Conte says young players with poor home training often give him headache

Antonio Conte has highlighted the importance of happiness, commitment, hard work and desire for self-improvement in every player or team’s success.

The Chelsea coach talked about his expectation that all players must be grateful for what they have. He also discussed the need for proper home training for his players, adding that families have a challenging role to play in every young footballer’s development.


Image: Antonio Conte

Conte’s interview started with an analysis of  “player satisfaction” ahead of The Blues’ upcoming game against Southampton, an important issue he continually discussed last season.

The 48-year-old Italian coach was happy to talk about “happiness” again, but this time, in clearer terms.

‘It irritates me when reporters ask me about a particular player’s happiness at the club,’ he said to Chelsea TV.

‘Some journalists love to inquire if there’s a solution I could find to change a player’s mind or mood…Any footballer who is not happy at the Emirates should not be here. Happiness is a requirement for every member of the squad.

‘Playing for the Chelsea squad is a pride…it means you stay in a big team, a great team, one that is sure to have a lot of competition,’ he added.

‘I tell my team that a coach can only select 11 players at a time.

‘The important thing is our happiness to live together in harmony whether winning or losing. Each team member is paid a huge amount of money, and we are repaying the trust bestowed on us…We are doing a great job.’

Conte continued, ‘Every player wants a bit of the action out there, but this job and life are the most important of all treasures we have. Our families matter, too.’

The former Juventus coach also revealed that most of his young players need a change of attitude, adding that their families should share the blame for improper home training.

‘When it comes to the attitude young players have about being successful in the sport, there’s no doubt that managers and coaches have a critical role to play, but it is earlier in life that the biggest steps are taken,’ he said.

‘I can never overestimate the importance of family education. It is invaluable, and a gift we must all seek for our kids because if you have parents who gave you great education, my coaching job becomes lighter.

‘Most youngsters who pass through the Academy to the first team are always respectful. They show commitment to the club’s goals, work harder for the job and their dreams, as well as go along with every other teammate.

‘This is a sign of good education from the family and club. When this quality is missing in a player, I find myself in a big trouble.

‘However, any of the youngsters who errs must understand that the coach is an educator who will not spare the rod for their disloyalty…I do not hesitate to try and try, first, in a good way and maybe in a bad way, if the previous options prove ineffective.’

The league champions are 4th in this season’s table with 35 points from 17 games. Manchester City are leading with 49 points, followed by Manchester United (38 points).