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Date & time Sep 14 '17
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Why Antonio Conte's first season at Juventus offers a formidable warning to Chelsea's rivals

When Antonio Conte returned to Juventus in the summer of 2011 he was far from impressed with the state of disrepair that Italy's perennial winners had fallen into.

It may have only been four years since their return from a season in Serie B exile brought about by the Calciopoli scandal but this was Juventus. Claudio Ranieri had immediately returned to the league's upper echelons but as was his wont (at least before he joined Leicester City) he was unable to turn contenders into champions.

So Conte, fresh from guiding both Bari and Siena into Serie A, returned to a home that included such greats Gianluigi Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero that had settled for consecutive seventh place finishes. For a former captain who had lifted every major club honour between 1991 and 2004 this simply would not do.

The transformation was immediate, even more so than it has been at Chelsea, as hermes bags replica a side that had been turned over 10 times in Serie A and dumped out of the Europa League as early as the group stage became serial winners.

No one symbolised the rebirth of the Old Lady more emphatically than Pirlo, who had managed just 17 league appearances the previous year as the Milan side where he had made his name took the Scudetto. At the San Siro it was the likes of Mark Van Bommel and Kevin Prince Boateng preferred in a powerful midfield that had no space for a master craftsman.

Conte pounced to replica how much is a hermes handbag acquire a player who some believed had outstayed his welcome at the very pinnacle of the game much as he has with David Luiz on the Brazilian's return to Stamford Bridge. At first he struggled to work out quite what to do with Pirlo but once he got it right it ushered in a remarkable renaissance for the 31 year old.

Early games brought results but not necessarily a sense that something special was brewing in Turin, where Conte was often having to justify his decision to continue with the 4 2 4 formation he had used at Siena (and one which he insisted was "English" in its outlook).

Juventus had established themselves as table toppers by late November but there was more to come from Conte, who was struggling to find a system that fitted both the all action Vidal and the languid Pirlo into one midfield.

Antonio Conte's record before Chelsea

It would be a copycat trick that made the difference both for Juventus and Chelsea. Trailing Napoli 2 0 at the fearsome San Paolo Conte switched to mirror Walter Mazzarri's 3 4 2 1; with a little refinement it would be the system that came to define him.

The visitors roared back to claim a 3 3 draw and whilst Conte was at pains to praise his players' "humility, passion and belief to fight back" it was their coach who had inspired the comeback.

"It changed something in me, in the players, in the club. We understood the way to go and have a different season, compared to last season.

Chelsea's rivals would do well to note Juventus' league record once their manager found the right formation (3 replica hermes handbags 4 1 2): from the following 27 games a meagre 20 points were dropped, just 10 goals conceded.

Of course Conte benefitted from Juventus' non participation in European competition, and likely will continue to do so at Stamford Bridge, whereas Milan's campaign did not end until early April. Perhaps that explains why the second how much is a hermes birkin handbags half of the year saw I Bianconeri hit their remorseless heights.

A 5 0 win at rivals Fiorentina set the tone for a canter across the finish line as Inter Milan (2 0), Napoli (3 0) and Roma (4 0) were put to the sword in swift succession.

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