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Antonio Conte: “I think if you are good enough to play with a great team, you play”

With the likes of Charly Musonda, Ethan Ampadu , Jake Clarke-Salter and Dujon Sterling all being involved the other night, Antonio Conte ...


With the likes of Charly Musonda, Ethan Ampadu , Jake Clarke-Salter and Dujon Sterling all being involved the other night, Antonio Conte has re-iterated his message to our youngsters. 

With Chelsea's involvement in the Champions League this season, it was always going to be a game that the manager used to rotate his players. Many of our fringe players started the game as Antonio Conte made NINE changes to the starting line-up (as predicted four hours before kick off here by the way!) but he also had no hesitation in playing those that are yet to step up on a regular basis. He received a fantastic response from everyone including Kenedy and Musonda who both got themselves on the score sheet.


So the same old argument about our youth team players and I had previously featured quotes made by Michael Mancienne who left Chelsea six years ago ahead of the game. He claimed that if had stayed at Chelsea he would have "rotted" to which I responded to state that maybe, these players that have showed so much potential have been sold because they have not been good enough for our first team ahead of someone else in their place.

This leads me to Antonio Conte who had a clear message for the Academy players and those who find themselves on the fringes of the first team/squad. He said:

“I think if you are good enough to play with a great team, you play. Every coach wants to win. I don't care if one player is a young player or an old player. If a player, an old player, 36-years-old, makes me happy and helps me to win, I pick him. It's the same if a player, a young player, 16-years-old, helps me to win, I'm ready to do this also.

Last season, if you remember very well, Chalobah had the chance to play. Don't forget last season we won the league. Don't forget last season our midfielders were Matic, Kante and Fabregas.  You have to consider all these components.

Chalobah, last season, was the fourth midfielder. He had the chance to play. That is normal. If you ask to play regularly with a great club, then you must deserve to play. And to deserve to take Kante's or Matic's or Fabregas' place. If you show you deserve to play and can be better than these players, I'm ready to do this.

We have a clear example with Christensen. Christensen played on loan at Borussia Moenchengladbach and now he's in our squad. He has played [almost] every game, not against Everton, and now he's ready to play. Ready to play in the Champions League. Ready to play from the start with Chelsea. I think, for the young players, it's very important to find the right path for them. To try to make them good experience and then to be ready to play for Chelsea." - Source: The Independent.

So there you have it, plain and simple from the Manager and he gives an honest and clear explanation as to why Nathaniel Chalobah was sold. You have to be good enough to put yourselves at least alongside these people first and foremost, to then look to kick on and be better than they are. If not, you will not be able to force your way in.

However, Wednesday night was promising and has given everyone in the Academy at Chelsea a lift with the players that played from the start in addition to those that came on.

Antonio Conte has opened the door, let's see how many of those have the desire, hunger and determination to walk straight through it.

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