Conte admits Chelsea are not living up to their billing

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Conte says his team are not as good as they think they are
Conte says his team are not as good as they think they are

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte pulled few punches as he suggested his players are "only good on paper" after they were hammered 3-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

In comments that will reverberate around the Chelsea dressing room, a sullen Conte suggested his players need to work hard if they are to live up to their reputations under his watch.

An error strewn and sub-standard display handed Arsenal their first win against Chelsea since 2011, with Conte clearly infuriated by his side's feeble surrender.

"After today we are thinking we must work a lot because we are a great team only on paper," he stated, in a damning statement.

"It is always a team problem rather than individuals. When nothing works it is very hard for a player to play well. 

"I don't want to talk about the mistake [Gary Cahill]. it is not right for the player. We win and lose as a team.

"If someone thinks this team is ready to fight, I think we must wait to improve a lot to come back a great team on the pitch, not just on paper.

"We have not got the balance and now is the moment to consider everything. It is incredible to concede three goals.

"We must have last season present in our mind to not repeat the mistakes. We must reflect a lot to find very soon the right way."

The mood in the Arsenal camp could not have been more contrasting, as manager Arsene Wenger offered up this upbeat version of his side's big win.

"It was an outstanding team performance. We played with spirit and collective pace and movement. Always in a positive and committed team way," said Wenger.

"Our defenders have done extremely well today. You cannot say one player was not at the right level from Petr Cech to Alexis Sanchez. 

"We wanted to start strong in a high pace and committed way. We started wobbly in the first 20 minutes against Southampton.

"We wanted to be consistent in our pressure no matter the score. We did it very well in the first half. It was in and out in the second, which was understandable. 

"Ideally you want the perfect game and you never get it. We got nearly the perfect first half and that is not bad."