The pressure has been gradually building on Antonio Conte since the beginning of the season regarding his job as Chelsea manager.
The situation has reached a dire state after a 3-0 home loss to Bournemouth and a 4-1 away defeat to Watford. This has led to football fans and pundits calling for the Italian boss to be sacked, especially because calls of the players losing respect towards him are slowly rising the surface. If that is the case, it will be similar to when Jose Mourinho lost his job for the second time at Stamford Bridge. Although, Roman Abramovich has said that he will not let player power influence his decision.
Conte was very clear in the way that he dismissed rumours of his sacking in one of his post-match interviews succeeding the 4-1 loss to Watford. When asked about the pressure on his position, he replied “which pressure?” and while it may seem arrogant to some, it shows a level of confidence that he knows he won’t be dismissed just yet. His very rich boss has backed that up in the way that he isn’t allowing the players to have the final say on whether their manager stays or goes.
Chelsea captain, Gary Cahill, also backed his coach after their performance against Hornets. Not only did the England international say they were “abysmal” but also that the players, himself included, need to “look in the mirror” to resolve the situation they have put themselves in. Cahill has been joined by a selection of his teammates in showing support towards Conte in the way of taking responsibility for such a lack of quality football in recent weeks. This would suggest that, despite reports, the players don’t want to see the back of their current manager, the manager that delivered them a Premier League winners’ medal last term.
However, they must react in the only way they know how to: with good football and some positive results. The real tests come thick and fast for Chelsea in the next few weeks as they face Manchester United and City in the league in between two Champions League last 16 ties against Barcelona. Whether Antonio Conte will still have a job after these matches is unknown but his players must start to perform for him like they did last season.