Why Antonio Conte Might Face The Sack If Chelsea Don’t Finish In The Top-4
Chelsea’s emphatic title-winning 2016-17 campaign has been marred by their recent shambles following a series of disappointing outcomes, and questions are being raised about Antonio Conte’s future, as to whether he will still be in charge of the Blues when the 2018/19 campaign starts.
The former Juventus and Azzurri boss had a sensational Premier League debut when the London giants conquered the league throne last term and qualified for the prestigious Champions League competition following one year of absence due to a dismal Premier League season under former gaffer Jose Mourinho.
The Blues needed a hefty transfer spending in order to strengthen their squad and compete in domestic competitions, as well as the highly-acclaimed Champions League tournament. They brought in a number of new resources but a few things went terribly wrong for the Italian tactician.
It all started last season following a training ground rift between Conte and controversial forward Diego Costa. The gaffer exiled Costa from his squad this campaign and his intention of replacing him with marksman Romelu Lukaku went in vain when the ex-Everton forward rejected a switch to his former employers and opted to join Mourinho’s Manchester United.
Also, the likes of Fernando Llorente, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ross Barkley, and Alex Sandro turned down Chelsea’s offers – a few of them plied their trades elsewhere, the rest are continuing for their current outfits. The Blues tried to find out alternatives and players like Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger, Davide Zappacosta and Danny Drinkwater are not bad recruitments. But Chelsea’s failure to sign their primary transfer targets in spite of being crowned as English champions caused enough anxiety for the Blues boss.
The decision to let Nemanja Matic join rivals Manchester United went wrong for the league holders and now a few unfavorable outcomes have made bad things worse for the ex-Juventus manager.
Chelsea’s season started in shambles when they suffered a home defeat against Burnley in their opening fixture. But the Blues came back strongly and secured a few consecutive wins, including a thrilling away victory against Atletico Madrid. But they surrendered against league leaders Manchester City at Stamford Bridge and their defeat against bottom-placed Crystal Palace piled more pressure on Conte and his immediate future.
They somehow avoided a defeat against AS Roma last midweek, banking on a late eqauliser from Eden Hazard. Although they scripted a late comeback and staged a crucial win against Watford on Saturday, their performance remained far from convincing and Conte himself is aware of his uncertainty as Chelsea boss. The Blues will be hoping to constitute a winning streak now, just like previous campaign, and at least a ‘top-4’ league finish is expected from the reigning champions.
Roman Abramovich, the Chelsea owner, is notoriously known for parting ways with the managers in short timeline and failure in domestic competitions as well as in Europe will put an end to Conte’s Chelsea realm as well.
Bayern Munich have dismissed Carlo Ancelotti a few weeks back, and he has a glorious past with Chelsea. His availability has added more pressure on Conte and his egress is inevitable if the Blues miss out on a Champions League berth at the end of this campaign.