Chelsea’s 12-game win streak will ripple throughout the club, the youth and the loan army. Antonio Conte’s early achievement foretells a promising future for the Blues.
Chelsea’s victory against Bournemouth on Boxing Day did more than just secure three points. The Blues have now won 12 straight Premier League games, breaking the club’s all-time record. This is a remarkable achievement, and one that is important for the future of the club, too.
Antonio Conte’s ambition has paid off massively this season. With his team scoring 28 goals and conceding only two since the formation change against Hull, Conte has loudly and proudly restored Chelsea’s title-threatening status.
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He needed only five months to break Chelsea’s previous unbeaten streak. No one can deny he deserves it. Now that Chelsea are six points clear, the club and the fans can stop looking back at the ghost of seasons past and look towards what the future holds.
Winning 12 consecutive games shows that the Blues’ ambition is alive, and maintaining this spirit is key. Michy Batshuayi was a sure starter against Bournemouth with Diego Costa suspended. Conte took a different approach, though, and chose Pedro alongside Willian.
This decision sparked a lot of debate in the Chelsea fan community. But the controversy should not detract from one simple fact: Antonio Conte knows what he’s doing.
Batshuayi has been given playing time before, and Willian, for instance, is just as deserving of a starting place. Pedro, meanwhile, scored. It is a shame to not see newer players thrive. But Chelsea are still only halfway through the season, and Conte is still trying to build the squad he wants. There is ample time for Batshuayi to make his mark. At this point, securing three points has to be priority over being a ‘fair’ manager.
As FA Cup fixtures approach in the New Year, rotational choices will be increasingly important in maintaining fast-paced football. The expanded roster will prove significant in maintaining a title-challenging side. Kurt Zouma and others like Cesc Fabregas will provide these options.
With the back-three so solid it is easy to forget that Kurt Zouma will soon be ready to fight for his place in the team. And for all the concerns about Kante’s suspension against Bournemouth, Cesc Fabregas’ flair and vision once again proved an asset to Chelsea.
Besides current players, selling Oscar this Christmas was a great move. Despite his occasional moments of brilliance, he did not quite fit into Antonio Conte’s vision. His departure has provided the funds that all managers need to attract new, strong players to the club.
Being unbeaten for the last 12 games will work wonders in Chelsea’s negotiating power. But we all know football is a game of money, too. Conte will now hopefully have the freedom he needs to seek out whoever he thinks will improve this team. Upcoming transfer rumours will be worth watching (though perhaps not always believing).
Chelsea’s winning record will have undoubtedly created a great atmosphere in training and among the worldwide loan army. Young hopefuls like Dominic Solanke and Nathaniel Chalobah – not to mention the Academy – will be working harder to secure their chance. Loanees, particularly Nathan Ake, will put in even more effort and spirit for their temporary club in the hope of quickly rejoining Chelsea.
Breaking records are significant in any capacity. John Terry is the highest scoring Premier League defender ever. Frank Lampard is Chelsea’s all-time goal scorer, to name a few heart-warmers. Yet the unbeaten run is significant for a much broader reason. It shows the strength this squad has in working together and for the club.
The ongoing win streak is a collective achievement with Conte at the helm, and should be a huge reassurance for the club, players and fans alike.