Chelsea coach Antonio Conte has reacted defiantly to his side’s humiliating 4-1 defeat to Watford yesterday, saying he is “not worried” about losing his job. This is despite the Italian appearing to now be living on borrowed time at Stamford Bridge.
An abysmal spell has seen the defending Premier League champions record just three wins in their last ten matches. The league alone considered, Chelsea have won just once in their last five. Two shock defeats in a row against Bournemouth and Watford, respectively, have seen Conte’s men concede seven times while scoring just once.
Several bookmakers have today suspended betting on Conte getting the boot. The expectation that the Italian is surely heading for the exit door and, given that Chelsea have had 12 different managers since Roman Abramovich’s takeover in 2013, no one would be surprised.
Conte, however, came out fighting in his post-match interviews after the Watford defeat. The 48-year-old insisted that he has always given “120%” to the club and that they can sack him if they think otherwise.
“My position? It is the same,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I stay here, try to work and put all of myself into the work. The pressure? Which pressure? What is the pressure?”
“I work – if this is enough, it is okay. Otherwise, the club have to take another decision.”
Conte: We were “uncomfortable”
The Italian tactician also discussed the freak result, ruing what he termed as Chelsea’s lack of “personality” as they failed to show a reaction after their similarly shocking defeat by Bournemouth last time out.
“In this situation, the fault is the coach – maybe I made a bad decision today with the starting XI,” he said.
“We tried to play football but I think today we didn’t show this and we showed an uncomfortable situation with the ball. When you start in this way and play in this way you have doubt about the game.
“In the second half, I saw a great will but at the same time a lot of confusion. We don’t play in this way. We have to accept this and fight a lot in this season.”
All in all, to say Chelsea are in an uncomfortable situation would be an understatement. For one, the board have to decide whether to keep or dismiss a popular coach who just last season won the club the league title in fantastic fashion.
Additionally, if results don’t improve, there could be more embarrassments on the way long before Chelsea have to face Barcelona in the Champions League later this month.
Featured image: “Le Prime Convocazioni Di Conte Della Nazionale Italiana” (CC BY 2.0) by Nazionale Calci