Antonio Conte will not be leaving Chelsea football club voluntarily. If the current Blues boss is to leave his current position, it will be only because owner Roman Abramovich forces him out.
That’s the narrative in The Guardian who write that the Italian has “no intention of resigning at Chelsea despite his team’s recent dismal run and expects to oversee the game against West Bromwich Albion next week.” Sacking speculation has reached a fever pitch lately, with most experts believing the dismal blowout loss to Watford at Vicarage Road being the final straw.
Obviously it wasn’t and at least one report out there says he safe for now.
Conte has said that he wishes the club would give him a public vote of confidence, but it hasn’t happened yet and it looks almost uncertain at this point. He did get a ringing endorsement though from one of his veteran leaders.
“The manager has done an absolutely unbelievable job,” said defender Gary Cahill in the same Guardian report.
“This is the worst I’ve felt for quite a while. Performance-wise at Watford I didn’t recognize us or myself. It was abysmal. We just need to keep strong. I’ve been here before at this club: it’s about staying calm. But it hurts a lot when you come off after a performance like that.”
Given that quote, it would seem that Conte has not lost the dressing room at this point. Chelsea are currently clinging to the last spot in the Premier League’s top-four. They’re also still alive in the FA Cup (fifth round vs. Hull City) and the Champions League (knockout round vs. Barcelona).
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri have been linked as the top two potential Antonio Conte replacements, if and when he’s sacked.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.
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