It’s a little over 50 days since Antonio Conte swept through the doors to face the media for his unveiling as Chelsea’s new head coach.

The Italian’s stock was high when he arrived in England on the back of a stellar showing with his country at Euro 2016 in France.

Blues owner Roman Abramovich has tasked the 47-year-old with rebuilding the club after their worst campaign since he took control of the club.

Jose Mourinho imploded as manager just a year after lifting the Premier League trophy and was sacked in the lead up to Christmas after a worrying decline.

Guus Hiddink was installed as interim manager as the search began for Mourinho’s replacement and Conte was named as the new boss as long ago as April.

However, he didn’t officially take up the reins until after the European Championship and has only been transferring his ideas for the group since the impressive media debut in July.

Crowd pleaser: Head coach Conte of Chelsea gives an autograph to fans
Boss: The new Chelsea Manager poses with a Chelsea shirt

Conte spoke eloquently, powerfully, of his desire to create “small flame that can hopefully grow into a blazing inferno” during his opening press conference.

He now has a pre-season under his belt and has chalked up a handful of victories with the team who simply couldn’t buy a win in the darkest days of Mourinho’s meltdown.

Conte’s clear vision for Chelsea

Man with a plan: Conte on the touchline

Conte is an influential figure and his Italy and Juventus sides are widely respected for their work rate and organisation.

That was one of the main reasons Abramovich to place him in the hotseat at Stamford Bridge after the chaos of the 2015/16 debacle.

The Italian got straight to work at Cobham as a punishing training schedule was drawn up and Conte put his own stamp on the club.

Even the menu at the club’s training ground was altered at the new manager’s request and it is very much a case of fitness first for the experienced coach.

Chelsea’s first two Premier League matches saw the Blues fight to the death to steal the points, highlighting the improved determination and stamina of the squad.

Patience in the transfer market

Chelsea’s battle to recruit new talent went right down to the wire in this summer’s transfer window as two new signings arrived on deadline day.

It’s no secret that the Blues have struggled to bring in defensive reinforcements and saw bids turned down for Kalidou Koulibaly and Alessio Romagnoli.

But the late arrivals of Fiorentina left-back Marcos Alonso and the shock return of David Luiz provided the much-needed cover Conte had been craving.

Luiz, much maligned for his often erratic behaviour, was the most eye-catching arrival as few would have predicted Paris Saint-Germain would be willing to part with the defender.

Return: David Luiz is unveiled as Chelsea's new signing at Chelsea Training Ground

However, Chelsea made their move late in the day and Luiz gives the team something they were sorely lacking last season.

When the going got tough, Mourinho’s side lacked characters in the dressing room. Luiz is not the most reliable centre-back, but he’s a reliable source of leadership.

Winning breeds confidence after a season of despair

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Conte is undefeated after his first four competitive games in charge of Chelsea.

Maximum points from his opening three Premier League fixtures and progression into the third round of the EFL Cup at the expense of Bristol Rovers represents a perfect record.

Rewind to the start of last season as the drama unfolded on the opening day at Swansea and the bitter feud between Mourinho and doctor Eva Carneiro began the downward spiral.

Chelsea only mustered one win from their first five matches as defending champions and that set the tone for what was to follow.

Feud: Eva Carneiro and Jose Mourinho
Last stand: Mourinho was sacked after losing at Leicester

Leicester City inflicted the final blow to the Special One at the King Power Stadium in December and Abramovich finally ran out of patience and pulled the trigger.

That seems a lifetime ago now as Conte’s infectious personality has transmitted to the players and the belief has returned to the Bridge.

Chelsea have the fear factor back.

Antonio Conte's playing honours


Serie A


Coppa Italia


Supercoppa Italiana


UEFA Champions League




UEFA Super Cup

Hiddink brought initial stability but never made the Blues into the dominant force Abramovich demands.

Conte is starting to do just that.

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