Antonio Conte has had a season to forget at Chelsea. And this is surprisingly so, if you put into perspective the very impressive manner he won the league, and almost did a double last season.
This season has been the opposite of the last, with Chelsea losing more games than we did last season, with many games to go. So what could be to blame? The sudden superiority of Manchester City or the league has gotten tougher? It’s easy to point to one of those excuses, but the truth is while it is non-contestable that City have improved a great deal from how they were last season, you can’t say the same for every other team in the league. United for example, are only above us by a mere three points. In other words, we have performed less impressively than they have. This time last season, we were 1st in the league, today, we’re 4th, and 18 whole points behind leaders, Manchester City. How fortunes have changed. The gap is mind-boggling, and scary.
So what is really going on at Chelsea this season? If there was no pointer to the truth that this has been a shambolic season, losing against Bournemouth on Wednesday is. Losing 3-0 at Stamford Bridge doesn’t happen to a good Chelsea side. So something is wrong, but where could the blame go?
Conte’s tactics haven’t changed any much from last season. And it’s obvious the man puts in a lot of sleeplessness and hard work in trying to see Chelsea’s fortunes rise and the club become a consistently progressive one, but unfortunately, the results aren’t forthcoming.
Is it a matter of tactics or we aren’t seeing the same level of commitment from the players as we saw in the previous season. Apart from the few who have been consistent, most have been underwhelming. The acquisitions we made in the summer seem to be struggling to adapt to the rigors of the EPL, with Morata being the biggest culprit since he was the star signing for the club.
In all, Conte is completely not responsible for the current fortunes of Chelsea, but being the boss, and with the history of the club with managers, I can only imagine what the man is going through. The pressure must be immense. However, if we lost another manager in Conte, I wonder where we’d turn. This is not a moment to blame the coach, but support him and help him steer the club off these troubled waters. Things could be worse, but they’re the way they are, and I think Conte is deserving of some credit and appreciation.