Former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique Enrique favourite to replace Antonio Conte

Doug Mendoza
February 9, 2018

Unless something changes drastically between now and the end of the season, Antonio Conte will not be Chelsea manager for the next campaign.

Conte has been complaining all season about his thin squad, especially with Champions League commitments and how the Chelsea board has failed to back him in the transfer market. Although, Enrique will undoubtedly be in the frame when Conte does depart Stamford Bridge.

Yet, regardless of what happens, according to Matt Law writing in The Telegraph, Conte won't be sacked because of "player power".

Although regarded by some as something of a figure of fun, Avram Grant won 68.8 per cent of his Premier League matches in charge of Chelsea - the Israeli coach a John Terry slip away from claiming the UEFA Champions League, too. The squad is weaker this season than the one that won the league previous year.

Therefore, Conte has chose to base his decision on the performances his players put on the pitch.

Giroud was finally handed his debut for the final 25 minutes in place of Pedro, who hobbled off with a nasty looking injury that could make him a doubt to face old side Barcelona in Chelsea's Champions League last 16 tie in two weeks' time.

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"That's why we love football - if there is only one team that wins it would be boring".

The game at Watford was Chelsea's 41st of term - they had played 29 at the same stage last season - with fatigue having clearly affected the team's performances.

Ancelotti also spoke of "red flags" in his book, the moments that sparked Abramovich's fury and served as warning signs of his growing frustration and impatience.

The ex-Juventus coach, meanwhile, has seemed increasingly unhappy, voicing his dissatisfaction with the club's transfer policy and engaging in a bitter slanging match with predecessor Jose Mourinho. When elimination occurs, it is usually a trigger for Abramovich to act.

In those standings City lead the way with 147 points compared to Chelsea's 143 - those defeats against Bournemouth and Watford proving costly - with Tottenham and Liverpool making up the rest of the top four, ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal. He might have been given more time to turn it around had he played a smarter game past year, but he overplayed his hand and left himself with no credit in the bank for the inevitable tough times that have followed.

The report states that Conte became "drunk on success" after he landed a second English top flight trophy for the west Londoners in three seasons, and demanded that he be given a greater say over the club's recruitment policy.

Other reports by GizPress

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