Why Chelsea should find a way to keep Antonio Conte
In the last four league matches, Chelsea have found some of their old spark to reignite what was a foregone Champions League qualification race while some of their rivals have flattered to deceive. The likes of Tottenham and Liverpool, who looked nailed on for qualification have been drawn into the scrap as Chelsea have won their last four matches to lump pressure on their Premier League rivals. After the defeat by Tottenham last month, Chelsea were 8 points behind Mauricio Pochettino’s team, with all hope of reaching next season’s edition looking to be over.
Against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon, Chelsea fought to a 1-0 win over the Reds courtesy of a Olivier Giroud strike in the first half, and it augurs well for the future of Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte. The Italian tactician is expected to leave his role at the end of the campaign, but this late season resurgence could be a pointer to the Chelsea hierarchy that the former Juventus man could still be the man to launch another title assault next term. Names such as Luis Enrique, Carlo Ancelotti, Julian Nagelsmann and Max Allegri have been linked to the job, but if the Chelsea board want continuity to reign at Stamford Bridge, Conte should be allowed to continue his job.
Chelsea is a club that is crying out for managerial stability. Too many coaches have taken the Chelsea job without having enough time to impose themselves on the squad before getting fired for a culmination of different reasons. Conte has not become a bad manager all of a sudden, and the manner he won the league last term means that he still has some credit in the bank. Conte is among one of the best managers in world football, and the potential compensation of £9m is not small fry even with Abramovich’s financial clout. Getting a new, world-class manager will be expensive and the new man will need more time to impose his methods on the players.
Other rivals have managers that have been in the dugout for a number of years, so the new man will be having a difficult job on his hands to get the boys firing. Conte needs to repair his relationship with the Chelsea board. He has also not covered himself in glory by consistently moaning about the inability to get his transfer targets, while some of his recent comments have not put him in good light with his employers. Chelsea are in the FA Cup Final once more in a bid to avenge last season’s loss to Arsenal by beating Manchester United at Wembley on May 19 which could be make or break for Conte's career at Chelsea which is apparently on the fringes.
That game has been billed as perhaps his farewell game, but if he wins that, he could use that as a springboard to bigger things and also leverage on that to convince the board to back him in the next transfer window. Conte loves the club and the fans also love him. It shouldn’t end this summer. The last few games have shown that he won’t stop fighting for the club.
As the Blues welcomes relegation-threatened side Huddersfield Town at Stamford Bridge today's evening, they would be hoping to ear all three points which will guarantee them one point above Tottenham Hotspur who occupies the fourth position.