Antonio Conte should be supported, he can deliver again
Antonio Conte is facing a lot of questions following a string of poor performances. Will he be sacked soon?
Over the years, Premier League clubs who win the league have not been kind to managers.
Jose Mourinho and Claudio Ranieri won the league in 2015 and 2016 respectively and were sacked the following seasons.
This emphasizes how impatient clubs are with their managers. The man under scrutiny now is Chelsea manager Antonio Conte.
After two consecutive defeats in the league against leaders Manchester City and bottom-placed Crystal Palace, Chelsea responded with wins against Watford and Bournemouth.
However, these victories were not convincing. It seems an age ago that the dominant victory over Atletico Madrid made the Blues look like an unstoppable force of nature.
The team has been out of sorts since that game with pundits and fans alike having a difficult time deciding whether the team are title contenders or not.
While the performance against City was quite bad, the defeat by Palace was unforgivable and was made worse by the abject nature of the performance.
The latest game at the Vitality Stadium against Bournemouth was an improvement but given Chelsea's atrocious finishing, the Cheeries could have punished them.
Giving the team's recent history, rumours pointing to Conte's end at the club were inevitable
The Italian was asked several questions regarding his sack in a media conference before the clash against Bournemouth which did not help his frustration.
The story is that Chelsea is looking to bring back former manager Carlo Ancelotti, who himself was axed by Bayern Munich, to replace Conte. Given the number of managerial changes made in the Roman Abramovich era, the rumours are to be taken seriously.
The Blues have been a shadow of the team that won the title last season and the lack of squad depth has been a huge hindrance. Furthermore, the Italian has had to deal with the injuries to key men at various times.
Whatever may be the case, it will be preposterous to sack Antonio Conte.The West Londoners were going through a similar predicament last year this time around and it was Conte who then led them on a 13-game winning run and eventually to the title.
The fans love the man who lives every moment on the sidelines as if he himself were still playing and he still has a contract that should keep him at the club till 2019.
The team currently sit 4th on the table, are in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup and are doing considerably well in the Champions League.
Whether the front runners; the Manchester teams will be weakened before the title race concludes is an altogether different question but Chelsea has to be in a position to pounce if it happens. Here's what Conte had to say after the win against Bournemouth on the weekend:
“At this moment we must be realistic by going game by game.We have 19 points and we deserve to have 19 points.We are first in our group in the Champions League. We went into the next round of the Carabao Cup after going out in the second round last season.I’m very happy with this group. There are players who are very honest, players who want to fight until the end for something important."
Some reports have suggested that players are unhappy with Conte and have even texted former assistant manager Steve Holland regarding the problem but the Italian has denied the occurrence of any such event. He said:
"One story earlier in the week said Steve Holland had been contacted by players at Chelsea. Absolute nonsense.If the media organisation had bothered to check with Steve, then he would have told them no player had contacted him."
Even if Chelsea fail to defend the title, Conte should not be axed as he has proven his worth.
That said, Chelsea is still alive on all four fronts and have to approach each with determination to get the maximum out of them.
Then there is the winter transfer window where they can spend a few bucks to strengthen the squad and they should also consider bringing a few players back from loan.
They should certainly keep an eye on Tammy Abraham and Ruben Loftus Cheek who have been playing well and can provide Conte with more options.
With these loanees, the quality already at the club and with new buys in January, Conte can still turn their season around.
Next up for the Blues are two big games against AS Roma and Manchester United and given Conte's pedigree, expect the team to come up with good performances to put an end to the doubts about his job.