Debutants Shine As Groves Predicts Decline
That's one game down in the defence of our Premier League title. It's not the outcome any of us would have wanted, but, to dwell too long will only increase the pain. It is, after all, only one game in a season of 38 games.
There were positives to be taken from the defeat against Burnley and we must dig deep and find them.
First off, the negativity surrounding new boy Alvaro Morata following last weekend's Community Shield game has been completely obliterated. Coming on with game, teetering on the abyss, Morata responded with a goal and an assist during his 30 minutes of game time. He can stand with his held high. He took to twitter following the game saying,
"The match didn't go as we expected, but this is just the beginning!"
The other debutant Antonio Rudiger also did OK. Antonio Conte chose to start with the German, and like Morata, he didn't let his manager down or lose his head. He felt safe to take to twitter
"Very unhappy about today's result, but let's keep our faith and do it better next time"
The second half fightback with just 9 men against Burnley's 11 is also a cause for tempered joy. Ultimately though, this game really should provide the impetus that forces the transfer triangle of Roman Abramovich, Marina Granovskaia and Michael Emanalo to act. To not just pursue transfer targets, but to actually get them. That's the positive.
However, today's defeat has given them a massive negative to deal with. In the overpriced market that football is currently experiencing, any of the names the trio are pursuing have just seen a 5-10% increase. That's extra to the ridiculous price they were worth before Burnley put Chelsea to sword, albeit with '12' men.
The stupidity of losing half the squad before the season started whilst bringing in just 3 players is incomprehensible. To wait, poker style, in a way akin to Tottenham's Daniel Levy, in the hope of picking up a bargain in the final hours of the transfer window is negligent in the position it leaves the club.
It is just one game, as the first paragraph says, and we do have to try to be positive but an article that has gone under the radar appeared in yesterday's Express.
The article quotes former Arsenal player Perry Groves, who was talking to Talksport. He believes the players are angry with Antonio Conte,
"I've got a mole in the camp and they are not happy behind the scenes. The players are not happy. They don`t like way he goes about things, it's very dictatorial. Conte isn't happy with Michael Emanalo and Marina Granovskaia, who is the director. They're the ones dealing with players. Antonio Conte has to go through those two first before he gets to Roman Abramovich and that's where the problem lies.
What he says does have a familiar ring to it, rewind two seasons and we know where we are. Groves feels there is a distinct possibility of Conte leaving Chelsea,
"You can tell by Conte's body language. It didn`t make sense to let one of your pivotal players, in Nemanja Matic, go to one of your main rivals. You just do not sell one of your best players. He's had no say and that's why he's getting the hump. He's done it at Juventus. He walked out on them. He's got previous and now he's not in charge of signings."
Even looking at things from a distinctly partizan point of view, from what is currently going on, from what can be clearly seen, it's difficult to disagree. Finally the Arsenal man really thinks Chelsea 2015-16 2.0 is on the cards,
"Antonio Conte will not be manager of Chelsea at Christmas - fact."