- Chelsea board have grown frustrated over Antonio Conte’s criticism over club’s transfer business
- Stability still remains a problem with the Blues as it becomes increasingly likely Conte will depart at the end of the season
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The relationship between Antonio Conte and the Chelsea hierarchy is fragile to say the least. It was a bitter pill to swallow for everyone associated with the club on Wednesday night as the Blues were knocked out of the Carabao Cup against Arsenal. But the problem isn’t just on the pitch; it’s the drama behind the scenes that’s starting to enter the media spotlight.
Throughout the season Conte has slyly slammed the board, mainly over transfer dealings. Most recently after our loss against the Gunners, as the Telegraph revealed, he appears to only be shooting himself in the foot. As his role as head coach, the Italian doesn’t have as much of a say over which players come in and out of the club. However, he made his feeling perfectly known to Diego Costa sending him a text that he was no longer part of his plans, as the BBC reported at the time.
With the position in which Conte holds at the club, if he can’t have more input in how the money is being spent then he shouldn’t have been so rash in selling Costa. Despite finding a replacement for Costa in Alvaro Morata as well as signing other players in the summer like Antonio Rudiger and Tiemoue Bakayoko, this still isn’t enough for the 48-year-old to be satisfied.
On Wednesday we saw the first backlash from those high up at Chelsea with Sky Sports reporting frustrations over the former-Juventus manager’s attitude. This was a long time coming for Conte but it only adds more fuel over speculation that he will be given his marching orders at the end of the season.
Of course, the board aren’t exempt from criticism. There are questions over whether owner Roman Abramovich has the right people around him to make big decisions now that Michael Emenalo left his technical director post earlier this season. Little signs show that a replacement will come in as club director Marina Granovskaia has taken the baton.
Eden Hazard’s contract negotiations continue to stall, as reported by the Times, as arguably our most influential player could realistically leave the club at some point in the not so distant future.
It’s important for fans and players that the relationship between the two parties is restored at least short-term. Stability has been the main concern around the club, even in the Ken Bates era as managers like Ruud Gullit and Gianluca Vialli were sacked left, right and centre.
Even if Chelsea go trophy-less this season and the manager merry-go-round continues at Stamford Bridge, Conte’s replacement needs to be given belief that he can pick out the best players to sign.
We’re sure if those at the club had a time machine, they would go back in time and offer Conte a role as a manager, especially on the back of winning the title last season. It would have been the right decision for all parties.