Chelsea would be hoping to quickly make the 2015/16 season a distant memory as going from Premier League champions to finishing in the tenth spot is absolutely unfathomable. The appointment of Antonio Conte was music to the ears of most.
Some argue that it would take years for Chelsea to get back to sustained and consistent success as Conte’s work is not only superficial and he needs to do the rebuilding in different areas to make the Blues a force to be reckoned with. The nature of modern football might not allow him to do that and it is more likely that the Italian will have to opt for some quick fixes.
The advantage for Chelsea, and Liverpool, this season is that they don’t have any European games to worry about so their chances in an increasingly competitive and tough Premier League will be better. Chelsea will benefit from the fewer games, and perhaps as a result of missing out on Thursday night football, have been pegged by LeoVegas Sports and other bookmakers to get right back into the Champions League next season. It is unlikely that it will hurt their chances of attracting top bracket players as most realise their previous season was an aberration and will not be a consistent affair. Chelsea is a popular club located in London which makes it an attractive venue for players.
The side’s improved form towards the end of the season under Guus Hiddink will also give their 2016/17 season some hope. The progress at the end was evident, illustrated by the fact that Eden Hazard, who couldn’t get a goal all season, started scoring some screamers at the end.
Conte will have to add a few, quality players to boost his chances for next season and ensure some deadweight is also let gone of from the squad. The names of Pjanic, Nainggolan and Rabiot has been thrown around which also shows that Conte needs to, and wants to fix that midfield.
A successful first season for Conte would comprise Chelsea ideally making their return to European football, supplemented by a domestic cup win. Competition is going to be extremely tough but the Blues have that advantage of playing fewer games. It is arguably more important for the Italian to start making Chelsea play good football and make them a strong team which has confidence in its abilities.