This month Conte returned to Premier League football following Spurs’ SOS plea in the wake of sacking Nuno Espirito Santo, and once again looks to be ruling with an iron fist from the outset.
Fabregas – now 34 and very much in the twilight of his career with Monaco – paints Conte as a controlling figure who had to have a say in every single element of his team’s play, regardless of the experience or standing of the stars on the field.
Cesc Fabregas has opened up on the controlling elements of the fiery Italian Antonio Conte
Speaking to his former Spain team-mate Luis Garcia during an interview for CBS Sport, Fabregas outlined how Conte has a very ‘school’ like approach to his teams.
‘I think with Antonio, it was the first time that I’ve seen someone know exactly [what they want] … It was like going to school. I promise you, he will tell you, from the goalkeeper until you have scored a goal, what you have to do, exactly everything,’ Fabregas revealed.
According to Fabregas Conte demands involvement in everything and tells stars what to do
‘Maybe it’s in a different way to how I saw football. At the beginning, it was difficult for me, don’t get me wrong. A lot of running, a lot of intensity. Big sessions, double sessions, gym sessions.
‘I had coaches like Pep [Guardiola] who had a lot of positioning game but we had freedom inside of this. With Conte, the freedom was non-existent, he was telling me where I have to pass the ball.’
Standing of the players clearly means little to Conte, who wants all of his starting XI singing from the same hymn sheet irrespective of their previous experiences.
Solidifying this point, Fabregas added further description of when Conte used to bark at him from the touchline: ‘I’m 29 years old in that moment, I’ve already played for 13 years, I played in every final, I won a lot of things and this guy is telling me where I need to pass the ball.’