Where Does The Trouble Lie With Chelsea Pt. 3
According to Spanish news outlet Marca, Antonio Conte`s time at Chelsea is over.
They believe Roman Abramovich has made his mind up and decided to fire the Italian at the end of the season. They cite the strained relationship between the two men that has seen them barely speak for months.
Indeed, it's true the Russian tycoon has very little patience when it comes to underperforming Chelsea teams. Historically he takes the view that the buck, very much stops with the manager. The clubs players are seen as a precious commodity that allows them the freedom to down tools at the drop of a hat. Abramovich must take the view that the eleven men who took to the field on Tuesday night were not able to motivate themselves to put in any sort of effort.
It's almost as if the modern day footballer is an automaton that is simply programmed by the manager before the game to work to a game plan. The current crop of Chelsea players are unable to think for themselves. There are no leaders on that pitch. There`s no one capable of, in simple terms, giving the players a good kick up the backside when things are going wrong. No John Terry, no Frank Lampard, no Didier Drogba. It's always down to the manager.
Maybe it's why Antonio Conte is so animated on the sidelines. His flailing arms are like a kids hands on a PlayStation controller. His constant direction is overwhelming his team. Maybe the players react to Conte`s FIFA18 approach to management by allowing themselves to be controlled. Too much emphasis is on the manager and as a result the players switch off. They are willing to allow themselves to be controlled.
Much as Antonio Conte`s passion is to be admired, his modus operandi needs to calm down. Very rarely is he seated during a game. His constant prowling of his technical area puts the players at unease they are unable to cope with. They don`t feel the need to make any decisions for themselves because Conte is always there making them
My experience of 'kids` football is that the more direction they are given, the less they ultimately listen. Watching some of Chelsea`s defending the other night was akin to watching 'kids` football. At times players were just following the ball. Something that 10-year olds do.
Conte should give his instruction before the game on Sunday and then stay seated. We all love to see him crowd-surfing after a goal, of course we do, and in the good moments, he can celebrate as wildly as he likes.
But when it`s not going to plan, he has to have given the players on field the tools to be able to cope, to change the game plan to suit the needs. Conte`s time is half-time. The players must take more responsibility on the pitch during the game and Conte has to allow them to do so.
Sunday`s game will be nervy and edgy, we`ve already seen Jose`s tactic against the bigger teams. It`s one we`re all familiar with here. He`ll be setting his side up, to not lose. Whatever team Conte picks must adapt a style that is able to negate Jose`s negativity.
The feeling in football is that the result is everything, again something we`re all familiar with here. Stamford Bridge, at 4:30pm, needs to see a bit more. Those eleven players need to show unity and spirit, they need to fight for the supporters they so badly let down last Tuesday in Rome.
A defeat won`t be the end of the world for Chelsea Football Club, but for some of those that represent it, it may well be the beginning of the end for them.