Chelsea has now officially part company with Italian boss Antonio Conte, according to Sky Sports. The Italian’s future with the south west London club has been in doubt for some time, and the pair has now gone their separate ways.
Media reports suggest that the Blues are set to appoint former Napoli boss And Conte’s compatriot Maurizio Sarri as their new head coach.
Delivered silverware during his time at Chelsea
Antonio Conte is an excellent coach, as he has proven that in his time as boss of Juventus and Italy. The Italian carried on in that positive vein at Chelsea, winning the English top-flight title in his first season in charge.
In the process, the Blues recorded a then-record 30 Premier League wins from their 38 matches. The South West London club also managed to string together a run of 13 straight top-flight victories, which is no easy feat.
Last season the Blues struggled to live up to expectations, finishing fifth-place in the table and missing out on a Champions League spot for next season. However, Chelsea and Conte did win the FA Cup, which seemed like little consolation to the clubs hierarchy. The Italian’s fate was sealed when they failed to clinch a top-four finish.
Conte unsettled last summer
In his first season with the Blues, Antonio Conte was a man full of Italian passion and energy. However, last season he seemed like the shell of the boss who occupied the Blues dugout in his debut campaign with the London club.
Media reports last summer suggested that the Blues hierarchy did not allow Conte to bring in some key transfer targets. To make matters even worse, the Blues sold vital defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic, reportedly against the wishes of the Italian.
The exit of star striker Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid also hampered the Blues chances of success last season. As last season’s Premier league campaign wore on, Conte looked more and more unhappy. In certain games, he looked like he was lost and wanted to be anywhere but in the Chelsea dugout. Considering the circumstances of his exit, Conte may well be slightly relieved after a tough campaign.
Sarri has a tough job to do
It seems inevitable that former Napoli boss Sarri will be the next Chelsea boss. The Italian would have been confirmed as the Blues new head coach earlier but for a contractual row with his former club.
However, it seems that all parties have now come to an agreement and the 57-year-old will be the next person in the Chelsea hot seat.
The Chelsea job is certainly one that comes with challenges, such as the high expectations from both the fans and the clubs owner Roman Abramovich.
Sarri is regarded as a highly intelligent and tactically shrewd boss, who has helped Napoli challenge the behemoths of Juventus in the Italian top-flight.
The Blues will be expected to challenge for the Premier League title under Sarri in the new season. However, they are far from favourites to lift the trophy, and it seems unlikely that the Italian can win the English title in his debut campaign as his compatriot did.
The decision to sack Antonio Conte was a long-time coming. However, only time will tell if it is indeed the right move from the Blues hierarchy.
Did Antonio Conte deserve more time at Chelsea?