Former Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola has expressed his surprise at how quickly Antonio Conte has managed to establish his philosophy at Stamford Bridge.
The Italian tactician has done a remarkable job with the Blues since arriving in England in the summer, guiding a demoralised team that finished 10th last season to the top of the table after 13 games.
Zola, 50, spent seven years at Chelsea as a player, and is now enjoying watching Conte’s side in action as he believes they look a good shout for the title this season.
‘I know how Antonio works, how good he is. To see the work flourishing so quickly is a surprise but it’s all down to the work he does and his ability as a coach. He deserves it,’ he said.
‘(Not playing in Europe) is an advantage, certainly, because there are teams who have more games, but that’s not a guarantee.
‘You need to work hard to win the league because there five or six teams who have the credentials to do that.
‘They have to keep performing the way they are doing and if they do that they stand a good chance.’