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Arrivederci, Antonio!

Shyam Kamal
Published 13 Jul 2018, 16:04 IST
13 Jul 2018, 16:04 IST

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League
No longer the King at the Bridge, but we will forever remember you

First of all, you are no Jose Mourinho.

Of all the managers who have been spent their time at the helm of Chelsea, if I had to pick one manager to stay with us forever, I would definitely pick Jose Mourinho. But I have to tell you, you come in a distant second.

It is a shame that you never mastered the art of defeating Arsenal during your 2 years here. Maybe if you had done that, we would have held on to you further. Oh, well.

To be honest, no one expected you to do the things you managed to do here - and certainly not in the same era as Pep Guardiola and Mourinho. All we knew was that you were doing great things with the Italian national team, and we needed someone who could sort out our horrible defence.

To call the team you inherited horrible would be both an understatement and an exaggeration. It was the same team that had lifted the PL trophy two years prior to that and simultaneously finished at the worst position by a defending champion in the next year.

It was a team that had superstars, but no proper way to make them go about their business. It was a team that had thrived under the most Mourinho-esque title run, and in the next season crumbled around him every which way.

We sacked our medical staff. We pointed our fingers at players and the backroom staff. And when none of it worked, we showed Mourinho the door - and for the second time. It was brave of you to come into a club with such a weird board, and thank you for that.

We never wanted a PL title from you, not because we didn't deserve it but because we honestly did not know what to expect of you. And when you got us the title, I honestly thought we had found our SAF.


Turns out that you are just Mourinho, turned up to an eleven. Usually, it is our board who screws up the relationship with the managers, but this you brought onto yourself. You can't expect to bad mouth your employer as much as you did and expect to get a contract extension.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League
If only you hadn't complained about our board at every possible turn!

It was a bold gamble to take, but you should have known Abrahmovich better. The man doesn't take hostages, and neither do you for some reason. In the Mexican stand-off that ensued, he had more power than you.

Anyway, what is done is done. You did well, very well, considering everything you had to fight. Maybe the mind games with Mourinho towards the end of the season took their toll on you. But you beat him 4-0 at the Bridge, and you should be proud of that.

We played some of our best football under you. Unfortunately, we also played some awful football under you. I will never forgive you using Hazard as a false 9 when we had both Giroud and Morata to use.

1 Premier League title. 1 FA Cup. A lot of good memories. A few bad ones. A lot of passion. A little frustration. I still do not know if I am sad or okay with seeing the back of you. I doubt most Chelsea fans know what to think of your time with us.

But they warned us that you weren't the best at dealing with the UEFA Champions League, and you lived up to that reputation. Or rather, we let you down there. Either way, it was the only thing where you didn't surprise us.

You revolutionized the PL with the 3-at-the-back. You were a genius when things went right for you - and it was more often than not. It was a pity you turned against our board and at the end, the players against you. Oh, what could have been!

Maurizio Sarri, head coach of Ssc Napoli, looks on before...
Hopefully, this appointment sticks for a long time

I enjoyed all the Godfather memes we could use up at your expense. Apparently, Sarri smokes his fair share of cigars as well, so we do not lose out much on the 'cool' quotient. Hopefully, I don't have to pen a farewell note to him as well before his time.

Not many managers leave us on a happy note. Sorry about that. But just this once, you share more than part of the blame. We will always remember the good things about you. Arrivederci, Antonio Conte. Thanks for the seasono!

Modified 20 Dec 2019, 16:44 IST
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