Antonio Conte is Chelsea’s best starting manager this decade
22 points from the opening 10 Premier League matches of the season may only be enough to perch Chelsea in fourth spot in the standings under Antonio Conte, but this type of start from a new manager is something that has become increasingly rare in Roman Abramovich’s time as owner of the club.
Back in the days when Abramovich’s millions gave Chelsea a major advantage over the majority of the club’s Premier League rivals, strong managerial starts were commonplace.
Jose Mourinho’s first stint in the Stamford Bridge dugout brought 23 points in his opening 10 top-flight outings in charge, while this record of seven victories, two draws and a solitary defeat was identically matched by successor Avram Grant and then Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti continued this passage of impressive starts in the 2000s, with the former claiming 25 points from his first 30 available and then Ancelotti gaining 24.
However, there has been a clear dip with the five managers prior to Conte.
Andre Villas-Boas secured 19 points and then Roberto Di Matteo managed only 15, although he could be excused for having other priorities as he guided Chelsea to Champions League success.
Rafa Benitez then totalled 18, Mourinho’s second tenure brought an average of two points across his opening 10 matches and then Hiddink went unbeaten through the first 10 games of his second spell, but four victories in this period meant that Chelsea mustered just 18 points.
Chelsea are currently 6/1 to win the Premier League for the fifth time in the era of Abramovich and Conte’s start gives realistic hope, although his two defeats so far have come against likely title rivals Arsenal and Liverpool.
However, his results arguably deserved to be marked up as Conte clearly inherited Chelsea’s worst-performing team since Abramovich’s takeover and the current squad isn’t substantially different, with N’Golo Kante, Marcos Alonso and David Luiz the only new recruits starting regularly.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing