February 25, 2018

Chelsea give Antonio Conte chance to save his job

09 February 2018, 01:42 | Pamela Mathis

REUTERSTroy Deeney was seen swearing at the Chelsea fans after scoring for Watford

Troy Deeney Watford swearing Chelsea

Luis Enrique remains Chelsea's first choice to be Antonio Conte's permanent replacement but the 47-year-old does not want the job before the end of the season. The future for the Italian manager looks bleak with Barcelona waiting in the Champions League Round of 16 and Conte may have to face the axe as his predecessor's Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas if the desired results aren't matched.

But how does Conte's 18-month spell at the club compare with some of his most notable predecessors, as well as other leading Premier League bosses?

Roman Abramovich has always been known to be an admirer of the Barcelona model of play.

Chelsea FC finished seven points clear of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League last week.

Conte made a number of mistakes past year, but that one might prove to be the biggest.

The challenge became harder for Conte and his players when Bakayoko was dismissed.

Troy Deeney Watford swearing Chelsea
REUTERSTroy Deeney wheels away to celebrate his goal

That perhaps indicates Costa is not the only player Chelsea are missing - with Nemanja Matic's sale to Manchester United likely a factor in the champions' struggles under Conte this time out.

However, despite Chelsea's current travails, including a 4-1 loss at Watford on Monday night, Wright does expect the west London club to stick with Conte until the summer in a bid to secure a place in next season's Champions League.

They also hold the record for the best goal difference in a season with 71.

Ancelotti also spoke of "red flags" in his book, the moments that sparked Abramovich's fury and served as warning signs of his growing frustration and impatience.

Whether the ex-Juventus and Italian national team head coach leaves at the end of this term is up for debate but, with so much negativity surrounding the club lately, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him depart soon. When elimination occurs, it is usually a trigger for Abramovich to act.

Chelsea have won just two of their 10 games in 2018, (three if you include the FA Cup penalty shootout win over Norwich), and are now in fourth place, 19 points behind Manchester City and just a point ahead of fifth-place Tottenham. Unfortunately for Conte, the defeat to Watford was 88th match in charge of the team, suggesting that he has already outstayed his welcome at Stamford Bridge.

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