A substandard Premier League season has ended in the worst possible way for Chelsea as they confirmed their place in the Europa League next term with a truly awful 3-0 loss against Newcastle.
Not only is it another poor title defence from last season’s champions but it also looks as though it was Antonio Conte’s final league game in charge of the club. There are surfacing rumours that the Italian boss won’t even make it to the FA Cup final next weekend, where his side face Manchester United.
Ahead of the only thing that could salvage this dismal campaign, Blues fans have been handed a statement they won’t want to hear. After the loss at St. James’ Park, Conte said the finalists “do not have a chance” if they play in a similar vein to Sunday’s performance.
The former Juventus boss didn’t have any news on his future in London, asking: “Do you think so, you have the news?” to the crowded room of journalists. That answer certainly shows that his days at Stamford Bridge could be numbered.
“The club know very well the situation. After Saturday we go on vacation, so we will see next season.”
The FA Cup final is the only possible saving grace for Conte and would ensure he receives a good send-off from the blue half of Wembley next Saturday. After all, he was the mastermind behind a fantastic title win 12 months ago which seems remarkably inferior to the total domination we have seen from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this campaign.
Regardless of the result at Wembley, both the search and appointment of the new Chelsea manager need to be done before the beginning of the World Cup in a month’s time. Luis Enrique and Carlo Ancelotti are the two big-name favourites for the job whilst Maurizio Sarri is the surprise front-runner (that’s the current Napoli manager for anyone asking).