Chelsea are on a cruise with 7 consecutive wins, and have only conceded one goal in that time frame.
However, Dan Levene who has covered Chelsea FC as a freelance reporter for over ten years, calls Antonio Conte a perfectionist, who still wants the team to get better.
Chelsea were unable to pass the ball out from the back in the first-half against Tottenham, and Levene believes that Conte is far from impressed in that regard. He writes: “Chelsea must be able to play out from the back and that is something their manager is adamant they cannot yet do.”
He then reveals what Conte wants from Courtois: “But Conte’s shades of frustration possibly lie further back than that – with Thibaut Courtois’ distribution gleaning little positive advantage for the team so far this season.
“Conte is not expecting Courtois to start scoring goals, obviously, but he is wanting him to play more of a key role in the all-important transition from defence to attack – the key thing that makes his teams so deadly.”
Levene believes that the change in goalkeeper coach is more evidence of what Conte wants from his goalie. Levene writes “And the notable change in goalkeeper coaching personnel – from the previously untouchable Christophe Lollichon to Conte’s man Gianluca Spinelli – shows just how that new focus will be developed.
“We are not privy to what goes on inside Cobham for much of the week, but it is notable in pre-match (and increasingly for Courtois, half time) warm ups that balls are played by the coach to his feet.
“And, while concentrating here on one aspect of Courtois’ game that needs improving, the world-class saves still come – plus he is not the only one at the back being set extra homework in starting the attack.
“This is all interesting, because it shows Conte’s attention to detail, and his refusal to opt for an easy life.”
One could easily agree with Levene, judging from the fact that Chelsea are beginning to pass the ball out from the back, starting from Courtois, and the era of long balls seem to be over.