Linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this summer, is Antonio Conte the man to finally help Oscar realise his obvious potential?
The Brazilian has failed to live up to the reputation he came with, after inadequate performances and inconsistency since his 2012 move from Internacional but this summer have we seen the Brazilian turn a corner or is it yet another false dawn?
The Brazilian has impressed under Conte and in Monday night’s win against West Ham he continued his spate of impressive performances.
As we all know Conte demands high pressing and a high intensity game as seen in his spell in Turin with Juventus as well as with the Italian national team and we saw it against West Ham where Oscar along with Nemanja Matic, Eden Hazard, Willian and Diego Costa were excellent haranguing West Ham when they were in possession.
Before the game it seemed that Oscar and Cesc Fabregas would battle for a place in the team, with many thinking Cesc would get the nod but it seems Oscar’s dynamism and stamina that allows him to cover ground for 90 minutes arguably being a key component in him getting picked.
It was a full blooded and eagerly contested London derby but the way Chelsea went about their business it seems Conte’s selection paid off.
Oscar’s time at the club has been indifferent, with him flittering in and out of teams and seasons in general. The Brazilian predominantly likes to find himself in behind the striker although low goal and assist returns have raised eyebrows with his best return in a season being 12, way back in his debut season. Since then the numbers have tumbled.
Why can Conte change Oscar?
Whether you believe it or not, Oscar is a very intense footballer who is very dynamic, quick and despite his small frame very aggressive when he has to be. It fits the Conte philosophy perfectly.
You only have to watch the Italian in Chelsea’s win over West Ham to see his passion and desire and he expects the same from his team, but what a player may lack in quality they have to make up for it in their work rate to fight for the team.
In his opening press conference when Conte was unveiled to the English media he was asked about his passion on the side-lines to which he replied:
‘During games and during training sessions I like to stay with my players, to train together, to play with them, to win with them, to lose – I hope not so much – but that’s me, I have great passion and I want to transfer my passion onto my players. Also to my fans because I suffer during the game and I want my players and fans to see this because we work during the week very hard to reach our target. When this doesn’t happen, I’m not happy, but I find with all my strength to reach with my players the final victory.’
It’s clearly evident that the man is intense and precise as ever and he can be the man to maximise the same attributes in Oscar, as well as Hazard and Costa.
Oscar has shown that he can mix flair and grit and with a manager that emphasises desire and commitment, he can certainly provide that along with his undeniable talent.
How many times did we see Oscar covering ground, making interceptions and big tackles? He had a point to prove, not only Conte but the supporters, and he excelled in doing so, so far. It seems that Conte will provide him a platform to continue doing so but will he take the opportunity?
After four years of inconsistency from Oscar, could it all come to an end under the Italian? Monday night’s showing may be the start of a new beginning for the midfielder…