Has Conte lost the dressing room?
Antonio Conte started out at Chelsea with aggressive charisma and righted the sinking ship left by Jose Mourinho. His tactics set the Premier League a blaze as Chelsea took the league by the neck and didn’t let go till the crown was there’s. Diego Costa was the teams heart and soul pulling goals almost out of thin air each time saving Chelsea from either losing a point or helping Chelsea take the lead.
Then the summer came in which Costa was told he was not needed on the squad by Conte. The viewpoints of that situation have been split down the middle because it was also reported that Costa wanted to go back to Atletico, but the fight he put up to stay says otherwise. Thus, Conte started spending for his players and he got the players he wanted but instead of correcting the mistakes of Mourinho in not incorporating Chelsea’s youth products who seem to be fit to start, he sent them on loan. Or worse, let them sign to a new club. Such a cruel decision still haunts Chelsea to this day as Lukaku, De Bruyne, and Salah set the premier league on fire since being casted away like road men.
Conte let the media know he did not get every player he wanted and fans are left wondering is it the Ownership who have shown in the past to not let the managers decide players or is it Conte using this as a excuse if his tactics have been found out….Chelsea season started out ugly with the record 75 million dollar signing from Madrid, missing a penalty in the community shield in which Arsenal then went on to win. Morata soon recovered from that miss and started out looking every bit worth of the 75 million price tag till his hamstrings gave out. This is where Conte started saying he does not have enough players to rotate properly, and he is right Chelsea are lacking depth in several areas but those said positions had already been waiting to be filled by youth products before Conte shipped them out. Michy Batshuayi was bought by Conte to be a back up ST and serve to be useful in crucial parts of the season when the main ST needs rest instead Conte threw in Michy at the 80th minute when Chelsea would be getting demolished. Far too many times Conte misused or forgot Michy was even on the roster as he continued to start the club’s best player out of position. Hazard has routinely let Conte and the media know he does not like playing false nine and it forces him to be out of the game, but Conte continued to start Eden at false nine while Michy sat even when during this period he had more goals than games played.
Michy would later reveal he would play during international break even though he was disallowed. As most would predict Michy would hand in his transfer request and then go on to score goals for fun in the Bundesliga, and this is not to paint Michy as a star ST more so showing that Chelsea had someone who could potentially give Morata, who has never played a full season as a lone ST, some rest. Since then Chelsea have dropped from 3rd to 5th and are now looking forward towards the Europa League group stage draws, Hazard has not agreed to a contract extension yet with this being a World Cup year his decision is in the air. Conte had a chance to be the first Chelsea manger in years to stay for 5+ years and started out promising with his decisions in the first season as manager leading us to a league title.
Soon after the league ends Roman Abramovic will most likely sack Conte and fans will rejoice but it is not what the fans think that matters. Ultimately Chelsea must correct the mistreatment of its star player by Conte who may have done enough damage to send him to warmer conditions.
Writer: Barry Allen
Picture: Getty Images