Nobody has ever wanted Antonio Conte to leave Chelsea, except Antonio Conte.

This is a multifaceted nightmare of a season. It is not all "The Board's" fault. My God, yes, the people up top have to tak...

This is a multifaceted nightmare of a season. It is not all "The Board's" fault. My God, yes, the people up top have to take some of the responsibility. But. BUT. For some, "The Board" has become this bogeyman-like spectre that takes the flak for everything now that Emanalo has gone. Does our board need revamping? Yes. Does it need a proper football man in it? Absolutely. Didn’t Hiddink want in? Recruit someone of that stature and put a Lampard or a Ballack underneath him to learn the ropes and build for the future. But is "The Board" this rampant multi-headed beast cut from Greek mythology that independently runs amok without the knowledge of Roman Abramovich? Don't you think if you put nigh on a billion pounds into a project you'd make damn sure you know everything that's going on? Abramovich is "The Board." 

I've said enough times that a lot of the club's hard work in the summer transfer window went unrewarded. This was hard work, something like £200m worth including January, that they still did in the face of a league-winning manager who suddenly started dropping bombshells about the prospect of moving on. They were willing to stick with this guy, they were, though perhaps wary of spending a fortune on a volatile personality who might do a runner. We wanted to stick with him too. The only person that wasn't happy with the prospect of a long term role at Chelsea was the manager himself, in a scenario that has played itself out remarkably like it did at his last club. Nobody has ever wanted Antonio Conte to leave Chelsea, except Antonio Conte. Nobody has put this pressure on Antonio, except Antonio. And the press have jumped on it and he's got nobody to blame but himself for the constant references to his future. I’m not angry. I’m disappointed. What a crying shame. There is no point in sacking him now. It would be akin to waiting till a manager had definitely got your team relegated and then getting rid of him with half a dozen games to go. You sack managers mid-season because your preempting a disaster and you believe a new man can come in and turn it around. That ship has sailed. Into a force ten gale. And sunk. I never advocated sacking Antonio Conte. I still don't. I think we are long past the point when they should have pulled the trigger if they were going to do it. And I don't want us to pay him off. 

You can approach a job you hate one of two ways. You can turn into a crazy nightmare for everyone else to be around and become a burden to the organisation, or you can at least hold your head up and earn your money till you find a way out. I’d expect the latter for circa £8m a year to spend on projects such as the Bitstarz Bonus Code, Cars, fine dining etc, but I think it's pretty clear which option Conte has been running with for the past few weeks. It's not all his fault, but the longer it goes on, in the harshest possible terms he's becoming like a cancer in the club. Because there is no way that this does not effect your staff. The players haven't lost the ability to kick a football. They're going ahead in these games. Madrid in the group stages, anyone? What has been lacking all season is a clinical ability to finish a game. And now as a group they fold in the face of adversity, like jellyfish. They don't rally, there's no strength. We are lacking a dominant personality. We were spoiled to have leaders like JT Lamps, Cech, Ivanovic and Ballack all in the same side. Conte was full of that passion last season. If he's not this season it's a conscious choice. If all you hear is your boss telling everybody his men you aren't up to it, or he doesn't have enough money spent on him to win, or that he is doing the absolute best he can every time we fall flat on our faces then I'm sorry, but that gets inside your head. Because if anyone should be stupidly optimistic, at least in the press, then it is the manager. Tell people your employees aren't good enough, enough times, and they will start to believe it themselves. The problem today wasn't ultimately that Gary Cahill made a mistake, it was that we squander the majority of our chances in every single game we play and that we are more fickle than something really fickle that I’m just too bored now to think of. I’m sorry Antonio, once again I thank you for last season, you are a nice man, but “thine forward voice, now, is to speak well of thine friend; thine backward voice is to utter foul speeches and to detract.”

The club played "Every Little Thing's Gonna Be Alright" at the final whistle. Everyone's sense of humour is officially worn through for now. Don't do it again. 

This season has become like the third Lord of the Rings film. The battle ended and you lost interest and then every time it faded out and you thought you could leave the cinema it faded up again so someone could start yapping or singing Elven folk songs. In the words of The Prince of the El Salvador Chelsea contingent: "Exactly like that. But getting kicked in the balls with each fade." Just put us out of our misery. Please. 

Written by Alex Churchill

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