IT’S been one of football’s worst-kept secrets so no-one will be surprised when current Italy boss Antonio Conte is eventually unveiled as Chelsea’s new manager.
What may surprise a few of his new players is the Italian’s obsessive attention to detail and incredible intensity.
If they thought Jose Mourinho was a tough and demanding taskmaster, Chelsea’s players ain’t seen nothing yet according to a number of sources.
The Daily Mail reports: “Antonio Conte’s levels of control and micro-management are plain to see in the dining area of the Italy team, inside the Centro Tecnico Federale di Coverciano, here in Florence.
“As players approach the various food stations they are bombarded with messages and instructions printed large on 14 posters around the walls by the manager.
“They are advised how to eat their protein, fat and carbohydrates, and reminded of the benefits of a healthy diet for an elite athlete.
“Conte has a reputation for secrecy. Since taking over as Italy boss two years ago, he has increased the number of training sessions which are held behind closed doors and rarely allows media or the public to see him at work.”
It will certainly be interesting to see how Chelsea – and the English media – adapt to Conte’s approach.
Not all players appreciate or respond well to such an information overload, to the feeling that they are being watched and monitored every moment of the day.
For some, it’s simply too much – they just need to be told what to do on the football pitch and not be bombarded with off-field messages and rules.
One of Blues’ interim manager Guus Hiddink’s great assets is his ability to relate to the players while still retaining their respect.
Life will no doubt be very different under Conte.
Blues fans, is Conte’s approach what the club needs to get them back on track?