The Italian boss led Juventus to their 28th Scudetto with an unbeaten record and is deemed the best trainer on the peninsula by the readers in our end-of-term voteSerie A, with Andrea Pirlo beating Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the award. But when it came to the best coach of the campaign, there was an even clearer winner: Antonio Conte.
The former Juventus midfielder led the Bianconeri to glory in the Scudetto race as the Turin club rewrote the record books in 2011-12, becoming the first Italian team to record an unbeaten 38-game campaign as they marched to a 28th official title.
And in doing so, Conte's Juve ended their post-Calciopoli trophy drought which had seen Inter, Milan and Roma hog the majority of the accolades on offer since 2006.
|HOW YOU VOTED
|1. Antonio Conte - 84.09%
2. Edy Reja - 4.63%
3. Vincenzo Montella - 4.36%
4. Francesco Guidolin - 4.31%
5. Other - 2.61%
Conte ensured that the Old Lady got back to winning ways with a style of play which had many in Italy lauding his side from the very beginning of the campaign.
With a high pressing approach, the Bianconeri dominated a large majority of their fixtures, often leaving the opposition defending deep in their own half for the entire 90 minutes, helping to make life easier for his back line that would concede only 20 goals all season.
Just as it appeared that they would be made to pay for a lack of touch in front of goal, Juve's run-in was near-flawless, with Conte's men seeing off Massimiliano Allegri's reigning champions AC Milan thanks to their impeccable record when the going got tough in April and May.
In this poll, the Italian claimed a magnificent 84.09 per cent of the overall votes, with Lazio boss Edy Reja well behind in second with just 4.63%. Catania's Vincenzo Montella finished third with 4.36%, ahead of Udinese's Francesco Guidolin (4.31%), with 2.61% of readers saying they would have chosen someone from outside our shortlist.
|HEAD TO HEAD | Conte's supremacy over title rival Allegri
|0||League games lost
Reja led Lazio to within one game of Champions League qualification despite enduring all sorts of difficulties behind the scenes. He resigned twice - the first just a week into the season - but the submissions were refused both times and he continued to take the Biancocelesti on a magnificent run in the league. With striker Miroslav Klose and trequartista Hernanes helping to cover up gaps elsewhere, it was only in the late stages of the campaign that the capital side fell behind in the race for third. Two derby victories over Roma were earned on the way, though, completing a season to remember.
An ex-Roma coach in Montella followed just behind Reja, collecting only 10 votes less after a fantastic campaign with Catania which at one point saw them sitting seventh with only a couple of months of the term remaining. Not only did 'L'Aeroplanino' maintain the club's recent record for having a superb home record, but he also made them harder to beat on the road, losing only seven away games all season as they eventually finished in 11th spot.
Perhaps the big surprise in our poll was the fourth-place finish of Francesco Guidolin after the remarkable job he did to secure Udinese a second successive Champions League play-off spot. The former Palermo and Parma coach suffered the losses of Alexis Sanchez, Gokhan Inler and Cristian Zapata in the transfer market last summer, but still somehow managed to lead the Friuli outfit into third place in Serie A.
But Conte was the man, for the readers at least, as he made it six league titles as player and coach. His 2011-12 success, however, has arguably eclipsed all his triumphs as a player, lifting a side which had recorded back-to-back seventh-place finishes to clinch the crown at the first time of asking, and doing so without a single defeat. Conte, then, is Goal.com's Coach of the Season in Serie A, winning just a shade over four fifths of the vote.