Conference Call: Work the only way

It was not only two league defeats in a row that Antonio Conte was reflecting on after Saturday’s outing at Arsenal. Importantly for him it was defeats in what were two big tests for the side in the early weeks of his time in charge.

The Blues were defeated 3-0 following on from the 2-1 home reverse against Liverpool that preceded our cup win at Leicester, and it was the manner in which the players started the London derby that appeared to concern our head coach the most. When it comes to possible remedies, Conte is consistent and clear. There are no short cuts, there are no quick fixes. What is needed now is a lot of hard work and the appreciation that it is the best way forward.

‘We started this game in a bad way, and from the first minute,’ said Conte. Arsenal went ahead on 11 minutes and scored all their goals before half-time.

‘This is very strange because Arsenal against Chelsea is a massive game,’ he continued, ‘and when we play this type of game against a very good team like Arsenal, you must stay concentrated from the first minute and this today did not happen.

‘I was a footballer and it happens that in one game you don’t have a good performance for many reasons, but I hope to improve this situation. We’ve had defeat in two big games. For this reason we must be humble and understand the moment and that we need to work a lot to improve and change our story.’

Ten minutes into the second half, Conte brought on Marcos Alonso for Cesc Fabregas and the team switched to three central defenders – Branislav Ivanovic, David Luiz and Gary Cahill – with the substitute and Cesar Azpilicueta playing further forward on the flanks.

‘I have to solve the situation because every game we concede two goals minimum,’ he pointed out strongly. 

‘Whether it is two back, three back or four back, I must find the right solution for this team and I work a lot to do this.’

Conte emphasised this was not a time to isolate the defenders, or the midfielders, or the forwards when it comes to taking about the defeat. It is all about shared responsibility throughout the team and the staff. He spoke earlier in the season about the need to sense danger in a game before it occurs.

‘I said this before we have two defeats and this message is good for the present and for the future,’ he said. ‘We must work a lot to improve and change the situation because now we are only a great team on paper, not on the pitch.

‘The pitch is the truth, it is the most important thing for us, not the words and not the paper. We must change this because last season was a bad season. There are many difficulties but if we understand this, we are in a great position to recover and change the situation.’