What’s common between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Cesc Fabregas? Well, not a lot, admittedly. Apart from the fact that one starred in a movie called, ‘The Expendables’ and one is deemed to be one. Oh, and they both aren’t exactly model pros, and like to put on weight, and throw that weight around. Just ask Vince McMahon and Jose Mourinho. In fact, Vince and Jose would have more things in common than Stone Cold and Francesc, incidentally. But we digress.
The former 6 time WWF World Champion and 1 time World Champion, both, in recent times featured in B-grade roles, that undermine their real talents. T4O remains hardened believers of both, despite their transgressions and attempt to point out how the latter could play a telling part in Antonio Conte’s long-term and immediate plans.
#1 Nemanja Matic and His AWOL Form
The square-jawed Italian has, till this far, has struggled to find the perfect balance in this Chelsea squad. Predominantly, in their central midfield position. Nemanja Matic has been a shadow of his former self, in Chelsea’s title winning season, where he almost single-handedly sheltered the Blues’ backline. Now, paired with N’Golo Kante, the French international has suffered from having to do all the running in behest of the out of sorts Serbian. To that effect, Nathaniel Chalobah’s introduction seemed to take Fabregas influence, and Chelsea’s precedence up by at least a few notches. Thereby, inculcating Fabregas into the starting line-up and its effects, could make the dysfunctional midfield finally click.
#2 The Creative Force
In a team full of industry and running, the former Barca man’s languid ability was frowned upon by Jose Mourinho. Tony Conte, a more level-headed man, would acknowledge on the back of Fabregas’ performance vs Liverpool, and then against Leicester, that he has a midfield conductor in his ranks, who could, if he builds his midfield around him, could fashion chances, and carve up opportunities with his economy of the the pass, understanding of space and lack of, thereof, and more importantly, someone who can take a hold of the tempo. Not unlike a certain bearded Italian playmaker.
#3 The Signature 3-5-2
Juventus won 5, back to back to back to back to back Serie A titles. And central to the Juve juggernaut is the 3-5-2 formation that afforded Andrea Pirlo all the time and the possession in the world, and Antonio Conte, his favourite template. A 3-5-2, considering the attributes of David Luiz, and Chelsea’s excess of centre-backs once John Terry returns, considering the defensive competency and engine of Cesar Azpilicueta, N’Golo Kante and Chalobah, could be Tony Conte’s magic beans that take Chelsea to the top, playing all their star players to their strengths, and bring the very best out of them. Not the least Cesc Fabregas, who could roll in and out of a game like Stone Cold and his monster trucks.