Not a box-office coach, but Conte will be a hit
Under the Italian, player power will be surpressed
All change again at Chelsea and with it, comes a rare, welcome caveat- a fresh start.
Roman Abramovich will undertake Stamford Bridge's ritual switching of the managerial guard for a sixth summer.
In total, the ruthless Russian has alternated 12 times in as many years of his tenure.
This time, however, threatens to be different.
On the face of it, Antonio Conte's appointment as Jose Mourinho's long-term successor could not be a more mismatched pairing.
Italy's outgoing coach prides himself on the value of hard work - an entire career, both playing and managerial, has been built on such foundations.
He lacks the box-office prestige that has often accompanied many of his illustrious predecessors.
In comparison, Diego Simeone, Mauricio Pochettino and Manuel Pellegrini would have appeared better suited for the Blues' hot seat.
Yet Conte is exactly what Chelsea require.
In an era where glorified caretakers have become the norm, a footballing Carabinieri is a necessary evil for a club that have continued to drown in their own personal decadence.
Next season will be uncharted territory for the Blues - there is no Champions League football to contest and no English Premier League title to defend.
It is, in many aspects, a perfect blank canvas for Conte to leave his indelible mark.
JUST LIKE FERGIE
Perhaps the greatest compliment paid to the 46-year-old came from Carlos Tevez, who insisted that "not many" differences existed between his then Juventus coach and Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
That declaration, exactly two years ago, was a warning sign for what now lies ahead.
Palpable discord, that infamous phrase uttered by technical director Michael Emenalo to describe Mourinho's departure last December, will not be tolerated.
Player power will no longer be allowed to reign supreme or able to claim managerial casualties at will.
One by one, Chelsea's pensioners have been picked off.
With Frank Lampard, Petr Cech and Didier Drogba long since deposed, it appears inevitable that John Terry, arguably their lead agitator, will be the last of that dying breed to be forced to walk away.
Age is irrelevant to Conte, who prefers to quantify necessity and surplus by the margins of "victory or failure", but Abramovich has acknowledged that the old guard has wielded too much influence in recent times.
The image of Terry barking orders while stood behind a silent Roberto Di Matteo, his erstwhile manager, was symbolic of the power struggle in the Chelsea dressing room that has continued to rage during the four years since that picture was taken.
Players like Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, publicly accused of treason against Mourinho by crestfallen supporters earlier this season, are unlikely to be afforded the chance to become repeat offenders under Conte's "us and them" rule.
Chelsea, too, will be forced to compromise on their current cultural ideals if they are to be successful in recreating past glories.
The power vacuum that has formed between several key players within the club's boardroom is another barrier to overcome.
Emenalo and director Maria Granovskaia have both manoeuvred themselves into positions of key influence in recent times; the latter serving as Abramovich's right-hand lieutenant.
The role of super agent Kia Joorabchian, who continues to engineer the comings and goings of several high-profile figures at Stamford Bridge, will pose similar obstacles to Conte's vision for a club geared towards the greater good.
Abramovich's warning to Carlo Ancelotti now serves as his compatriot's Chelsea blueprint.
"I want to win everything - everything," he told Ancelotti. "Chelsea don't have a personality."
With Conte, he now at least has a fighting chance of realising that aim.
Conte is just like Ferguson because he is a winner. Conte, just as Sir Alex, does not leave anything to chance.
— Carlos Tevez, while playing under Antonio Conte at Juventus
Family man, fiery motivator
1 BACK TO SCHOOL
"Cheney Court is a superb Jacobean manor house set in rolling countryside just eight kilometres from Bath and on the edge of the M4 corridor."
Thus reads the brochure advertising the language school where Conte apparently took his first steps towards learning English earlier this year.
The Wiltshire hamlet of Ditteridge reportedly hosted the southern Italian as he began grappling with British football terminology and press conference niceties back in January.
Cheney Court also offers "Cultural Competence Training" which promises to help students "minimise misunderstandings" and "avoid conflict and reduce risks".
Useful skills for a Premier League boss.
2 THERE WILL BE BLOOD
Conte's credentials as a motivational speaker have been captured on camera.
Ahead of a Serie A trip to Palermo in April 2012, the Lecce-born tactician was filmed firing up his title-chasing Juventus side, who were then unbeaten in 31 league matches.
"We're being praised and that gives me the creeps, because I fear it will make some of you relax," he said, fixing his intense gaze on each one of his players in turn.
"You want to win the title? You'll have to spit blood right to the very end of the final match of the season."
Juve went on to win in Sicily and they soon claimed the championship, avoiding defeat until November.
3 FAMILY MAN
While understandably discreet about his private life, Conte has spoken publicly of his love for his wife Elisabetta Muscarello and their daughter Vittoria - the motivating forces behind his career.
Conte met "Betta" when he was only 21 years old but the pair did not marry until June 2013.
"I knew her family for a long time, because they lived near mine," he told Vanity Fair. "Then, when I finished playing, I began to see her around again and we started going out. I was lucky she wasn't taken!"
In Conte's eyes, the many glories of his life in football pale in significance when compared to the victory - "vittoria" in Italian - of bringing a child into the world.
He said: "Having a daughter really teaches you what love is. Before they come into your life, you don't know what it is."
4 HIT THE KING'S ROAD, GIAC
Conte's rumoured No. 1 transfer target is already in the EPL.
No, it's not Sergio Aguero, Mesut Oezil or Riyad Mahrez - but instead an Italian winger who has failed to find his feet at Sunderland.
Emanuele Giaccherini, who won two Serie A titles under Conte, is excelling on loan with Bologna and Conte is said to be keen to take him to Stamford Bridge in a cut-price deal.
5 HAIR TODAY, GONE YESTERDAY
Any video of Conte celebrating a goal in Juventus colours during the 1990s will expose his thinning hair (above), usually dripping with sweat beneath a headband.
But the balding process appeared to reverse when he took his coaching badges.
His voluminous mop is the envy of most Serie A bosses, even if most do not believe it is all growing out of his scalp.
- PA Sport.
First tasks at Chelsea
1) NO QUICK FIX
Chelsea's calamitous season has led for calls for wholesale changes, but it is clear there can be no quick solution to the problems. Conte must be given time to build a team.
2) TRANSFER TROUBLE
The challenge is Conte may have to overhaul the team twice in the next two summers as, without Champions League football next term, it may be difficult to attract the desired players - and keep their existing talent.
3) THE JOHN TERRY CONUNDRUM
Whether Terry leaves at the end of the season or in the near future, Conte must fill the void in defence and in leadership.
4) ENIGMA EDEN
Hazard is under contract until 2020 and will not be sold - his transfer value must be half what it was last summer - so Conte must find a way of rejuvenating Hazard.
5) YOUTH POLICY
Chelsea's developmental model could be tweaked to place less emphasis on loans and enhance first-team chances. - PA Sport.