’s side was beaten by West Ham 1-0 on Saturday, with Conte accepting the fact that his side is no longer in the title race. Chelsea failed to register even a single shot against West Ham in the second half, despite having kept 71% of the possession. West Ham didn’t try to dominate for prolonged periods. When they got the ball, Masuaku made a run to go past Chelsea players and made forward passes, eventually setting up space for Arnautovic to shoot. Law believes Premier League sides are finding more ways to nullify the strength of Conte’s men after they registered the fourth defeat of this season.
Speaking on the Sunday Supplement, Law said: “They played really badly, started off really slow and they keep conceding the first goal. The worrying thing is that it’s getting to the stage where if you stop [Eden] Hazard, you stop Chelsea.”
“He’s changed the system, taking Pedro and Willian out of the team and he’s playing Hazard alongside Alvaro Morata which puts so much pressure on Hazard. If you get him on a quiet day or you manage to stop him, they just fall down in the last third and that’s what happened against West Ham.”
Conte said his players looked tired after a draw against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. The Italian went on to say that his players are not strong enough to give a tough challenge for domestic and European honors this season. Chelsea have dropped 16 points in 16 Premier League matches this season, they are not the same side which only dropped 21 points last season. Chelsea is 11 points behind of leaders Manchester City after the Citizens came out on top against United on Sunday.
Law added: “That was the surprising element. I wasn’t surprised he said that ‘we were done’. He’s sort of been heading that way for a couple of weeks. He’s kept saying that it’s going to take something amazing to catch Manchester City.”
Full-time: West Ham 1-0 Chelsea
The hosts take the points at London Stadium today. #WHUCHE pic.twitter.com/uUrYK0rJfx
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) December 9, 2017
“You felt for the last few weeks that he hasn’t really believed but this little add of ‘we were never in it’ is a flippant remark because he was upset about the defeat and that’s what made you look, as that will go down really badly with the Chelsea hierarchy.”
“He was being honest about his own views, and it’s just another insight into how upset Conte was with how the summer went, and how frustrated he was that he didn’t get all of his targets.”
“It just seems that whenever he has a bad spell or another defeat he can’t quite help himself going back to have another little dig at not getting what he wanted.”
I personally feel that Chelsea should forget about the title race and should focus on building their squad for the future competitions. Taking Willian out of the team, and Playing Hazard Alongside Morata is putting too much pressure on the Belgium International. Chelsea needs to work on finishing, that was the department where they were lacking against West Ham. The Blues got many chances to score, but they failed to finish them. They must have realized the importance of a good defensive midfielder, after losing Matic to Manchester United. Questions should be asked over the Bakayoko deal- another poor display from the Frenchman would have made everyone worried at Stamford Bridge.
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