Chelsea: Reaction to Everton victory; FIFA slam youth policy; striker criticises club
After Chelsea produced one of the best displays seen from any side in this season’s Premier League campaign in a thrilling victory over Everton, Antonio Conte told the press:
“When you have this type of performance you are very happy, I’m pleased above all for my players. It’s important to win but when you win in this way it’s great. It can improve our confidence and I’m very pleased tonight… What was important was to win, play good football and bring our principles to the pitch… Everton changed their formation and system, they tried to find a solution where it was man to man in every zone of the pitch. Every coach uses a system with different ideas. We have good players with great talent and we have to put them in the best situation to exploit their talent. There was a fantastic atmosphere with our supporters and we must continue to work together.”
With a number of key players, such as Eden Hazard, Pedro and Diego Costa all finding their best form having adapted to Conte’s new system, there is no doubt that Chelsea are now beginning to look like title contenders thanks to their superb form since the switch in style.
The club has come in for criticism off the field though, as FIFA president Gianni Infantino appeared to make a dig at Chelsea in particular by criticising their youth policy as Infantino told the press:
“It doesn’t feel right for a club to just hoard the best young players and then to park them left and right. It’s not good for the development of the player, it’s not good for the club itself. We have to work on squad size limits.”
However, the club have now responded to the claims, saying:
“If his comments are directed our way, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how our loan strategy works because it has player development at its core. We would welcome him paying us a visit so we can show how our system works.”
Their case will not be helped by 21-year-old forward Bertrand Traore, who has appeared to criticise the club whilst out on loan at Ajax this season. He told the Evening Standard:
“I felt, and feel, that I am ready for Chelsea. I did not see the loan overall. Why did I play so much in pre-season? Why was I allowed to participate so often under Guus Hiddink? Why do young players get no real chance at Chelsea? It’s good for the composition of the squad if it is also home to a couple of talented youngsters.”
Having featured frequently as a substitute under Guus Hiddink, scoring four goals in 16 games, but Antonio Conte opted to send him out on loan again this season, where he has so far scored three goals in 16 games for the Dutch side.
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