Conte’s exit inevitable
Renowned English journalist Dominic Fifield believes that Antonio Conte’s time in charge of Chelsea appears to be drawing to an end.
Speaking on ‘Sunday Supplement’, Fifield, London football correspondent for English publication ‘The Guardian’, said that Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Leicester was the type of performance that makes Conte’s departure feel inevitable.
The ‘Blues’ were lucky to claim at draw against the ‘Foxes’ in a performance that looked a million miles from when they were at their ruthless best last season.
Conte’s time at the helm has been dogged by controversy, with regular reports of tension with the club’s board over transfers and suggetions that he would like to return to Italy.
The former Juventus boss did nothing to quash those reports on Friday, telling the press that “everything is possible” and Fifield belives that the Italian will leave the club sooner rather than later.
“They are unbeaten in 10, have lost one of their last 18 matches, and are still in all four competitions…but there is something not right and their performance yesterday was arguably the worst of the Antonio Conte era, it was so lethargic,” he explained.
“There is a growing acceptance that Antonio Conte is probably not going to be at Chelsea next season and at some point that will impact upon the squad and players’ performances.
“We have seen this before with Chelsea. Carlo Ancelotti was a dead man walking for six months really, and he was sacked on the final day of the season.
“And some of the whispers coming out of Italy suggest people expect Conte to depart in the summer and that will have an effect over the second half of the season.
“Politically there has been damage inflicted in the relationship between the hierarchy and Conte, and for all the public utterances to the contrary, I don’t think it’s been healed. It is an issue and will continue to be an issue.
“It feels as if it’s a divorce waiting to happen. I think the damage done.”
Chelsea have been linked with a host of managers in recent times, including Carlo Ancelotti and Massimiliano Allegri.