Antonio Conte’s arrival to Chelsea last season was a comparatively low-key affair in England. It was not because the Italian tactician is not popular in the world of football but the story of Conte was eclipsed by the drama unfolding at Manchester. The Manchester war had intensified ten folds after the two clubs appointed long-term rivals Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as their managers.
Fans worldwide were running out of patience as they eagerly awaited a managerial world war in England with the likes of Pep, Jose, Conte, Klopp, Wenger and Pochettino going head to head. The Manchester clubs were heavily tipped to win the league because of their managers and the arrival of superstar players in the summer.
However, as he had done on four previous occasions, Antonio Conte quietly set to work and took the Chelsea team that finished tenth the season before to the title. A season later, Chelsea are struggling to repeat their heroics and there has been an immediate talk of dissatisfaction and loss of harmony at the club with Conte tipped to get the sack.
Reasons ranging from players turning against the manager and his training methods, Conte missing his home, Chelsea board unhappy with Conte’s over-exerting nature have gone through the rumour mill.
Conte’s struggle means that several managers have been linked to the hot seat at SW6. The latest one to do the rounds is Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri. The 58-year old has managed 18 clubs since his management career started back in 1990. Sarri has led Napoli to the top of the Serie A this season and his team has played some scintillating attacking football to get there.
The Napoli boss only has a release clause in his contract worth £6.75m. This is a meagre amount for a club like Chelsea and will most likely encourage the West London outfit should they opt to move for the Italian.
Reports suggest that Chelsea are willing to fork out £9m-a-season for Maurizio Sarri should they bring him in.
Sarri’s arrival would possibly see the umpteenth manager walk into Stamford Bridge in the Abrahimovic era. He would be the third Italian after Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte to take the mantle and would have a heavy crown to hold on to. Both his predecessors won the league with record statistics like most goals scored in a season, most wins in a season, and record consecutive wins in a season.
However, for Chelsea to let go of their Italian Don Conte would prove to be the most foolish decision given that the Italian is exactly the kind of iron hand required at the club right now to guide the club out of the board’s inefficiency to buy good players in the market. Changing another manager will do nothing but cover the rocky crack of Michael Emenalo with paper.
But if Conte has to go, is Sarri Chelsea’s best option?
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