cdadmin

Antonio Conte's January Targets: Why Defence is More Important than Attack

When Antonio Conte took charge of Chelsea and dropped points at Swansea before losing to both Liv...


When Antonio Conte took charge of Chelsea and dropped points at Swansea before losing to both Liverpool and Arsenal within his first six games, almost everyone in the football world wrote him off. With perennial rivals storming ahead in the Premier League and losses a rarity in the top five, Conte looked almost dead and buried before he'd even got going.

In fact, things didn't get much better for the Italian when he decided to employ a 3-4-3 system. Often maligned by football supporters, the tactical change looked like a shot in the dark by a man who feared his job was on the line (despite signing a three-year contract). However, as they say, football is a funny old game and thanks to seven Premier League wins on the bounce (including victories over Man United and Tottenham), he's now being hailed as a genius.

More Wins Means More Money for Conte.

With Chelsea top of the league after 13 games, Conte has just been handed even more cash to spend in the January transfer window and it looks as though he's going to use it. Indeed, despite an impressive record in recent weeks, it's hard to ignore the fact that Chelsea slipped up against two important rivals earlier in the season.

Yes, the team is playing better now with plenty scored (29) and just a few conceded (10), but there's always room for improvement. When Chelsea lost to Liverpool (2-1) and Arsenal (3-0), it was the defensive line that looked the most vulnerable. However, according to reports, Conte is aiming to bolster his attack in the New Year. Forward James Rodriguez and midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia are reportedly the Italian's top two targets in January.

Rodriguez is currently at loggerheads with Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane, and an extended spell on the bench could persuade him to leave Spain for the UK. But, with the Colombian under contract until 2020 and a price tag of £63 million back in 2014, it will likely cost Chelsea a pretty penny if they want to sign him. 

Costa Firing on All Cylinders

Diego Costa is currently the leading scorer in the Premier League, while Eden Hazard has been chipping in with his fair share of goals in stark contrast to the shadow of a player he had become last season. That kind of strike rate from the men at the front suggests that Chelsea might be ok without the services of Costa in January if Real Madrid demand silly money for him. In fact, if you look at the current weight of public opinion, Chelsea might not need anyone at all.

The current betting line at Sun Bets has Chelsea as the joint favourites with Man City for the league. The 2/1 odds are an improvement on the 4/1+ ratings the Blues received earlier in the season, which certainly stands as a testament to Conte's skills as a manager. However, it's important to note that Chelsea aren't the clear betting favourites. In fact, they're not even clear leaders at this stage in the season.

Just a single point separates Chelsea from Liverpool and Man City, but one stat could mean this lead is easily overturned. Chelsea have lost two this season and the only reason they're currently top is the chasing pack's apparent fondness for draws. At this stage in the season, Conte's men appear to be an all or nothing side: either they win or they lose. Walking a tightrope like this can prove costly, especially if injuries and suspensions kick in.

Defence More Important for League Success

With this in mind, it appears as though a midfield signing would be a solid investment. While it seems as though there's little need for Conte to pay over the odds for a forward like Rodriguez (especially when Costa is in top form), there's always a need for some stability in the middle of the park. With the 3-4-3 formation now putting more emphasis on the team's engine room, a player like Inter's Kondogbia could be important.

An untimely injury to the likes of Kante or Matic could leave Chelsea vulnerable in the post-Christmas melee, which is why Conte could make a move for Kondogbia. Although the signs are that he's unhappy at Inter and eyeing up a summer move, Chelsea's recent form and title push could be enough to persuade the 23-year-old to join now.

If the Blues were able to secure his services, he could not only become an asset this season, but a long-term prospect for the club. Although injuries and form have hampered his progress at Inter this season, the defensive midfielder has made five appearances for France and looks to be one for the future. Of course, a lot can happen between now and "the future", but at 6ft 2inches and a raft of experience at the top level, Kondogbia may well become a star in the next few years.

If that's the case and Chelsea can sign him now, it may prove to be a shrewd investment both this season and going forward. While many fans would say there's not much point upsetting the apple cart when things are going well, Chelsea are far from invincible, and some signings would certainly help. Although a flashy forward would be entertaining, the smart money in this case would be on a defensively-minded midfielder like Kondogbia.

Related

The Manager 6546184505397153016

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

ChelseaFan12.com

Classic Football Shirts

Toffs Chelsea

For the best football betting tips make sure to check out Tips Daddy for superior football predictions, expert accumulator tips, and in depth match previews.
http://www.pokeronline.co.uk is dedicated to providing UK players with reviews and bonus offers from a variety of poker rooms that accept PayPal.
For the best Irish free bets try bestfreebets.ie for a full range of betting bonuses available to Irish players
Get the best online bingo bonuses for Irish players at www.bingobonuses.ie along with exclusive deposit bonuse

Diego Costa - Should he stay or should he go?

Looking to bet on football? then why not check out betting-sites.org.uk for the latest football specials and sign-up bonuses

Twitter

Facebook

Google +

Soccer Pro - Chelsea

Soccer Pro

The Football Blog Network

If in a hunt for a proper bookie, check out this betting site for proper comparison and ratings.
Get your Sky Bet Promo Code today for the internets best free bets and bookies offers.
Make sure you get one of these great betting offers for the next Chelsea game.
Take a look at the best gambling websites for betting on the football.
Providing the best online casino offers and latest sign up bonuses for UK players
High roller players from the United Kingdom choose the recommended Luxury Casino Mobile with VIP deposit bonuses and high comp points.
If you're looking for the best casino deposit bonuses take a look at casinosignupbonuses.co.uk to get the biggest bang for your buck on your initial deposit at all the best online casino sites
To compare free bets for betting on Chelsea visit bestfreebets.org
Play at Casino Legend today to get the biggest online casino bonuses available.
"For all those who enjoy a bet on side games and slots we recommend trying out the legendary fluffy-favourites.co.uk slot here where you can get a range of deposit bonuses"
Fancy playing some casino slots online? Get the best ruby slippers slot machine bonuses and free spins available
Learn the ins and outs of poker, casino and what not, with an expert in anything related to betting. Go on Betminded and see for yourself.
Golden Riviera is an exclusive online casino with great online casino games, they’ll ensure you are treated to casino bonuses, special offers and a full calendar of activities to keep you entertained. They also host regular pokie tournaments that reward the top players with incredible cash prizes. Top online casino games from Golden Riviera Casino ™. Rated Australia's best online casino site for 2015. Check out Online Casino Australia Get $500 Free at Golden Riviera Casino. This casino is available in a number of languages including English, German, French, Dutch and Russian.
Top online casino action. Head to Casino UK for the best online casino in the United Kingdom. If you’re a UK gambler & are new to the world of online gaming and want to learn more, casinouk.com is the site for you. They help you find the leading online casino on the internet.
Betting on the football? Make sure you claim the best free bet offers for 2016
If you bet on Chelsea or any football, we recommend thebookiesoffers.co.uk for free bets and bookies offers
Head on over to Free Bets No Deposit Required for the latest live football previews and free tips along with bundles of Free Bets No Deposit offers currently available from the UK Bookmakers.
Find the best online slot games, free spins and latest promotions
Betting on Chelsea? Make sure you’re singed up to the best betting websites to get the most for your money.
Looking for value bets, accumulator tips or more betting odds? Find the best football betting tips over at BestBettingOnline.com.
Before buying anything online, make sure that you look for promo codes at AwesomeCoupons to help save money on your purchase.
item