"Sensational" Antonio Conte could remain Chelsea manager "forever", says technical director Michael Emenalo

 
Joe Hall
Follow Joe
Antonio Conte Chelsea contract
Make yourself comfortable: The Chelsea hierarchy want manager Conte to stick around (Source: Getty)

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte could stay at Stamford Bridge "forever" according to technical director Michael Emenalo.

The close confidant of club owner Roman Abramovich said the Italian coach has already won over everyone at the club since his side has taken the Premier League by storm and put together a record-equalling run of 13 consecutive wins.

Chelsea can set a new top flight record of 14 wins on the bounce in the same season if they can beat Tottenham at White Hart Lane tonight.

Read more: Premier League's top six has never looked stronger – that might attract more stars to England but it doesn't look good for the other teams

Emenalo, who heads up the West Londoner's talent recruitment, said signing Conte was always the club's priority after dismissing Jose Mourinho half-way through last season.

"Picking Conte was not as difficult as it was actually to get him," Emenalo told Sky Italia.

"We had to be careful and went through the process of waiting, as at the time he was the coach of Italy, a country which loves football. We were very respectful and didn't want to upset anyone.

"Once we decided we need to make a change and did a complete analysis of the handful of options, Conte was always top in our minds. We played against them and I remember thinking his Juventus team was something very special.

“He has brought a lot of knowledge, so many things to teach the players tactically, but also a professional approach to the game. I think this has given the players confidence.”

In particular, Conte's implementation of a 3-4-3 formation has proved to be particularly effective at bringing out the best in Chelsea's squad.

Conte made the tactical switch following successive defeats at the hands of Liverpool and Arsenal, triggering the club's winning streak, at a point when some bookmakers made the 46-year-old the favourite to be next Premier League manager to be sacked.

Emenalo dismissed the idea that Abramovich was ever tempted to pull the trigger on Conte and said that the club is so impressed with his work there's no limit on how long he might stay.

"There was never any risk," he said. "It was indicative of the kind of support Mr. Abramovich has and Mr. Conte has for the club and the board.

“One of the first things I understood about Antonio is that difficult moments are moments to learn. We wanted to give him the freedom to speak in Italian, but we were very impressed that he wanted to communicate in English from the first day.

“Everyone can see he is doing an absolutely sensational job, so I am not surprised that the fans and everybody loves him. We love him too.

“Personally, I think there’s an opportunity for him to stay forever."

Related articles