Chelsea’s managerial dilemma hit a new low earlier this week after bookies went as far as to stop taking bets over Antonio Conte’s sacking. Now the West London club has selected Luis Enrique as their prime candidate to take over Conte’s job. The former Juventus boss saw his team lose 4-1 against an energetic Watford on Monday. The Hornets completely dominated the game from start to finish and scored at their own whim as the Chelsea defence just allowed them to walk in the penalty box while trying to make comeback. Eden Hazard’s curled in effort opened up the floodgates and Watford killed the game off with 3 goals in the final 7 minutes.
This loss hurt even more for the Blues fans because of the earlier defeat to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge. They were the victim of another 3 goal thrashing and that too right at home. This might just be the end product of the rift between Conte and the Chelsea that was ignited last summer. The loss against Watford might be one of the final logs to be added to the fire as Roman Abramovich and his advisors are already looking for the Italian’s replacement.
Luis Enrique is a decorated coach who has won 9 trophies in his 3-year stint with Barcelona. After a rewarding but at the same time exhausting period with the La Liga giants, Enrique chose to step down from his post and spend on sabbatical. The stress of being a Barcelona manager is no secret as seen in Pep Guardiola who also chose to spend a year away before taking up the head position at Bayern Munich.
Enrique will return to football but will it be in England? The 47-year-old has spent the majority of his managerial years in Spain along with a season away to the Serie A with AS Roma. He is not short on European experience and has beaten Premier League sides with his star-stacked Barcelona lineup. And the real question lies in whether he is capable of replicating that same amazing feat with Chelsea.
The Blues are very short on morale right now and are in danger of losing Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. Even if the Belgian departs the rest of the team is not exactly seamlessly balanced with their last summer arrival, Tiémoué Bakayoko struggling to find his feet in the English game. The relationship between Conte and the management soured after the Italian was not allowed to purchase the talents that he specifically wanted.
This will a huge concern for Luis Enrique himself who will see his compatriot and former colleague, Pep Guardiola get to sign whomever he wishes to. Chelsea will also have to figure out a way of convincing the Spaniard to make an early return and take up the managerial post this season if Conte does get fired in the near future.
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