Antonio Conte: Former Choir Boy Has Turned Chelsea into Genuine Premier League Contenders

It’s breathless watching the Italian who has seen his side go 10 hours without conceding

THE baseball cap he briefly donned in the second half might have ruined his Sunday best.

But yesterday was more proof that churchgoer Antonio Conte has smartened up Chelsea’s act, turning last season’s sinners into potential title winners.

And the fact the devout Catholic has got his Blues to the top of the table is nothing to with his pre-match prayers.

No, it is his meticulous managerial methods that have his disciples singing off the same hymn sheet.

Pictures emerged this week of the Chelsea chief as a ten-year-old altar boy in his southern Italian home of Lecce.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte when he was an altar boy growing up in Lecce

And Conte went on to reveal some of his religious rituals, which include sprinkling holy water on the pitch before games.

But he would be thrown out of church if he behaved in God’s place like he does in — and out — of his technical area.

For seeing Conte relentlessly stomp up and down the touchline for 90 minutes gives just some insight into what he must be like back at Chelsea’s Cobham HQ.

It is breathless just watching him, so goodness know what it must be like for fourth official Craig Pawson, whose job it was to try and keep him in check.

Yet his passion has clearly got through to his players, who are beginning to look as organised and disciplined as they did in the good times under Jose Mourinho.

Ever since he touched down at Stamford Bridge in the summer, Conte’s mantra has been “work”.
And it is hard work that has got the Blues to the summit.

Chelsea have not conceded in almost ten hours of Premier League football.

And Conte will feel like he has played every minute of that six-game clean-sheet run given the kilometres he must clock up.

The ex-Juventus chief’s heat map would probably put Boro striker Alvaro Negredo to shame.

And should his Chelsea coaching staff suffer any hearing loss in later life, they may well have a case for industrial deafness.

Only when Diego Costa gave Chelsea a 41st-minute lead did Conte momentarily stop barking and bellowing at his poor players. Yet normal service was soon resumed and there was no let-up until referee Jon Moss blew for full-time to signal job done.

Conte’s opposite number Aitor Karanka also spent the entire match stood outside of his dugout.

But while the Spaniard has also been known to have a touchline temper, his antics were nothing compared to his fellow Latino.

via SUN.

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