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Breaking down the Chelsea crisis: What’s happened and what’s next for Antonio Conte?

COMMENT: Following the embarrassing 4-1 defeat away to Watford on Monday night, Antonio Conte's time at Chelsea could possibly be up before you know it. Although the Blues somehow still remain in the top four, the performances and decline in form has been unpredictable, which has to be straightened out imminently.

Also, the Italian's choice of words in the press conference after the fixture was bizarre and it seemed like he was not bothered about whether he will get sacked by the board or not.

With how things have gone in recent weeks, it looks like he is doing his best to be relieved from his duties as manager of the team.

So, the question is how have the current champions of England suffered a downfall so quickly?

The whole situation started at the end of the previous term, where the board and the manager did not confide in making any long-term plans in the best interest of the club.

Conte proved himself by taking a broken and unmotivated Chelsea squad to a league title in his first year in England, however, this did not lead to any perks for the boss, who could have done with a bigger say when it came to transfer decisions.

Due to this factor, the decision making in the summer transfer window was not clear at all.

The signings of Alvaro Morata, Antonio Rudiger and Davide Zappacosta was certainly chosen by Conte whilst both Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko were picked by the board.

On top of that, Nemanja Matic was sold to league rivals Manchester United for a figure of £40million without the permission of the gaffer.

Given the fact that the recruitment policy at the club is awfully flawed, not many coaches in the future that will want to work at Chelsea will have a successful time at the Stamford Bridge unless the board chooses to change how they do their business off the pitch.

The ambition to invest smartly has never been there, which has resulted in only two to three world class players remaining and playing at the club.

A lot of the blame on the situation of the club does go down to Chelsea's board, who have hired and fired managers every few years, showing that they have no clear objectives in the long run at all.

To keep it simple, they have always taken the easy path of making decisions on the go instead of having it prepared. Because of this, they will always be slightly behind the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United.

It's time to turn the focus back on Conte, a man that led Chelsea to their sixth league title last year but has failed to continue his wonders into the current season.

For sure, he cannot take the side to the next level that they are aiming for with the current players at his disposal, on the other hand, his defensive setup in the home games as well as his in-game decision making has been nothing but abysmal. The lack of rotation and heavy-drilled training sessions has taken a massive toll on a squad that is pretty small.

Not only that, but the relationship between the manager and the board as a whole does not imply that all parties are happy with how things have gone so far this season. Conte's role at the club is actually as a coach and not a manager, so he should have known himself of what he was about to get into and what was going to happen once he made his arrival. Now, the priority is to save the ship before it starts to sink.

Overall, it would be a monumental mistake if the people in charge of the club sack Conte at this stage of the season. Chelsea are still in the top four and are competing in the FA Cup as well as the Champions League, so, a managerial change with many big games coming up and not many ideal replacements around could potentially hurt the side from now till the end of May.

In the end, if Conte does get sacked, he'll be expected to land a big job back in Italy. Meanwhile, it would be the same story for Chelsea, sacking a manager every two to three years which is something that they eventually bring up on themselves.

Whether the former Juventus coach remains at the team or not, the Blues need to sort out their priorities and make sure a few individuals within the important departments either step down from their job or are replaced by superior people who have a clear vision for the club.

About the author

Asif Norat

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