Conte call the biggest of Roman’s reign

0
66
Conte
Conte

Antonio Conte surprised many by calmly watching on as Chelsea were pummeled 4-1 by Watford at Vicarage Road on Monday but he may be content in the knowledge that he has a bright future, whatever happens to him this season.

 

The 47-year-old is known for ranting and raving on the touchline but he looked serene in the face of an ugly situation that appears to extend beyond the pitch.

 

Being sacked by Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea is no longer a sign of failure, with world class coaching talent let go biennially. Two years is generous, in fact: Blues boss average less than 500 days at the helm.

Chelsea’s next opponents are West Brom and the club is on a brink of yet another crisis, with the disastrous prospect of missing out on the Champions League twice in three years looming large on the horizon.

Andre Villas-Boas was sacked after a loss to West Brom. Champions League winner Roberto Di Matteo suffered the same fate. Is Conte set to follow suit?

 

Chelsea should avoid losing at home to the ‘s basement boys but with games away to both Manchester clubs and Barcelona coming up, Conte could be a poor run of results away from the sack.

 

That is a remarkable situation for the man who led the Blues to the title last season but it is hard to feel too sorry for the former Juventus boss, who will be the first name on the shortlist of any major Serie A side in need of a manager this summer.

 

The Italy national team would also love to have him back, while Goal understands that he would also be in the frame to succeed Unai Emery at Paris Saint-Germain, should the Spaniard fail to land the Champions League this season.

 

Chelsea, on the other-hand, are crying out for stability. Yes, they have been England’s most successful team since Abramovich bought the club in 2003 after bagging 14 major honours, but there’s no guarantee that this cycle of hiring and firing will continue to reap dividends.

 

This has resulted in a failure to keep up with the likes of Manchester City in terms of net spend on players.

 

The club’s most recent annual report showed they actually made a profit from player sales but lagged behind several clubs in terms of player investment, despite having been able to spend lavishly in the past.

 

Chelsea are already missing out on transfer targets in the face of fierce competition from the two Manchester clubs, but they could miss out on more if they fail to finish in the top four this season. A failure to achieve a Champions League spot may see players start choosing other destinations ahead of the west London club.

 

Furthermore, Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois’s contracts are up for renewal. Courtois will have talks this month on a new deal but he might want to wait to see who his manager is and how the club performs over the remaining few months of the 2017-18 campaign, while his friend and countryman Hazard is likely to be thinking the same way.

 

Courtois has 17 months left on his contract and will likely be sold in the summer if he fails to renew and pushes for a move, with the goalkeeper having once again admitted this week that his heart remains in Madrid along with his family.

Chelsea need to find a way of bringing people together and although the club’s players no longer have a direct line to the board since the club legends John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic left, they risk being part of the problem if they can’t rally around their manager.

 

Luis Enrique is thought to be the frontrunner should Conte leave but these claims have been repeatedly denied by club officials. Ex-Chelsea and Barcelona star Juliano Belletti may also get a director of football-type role, with Michael Emenalo having departed after 10 years at the club.

 

However, the jury is out on whether they would survive the problems that Conte has faced or even whether they will be better than their predecessors.

Abramovich is faced with big decisions with a new £1 billion stadium on the way but it isn’t looking like Conte will be there to break it in, as he did for Juve when they moved into the Juventus Stadium.

 

Chelsea need stability not only now but in the mid- to long- term future, with trophies getting harder and harder to win on comparatively smaller budgets to some of their rivals.

 

For Conte’s part, he will continue to stand calmly on the sidelines, safe in the knowledge that his future is much clearer than that of his employers.

Comments

comments

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here