Conte vs Simeone: Who’s (Tactically) A Better Fit For Chelsea?

Conte vs Simeone
It’s quite well exhibited that Italy National Team coach Antonio Conte is close to replacing Guus Hiddink at Chelsea once the next season starts. And although, Hiddink’s departure is imminent and it’s well known that the former Dutch boss will leave, but there is some debate surrounding who is the man to lead Chelsea back to where they belong.
Jose Mourinho’s time did yield a bit of both- joyful successes and depressing failures. And although, Chelsea have come out of the muddle well enough under Hiddink, the general feel around Stamford Bridge is that they need someone more capable than the 69-year-old. And apart from Conte, if reports are to be believed, it’s Atletico Madrid boss Diego Cholo Simeone, who emerges as a second favorite. And rightly so, the pair happen to be closest managers resembling Jose Mourinho in their approach to playing the game.
And both have their own advantages and their respective disadvantages.
Conte is someone who has dealt with failures early on in his career but has prospered at clubs such as Sienna, Bari and of course, Juventus. Prospered refers to helping them achieve promotions or win titles with them.
On the other hand, Diego Simeone happens to be quite a similar manager. Much like Conte, he established a reputation as a player and then went on to become a manager. After succeeding during the initial stages of his managerial career, the Argentine worked with smaller clubs effectively and led Atletico Madrid to winning the La Liga.
Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte
When it comes to Conte, he has a more meticulous approach to the game and is very much tactically astute and versatile. Although, 3-5-2 happens to be his favoured formation but he is very comfortable with working with different formations such as the 4-2-3-1 or the 4-1- 4-1 and the likes. He has a penchant for working with formations such as 4-2-4 and 3-3-4 too.
Whereas, although Simeone, along with Conte may be the closest one can come to Mourinho, isn’t as tactically versatile. The playing style of his teams’ is similar to that of Mourinho- physically dominant, closing spaces in the defense and counter attacking with pace( which is quality Conte’s Juve didn’t have enough of)but he doesn’t play around with tactics as much as Conte does.

Will he take Chelsea back to where they belong?

Both managers’ teams know how to defend, which is a stark similarity and lay more emphasis on attack than defense. They know how to win games 1-0 and still convince the spectators that they were the better side.
Both have a knack for being highly vocal managers who know how to put their players into position and shout at them from the sidelines. Unlike Mourinho, both never talk directly to the media or the press when they’re disturbed or if something’s not right with the team. They directly approach the director or the owner about the issue- such is the openness both possess
Simeone’s teams are those that press up top more often. More often doesn’t mean that they press all game long, but they press when they’re confident of winning the ball. Conte’s tactics are more about winning the ball back than pressing and the aspect of pressing is far less involved in it than Simeone, much like Jose Mourinho’s sides.
The ‘Us against the world’ mentality is induced into the sides by both of them too and they know how to treat their players.
Both are managers who are equally good at managing short-term or managing on a long term basis by blooming players and by first forming the basis and then winning things.
Al in all, Conte is more suited to the modern day tactical environment of the Premier League. New approaches to the game are coming in, managers from countries such as Germany, Italy and Netherlands are coming in, bringing in new philosophies and ideas into the league. And Conte, due to his knack for tactical versatility, astuteness and ability to fiddle around correctly with them, gets the nod from my side.
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Written by Kaustubh Pandey

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