Tag: Chelsea

Antonio Conte: Chelsea manager to stay despite thrashing by Watford

Antonio Conte will not be sacked as Chelsea manager in the wake of their 4-1 thrashing defeat at the hands of Watford on Monday night.

Conte’s position was not discussed after the match, and expects to oversee the game against West Bromwich Albion next week.

The fact that Chelsea still remains in the top four of the Premier Leauge and are still in the running for both the Champions League and FA Cup were cited as reasons not to make a managerial change right now, while it was also understood that the Italian has since given his players three days off.

Conte also admitted his team had played “with fear” at Vicarage Road and rejected using injuries and fatigue as an excuse for their poor form, but conceded that an empty week is an opportunity to grant his players a rest amidst a busy schedule since the turn of the year.

With the defending champions are now fourth in the Premier League and 19 points behind leaders Manchester City, Conte said that “the club have to take another decision” if they think he is not doing a good enough job.

Still, there is support for the former Juventus coach as Blues captain Gary Cahill has voiced out his support for Conte, saying that the players needed to “look in the mirror” after the Blues’ second straight three-goal defeat.

“The manager has done an absolutely unbelievable job,” Cahill added. “This is the worst I’ve felt for quite a while. Performance-wise at Watford I didn’t recognise us or myself. It was abysmal. We just need to keep strong. I’ve been here before at this club: it’s about staying calm. But it hurts a lot when you come off after a performance like that.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea have denied reports in Spain that their director Marina Granovskaia has met the former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique about succeeding Conte and insist it remains business as usual at the club despite only two wins in 10 games since the turn of the year.

Antonio Conte challenges Chelsea to make “statement of support”

Antonio Conte has challenged the hierarchy at Chelsea to issue a statement of support” to back his tenure and quash suggestions his job is under threat.

Conte will go into Monday’s game at Watford with his side 19 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City. Chelsea’s title defense has been reduced to a campaign for a finish in the top four at best as a testing second campaign in charge reaches its final months.

There have also been alleged tensions behind the scenes between Conte and club officials over recruitment, as well as concerns over the intensity of his training and calls of late from the head coach for the board to show “realism” and “patience”.

Although it appears inevitable to many that Conte will leave Chelsea in the summer, the head coach has called for a public show of support to demonstrate he retains the board’s backing even in the short term.

“I must be honest, there were these type of rumours and speculation [that he might be sacked] even after the first game of the season when we lost against Burnley,” Conte said.

“Maybe I’d like the club to prepare a statement for me, no? To say they trust me in my work and my job.But, at the same time, I know this never happened in the past, so why should I hope for something different? But, for sure, I’d like to have a statement of support against this speculation.”

Chelsea have played 40 games this season — that number was 28 at this stage last year — and there had been concerns Conte has not eased the intensity of training.

However, the former Italian international coach insists that it was in the contrary, saying: “If you compare to the other clubs, we have fewer injuries. The only problem is that, this season, we are playing a lot more and our squad wasn’t big enough to give them the right rest. We are working less [in training] than last season. A lot less.”

“For sure, you have to change your plan, your work. When you play every three days, it’s impossible to give intensity in these two days between one game and another. Sometimes, when I have had the possibility, I have tried to do a little window of work for the players I had decided to rest [after a game].

Chelsea set to complete £44m deal for Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea’s £44m bid along with add-ons worth £13.2m for Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri has reportedly been accepted, with the Blues hoping to complete the deals before the transfer window closes next week.

Negotiations with Palmieri — a left-back — has been straightforward while Dzeko, who spent five years at Manchester City, still needs convincing for a  Premier League return as the 31-year old seeks assurances over game-time.

Dzeko’s worries is notably justified especially in regards toChelsea’s recent transfer policy – the London club had only offered only one-year extensions to players on the books who are over 30 – but it has been indicated that they are willing to bend their own rules to secure the Bosnian.

As such, Chelsea are expected to offer him a contract through to at least 2020. Dzeko featured against Sampdoria for Roma on Wednesday night, with the club’s sporting director Monchi confirming that he has yet to agree personal terms.

“Roma, like every club in the world, listen to the offers that arrive for their players, not just for Edin, but anyone in the squad,” Monchi added said. “We are ready to listen and then we decide. Now Dzeko is here and the rest doesn’t matter, which means the offer that arrived is not interesting.”

“I don’t know what personal terms were offered to the player, as I am not his agent. I am talking about Roma: an offer arrives, we look at it and then decide.”

Dzeko, who played for Manchester City between 2011 and 2016 before joining Roma, won Serie A’s Golden Boot last season and has nine goals in 19 games this campaign.