The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are viewing the FA Cup as their side’s one saving grace after a very poor season. The Blues missed out on a top-four finish on the final day after losing against Newcastle, but in truth, the damage was done a long time ago.
Indeed, Antonio Conte has really struggled at the helm of the Blues this season, and question marks are already being placed over his future, and rightfully so.
However, it would be easy for the Chelsea brass to ignore the failings of this season if the Blues win the FA Cup on Saturday, and that’s why they cannot allow the game to cloud their judgement. In fact, their decision should already have been made. If one thing has been proven this season, it’s that Conte is no longer fit to manage the Blues.
You only have to look at how the Italian acts to infer that he’s no longer happy in the job. Gone are the days of the happy-go-lucky, fan-celebrating, game-winning Conte. In his place is a quiet, unsatisfied and mistake-ridden boss – and that indicates that his managership is only going one way.
What’s more, results on the pitch have really gone downhill as of late. Chelsea were winning practically every week last season, yet since the turn of the year, fans were lucky if they ever saw their side land three points. You can deal with that form for a month or two, but when it starts to take over a season, questions have to be asked.
Then you’ve got the questionable decisions. Dropping Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud down to the bench for a pivotal game against Huddersfield, starting Ross Barkley on the final day – these are all decisions that confused fans. And they’re all discussions that played a part in losing the Blues points.
Clearly, then, Antonio Conte is a manager under pressure, and whilst the Chelsea brass could yet to decide to keep him, coming to that decision based on the result on Saturday should not come into the thinking.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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