It took former Juventus captain Antonio Conte only one season as a manager to win over the hearts and minds of the Juventus tifosi. The Lecce born tactician realized his dream, become the Bianconeri manager and wasted no time in bringing home the silverware.
Conte changed the status of the club from “living in the past” to awakened giant, looking to crush whatever comes in his way. Because of his leadership, Juventus fans can now once again smile and feel the familiar sensation of pride and cockiness that characterized them since the 90′s.
Conte won the Scudetto without a single lose, reached the cup final and spiced it all up with mesmerizing football never seen before by Juventus. He seamlessly tinkered between unconventional formations and played a possession game based on extremely high defensive line and pressure. This led the club to concede only 20 goals all season long.
In addition to his tactical innovation, Conte also proved to be an expert motivator. He kept squad harmony high and injected renewed energy in aging stars such as Gianluigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo and Alessandro Del Piero
It seems the former Italy international combines Fabio Capello’s toughness, Marcelo Lippi’s charisma, Jose Morinho’s ability to create squad unity and Pep Guardiola’s tactical innovation.
But, as usual with Juventus, the future could never be sailed towards on peaceful waters .
As a result of a fixed trial held by the FIGC, Conte will not be sitting on the team’s bench in the 2012/13 season. Caretaker trainer Massimo Carrera will act, throughout the season, as his puppet during match, while his puppeteer will be sitting in the stands.
Even so, it seems that Conte’s influence is beyond physical, evidenced by Juve’s strong opening of the season and identical intensity in play.
Gianluigi Buffon tried to explain: “It’s not like Conte’s suspension is helping the team, a coach like him influences in the same way in the changing room and from the bench during the game,” he told La Stampa. “He did a masterpiece last year with the victories and providing the winning mentality, but now I see him as a caged lion.”
It remains to be seen if Conte would be able to truly engrave himself as a legend by doing something no manager has done before - bring success without even being on the bench. It will make him the most unique manager of his generation.
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