Yes we lost to those lot from White Hart Lane at the start of January, but then we bounced back and won the rest of our games last month, until the draw at Anfield. A game we could and should have won in my opinion, more so after Costa’s penalty miss. I’ll take that though, he’s been outstanding for us this year, so making one little mistake is fine. With Hazard not on the pitch he stood up to take it, which all strikers should want to do really. I’d be more disappointment had he not wanted to take it. If he has to do it again, I’m hoping he’ll stand up and want to take another and show he can learn from his error.
Which brings me on to our Italian manager, Mr Antonio Conte. As I said, we all learn from mistakes and at the end of September when we lost to Arsenal 3-0 at the Emirates, questions were being asked about him. Conte himself along with his backroom staff changed things, but had he made a mistake before that? No, not for me.
Conte is a charismatic, charming chap and of course energetic on the touch-line too. When he came in he continued to play with the four at the back that the players were use to and play as we have done, but knowing the success he had at Juventus and with his national team he changed the formation to what he knew. For me that is not a mistake, the mistake would have been to not change it and to still go against how his teams play best. Basically, he had the balls to change things and the fact he got Cahill, Luiz and Azpilicueta, along with Alonso and Moses coming on board with it too speak volumes. The quickness of how he seemed to get them to click so quickly in that formation, he has to take so much credit for.
Four months on and at the start of February we faced Arsenal once again and smashed them, had the team has changed? You bet, a record-breaking run of consecutive wins and just that one loss in the league to Spurs as mentioned and we’re flying high. Fabregas’ chip over Cech summed it up in my opinion, as it was just so easy the way he just lobbed it over him. We’re the team to catch now and although we have a good lead we still have to take it one game at a time.
Off the field he’s had to deal with the so-called Costa incident. Oscar left for China too but that is something we have to accept and deal with. In some ways it is what we did 13 or 14 years ago ourselves, when we were attracting players for big money and big wages. Football is changing all the time, not specifically the principles on the pitch but the cash and global attraction of it all now.
Conte know that and I’m positive under him, we have good times ahead. Of course there will always be little problems popping up for Conte, that goes without saying. The man seems to know what he is doing though and I’m sure he’s taken so much knowledge from some great managers he’s worked under. The likes of Trapattoni, Lippi, Sacchi and Ancelotti. Not bad ay?