The latest edition of the club's official magazine features interviews with both Antonio Conte and N'Golo Kante...
The latest edition of Chelsea, available now in digital and pint format, features exclusive interviews with both Antonio Conte and N’Golo Kante as the head coach and midfielder look ahead to their first season at the club.
The club’s official magazine has a new look for the 2016/17 season with three new features, including a Q&A with a former Stamford Bridge favourite.
Conte arrived at Chelsea having enjoyed huge success during his previous spell in club management with Juventus who he led to three successive Serie A titles before departing to take charge of the Italy national team.
His current role is the first Conte has taken on outside his native Italy, and he tells the latest edition of Chelsea why he is looking forward to the challenge in England, as well as discussing some of the coaches who have had a big influence on his career.
‘I’m very excited because, for me, it’s also my first experience in another country, with a different championship,' he tells the magazine. 'I know this tournament is very difficult – I think the most difficult in the world – because there are six, seven or eight clubs that can win the title and every game is very tough. Easy games don’t exist.
‘We will have to play against great teams, to fight against great managers and also I am very excited about the atmosphere around English football.
‘I had many, many important coaches. In my career I was lucky to have Giovanni Trapattoni, Arrigo Sacchi, Carlo Ancelotti, Dino Zoff and Marcello Lippi.
‘I also don’t forget Eugenio Fascetti, who gave me the opportunity to play at 16 years old, in Lecce, my first team in Serie A, where I also played for Carlo Mazzone. Great managers, and I tried to take the best of all of them.’
With the Blues having finished 10th last season Conte sees similarities from when he started out at Juventus, who had achieved two successive seventh-placed finishes prior to his arrival.
‘Juventus hadn’t won the title for many, many years and at the start it did not appear easy. I remember that because confidence was low and the players didn’t trust themselves. It’s important to work in that situation and I remember we worked very hard.
‘We can see a bit of the same situation now, no? After a bad season, 10th place was no good for the players, confidence was low and the fans weren’t happy with this situation. But I know only one word that we must follow and that is to work, and to work very hard. If we stay together, in bad and in good situations, very, very soon we will try to go back to playing for the title.
‘It’s not easy, but we must try and we must find the right motivation, the right spirit to fight.’
Our capture of Kante has been hailed by many as the most astute piece of transfer business in the Premier League this summer, and it’s easy to understand why.
The Frenchman, who enjoyed a fine debut against West Ham United on Monday, tells Chelsea why he opted to move to Stamford Bridge and what he hopes to achieve during his time here.
‘It was a little bit difficult because what we did last year with Leicester was a very, very big achievement. But now it’s a new step for me and I hope good things will come,' the midfielder says.
‘I chose Chelsea because I spoke with the manager here and when I did that, I realised the capacity of the manager and that is why I made my decision. Now I have discovered him, and discovered how he is training, how he is, and what I can say is he is passionate and a hard worker. He likes to communicate, to make me understand his idea of football here.
‘He said he knows how I play and he thinks I can be a good player for his team and that’s why I’ve come here. And, of course, I like Premier League football and that is why I decided to stay in this league.
‘My ambition is to achieve good things with the club, to get success in the Premier League and, I hope, return to the Champions League. To the supporters, the only thing I would like to say now is that I will always give my best for the club, for the team.’
Frank Sinclair was a boyhood Chelsea fan who went on to play for the Blues, and help the team achieve huge success in the late 1990s having come through the ranks at the club.
In a new feature, ‘Drawing From Experience’ he looks back on his time at the club and discusses the change in mentality between the time when he made his debut and his later years in the side.
Sinclair, who now works as a pundit for Chelsea TV, also discusses the contrasting emotions he experienced in two separate Wembley finals.
Another new feature for the 2016/17 campaign, ‘The Month That Was’, sees the magazine pick a month and highlight notable moments from Chelsea history which took place within that time. On this occasion the focus falls on February, with a dream debut for George Hilsdon, Geoff Hurst taking the managerial reins and a maiden Charity Shield triumph all recalled.
The magazine also looks back on the four occasions we secured promotion back to the top flight in ‘We Were There’, as well as reflecting on our pre-season trip to the US, where the Blues played three friendlies and took part in a number of community initiatives.
The latest edition of Chelsea is available now from the Megastore and all good newsagents, priced £3.25.
You can also click to download a digital version of the magazine, priced £2.99.