MATIC: Midfielder talks of last season and "special feeling" with Antonio Conte.
Nemanja Matic is another player that if I am honest, thought would want to leave the club and joi...
Nemanja Matic is another player that if I am honest, thought would want to leave the club and join Jose Mourinho after the Special One was appointed the new boss at Old Trafford. For now it seems that he could remain at Chelsea which is a massive bonus in my opinion!
Despite the money spent to sign him and the thousands of pounds per week he earns to play Football, Nemanja Matic like many others is a confidence player. When I say that I am referring to having confidence to express himself in addition to having confidence in the players he plays alongside.
As the majority of our team suffered with a massive dip in confidence last year, Matic followed and struggled with having to cover Cesc Fabregas alongside him in the heart of our Midfield. He was left isolated and exposed for the first time since he re-signed for the club and it had a massive effect on him and his future here.
Guus Hiddink seemed to pick him up towards the end of last season as Matic got back into the side and performed well, but questions still remain over his immediate future.
Scroll forward to the present and it seems that things have changed for Matic personally after speaking to Antonio Conte and this could be as important for us as having spent money on a new signing.
Matic talked of last season and said:
'It was a strange year for all of us. Of course I was not happy that we were 10th in the table. There were many things that made it hard for me but I can't speak about it.
In the last 10 years, Chelsea have also been there at the highest level. Last season we didn't play well, we were 10th in the table, but this is the Premier League and what makes it so strong.
This would never happen to a club like Real Madrid. They wouldn't even be sixth. They are always going to be in the top three.
It will be very hard not to play in the Champions League with Chelsea this season. I don't think I will be able to watch it.'
Matic also took time out to speak of the new boss and said:
'What he said gave me a special feeling. It was important for me to know I am a big part of his plans. I was happy to hear that.
Like every player here, I have a good relationship with the manager. I respect what he said about me and of course I liked what I heard.
I have been at the club for two and a half years and have always given my best every day
Until I am here, I will continue to give everything to the team.'
Speaking of the player himself, Antonio Conte has also recently been quoted and said:
'He is not for sale and I know with work he can become a fantastic midfielder, one of the best in the world.
He is a very important player for me, he is very important in my idea of football. He knows this and I’m delighted by his attitude and behaviour and I see in him commitment.'
Based on what has been said above, it looks like he will be staying at Chelsea (unless Juventus come in with crazy money as a replacement for Paul Pogba) which is excellent news. As I have said many times, Matic needs someone next to him that works as hard without the ball as he does and in N'Golo Kante we have signed exactly what he needed to feel that confidence again.
The Kante/Matic combination in the heart of our midfield could become the cornerstone of the team under Antonio Conte as he looks to challenge for the title again.