Antonio Conte is a no-nonsense boss. The Chelsea manager wants to see his charges going hard and doing the right things every day, not just on match day.
That’s how Cesc Fabregas came out of Conte’s perceived doghouse to get an extra time brace in Tuesday’s come-from-behind 4-2 win over Leicester City at King Power Stadium.
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And it’s going to take the same commitment for Fabregas to features against his old pals Arsenal at the weekend. Conte loved Fabregas’ game and attitude. Now he wants it again, from everyone.
“All the players in my squad have the possibility to play against Arsenal.
“There are three days before the game and they have the opportunity to show me during the training sessions, to have a good shape, and convince me to put them in the line-up.
“I want to win. My choice is done to win. I don’t care what the surname is. It’s important when I call someone to play to show me my choice is not wrong.”
Fabregas was very, very good against Leicester City when pushed forward in the attack, as he has been even during times of struggle at Chelsea. Increased defensive expectations are a challenge, surely, and Conte will need to find that balance.
Perhaps it was a personality clash or adjustment to a new boss and system, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see Fabregas getting significantly more minutes moving forward.