Antonio Conte has been sacked as manager of Chelsea after two full seasons in charge of the West London club. It is certainly not a surprise and was perhaps expected by most after the Blues finished in fifth position in the Premier League standings and outside of the Champions League qualification places last season.
The news of Conte’s sacking will be met with mixed reactions from Chelsea fans. Some feel that it was just after the team were underwhelming both domestically and in Europe. Others will feel that the Italian was hard done by and should have been given more time, especially as he led the team to the Premier League title in convincing fashion during his first term in charge.
Despite the Blues not playing well by their standards over the past 12 months, they did not end the 2017/18 season trophy-less as they claimed the FA Cup. Defenders of Conte will also use this as justification for why he should have remained in charge.
Below are some of the main reasons as to why Conte was sacked:
The Diego Costa situation
It is well-known that Costa and the Italian did not get along. Costa starred during Chelsea’s Premier League-winning 2016-17 season under Conte, scoring 22 top-flight goals. Despite this, he was deemed surplus to requirements at the end of the season and Conte infamously informed him of the situation via text.
Conte then went on to replace the Spanish international with Alvaro Morata. Although the 25-year-old started last season in promising form, most fans view him as a flop as he only netted 15 goals in all competitions.
His relationship with the board
Roman Abramovich is perhaps one of the most difficult owners in world football. Regardless of your reputation as a manager, if you end off a season without a place in the Champions League or a trophy, it spells disaster. Chelsea have been harsh in terms of their treatment of managers in the past and most would have seen Conte’s sacking coming after the club finished the league in fifth place.