An opinion of the situation Antonio Conte now finds himself in at Chelsea.

Conte. Conte. More Conte. I imagine that on press conference days Steve Atkins  (the one who sits next to Antonio and polices the jackals...

Conte. Conte. More Conte. I imagine that on press conference days Steve Atkins (the one who sits next to Antonio and polices the jackals) and Carlo Cudicini (appointed translator) feel like any chat show host that ever saw Oliver Reed walking out onto their set; terrified that he's lost the plot that much that he's going to launch into a stream of obscenities, grab someone's a*se, get his cock out, or all of the above.  

This may be controversial, but I'm getting tired of Antonio's public complaining. 

My personal observation is that he does not appear to have the kind of temperament that deals well with pressure. He’s an emotional man and he wears his heart on his sleeve. I’m not judging him, I couldn’t deal with the stresses of managing a Premier League football club, but we saw glimpses of it towards the tail end of last season as we closed in on the title. He lacks some of the traits that have helped others survive. 

He certainly isn’t bullsh*t filled (Allardyce) or Teflon-coated and delusional (Wenger) Conte says he's relaxed and just concentrating on the team, and one result at a time etc. etc. But just about everything he says and does at the moment screams otherwise. 

The ridiculous thing is, I think he's arguably under less pressure from above than any other manager at Chelsea has been for about a decade. So how much of it is pressure he is putting on himself? 

The board’s expectations have got to be lower. He came from nowhere last season, after we scraped into the top half of the league in 2015-16, and won the Premiership; sweeping aside Chequebook Pulis and St. Pep with half a squad. 

This season he has 3/4 of a squad. (We'll get to that) Given the lack of success over the summer in the transfer window, the amount of money spent by rivals and the fact that we punched far, far above our weight last season, I would be f*cking amazed if Chelsea were demanding anything more of the manager than a top four finish. Last eight of the Champions League would have been ambitious, but not unrealistic. The fact that we've been lumbered with Uefalona this early says to me that the hierarchy would be harsh if they considered an exit at the round of 16 as a failure on Conte's part. 

He says this is the harder year for him, and I agree. I’ve said this before: I see this really as year one for him. Last season's title win was a huge bonus, awesome, but it papered over the work that needed to be done to build what was a small squad, especially when it would lead to a serious increase in our workload after the summer. Now we are facing that work and that's OK. 

The core fan base will accept too that it takes time to build something, and bring players through. I don't think Antonio has got pressure on him from anywhere at the moment in terms of what the team has achieved this season. As for the cry-babies that throw a tantrum every time we don’t win 4-0, f*ck ‘em. 


Written by Alex Churchill from the fantastic Chelsea Blog - A Girl who likes balls

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