Who should be Antonio Conte’s Replacement for Chelsea F.C?
“If I saw my team defending and counter-attacking after 30 minutes, I would get up and return to the bank because I would not be having fun.” Maurizio Sarri.
Maurizio Sarri has graced the Italian Serie A with some outstanding football over the years and he is finally receiving the recognition that he deserves, but at what cost? He has officially left Napoli with hopes to one day find Glory in the more competitive English Premier League. Whilst the top four clubs remain satisfied with their managers, former Premier league Champions Chelsea F.C hunt for Antonio Conte’s successor.
Despite a promising start to his Chelsea career, it seems Conte is not right fit for tenure at the club. The inconsistency in results has led the club to miss out on a top four spot after securing the league title; almost as embarrassing as finishing 10th after what seemed to be a fearful season with Jose Mourinho. With the fans backing the manager, a couple of questions have been raised towards the club’s business minded policies and strange habit of not making the necessary signings; however, the rebellious Antonio decided to take these matters to the press, losing the board and the players.
Anyway, who can replace the current Chelsea Manager without doing damage?
Picture this: Kante slides in to intercept De Bruyne’s pass. Kante to Hazard. Hazard with a rapid short run, passes to Willian. One touch, Willian passes forward to Hazard, Hazard to [insert world-class striker here], he shoots at the top left corner and scores, the fans go wild in the stands whilst Benjamin Mendy is still running back from the half way line. Sounds like a dream, right? With “Sarriball” this could be reality. The pace of Chelsea’s attacking forwards was not used to their advantage seeing as their boss would rather rely on the set wing backs, Alonso and Moses who any Chelsea fan would agree have proven to be nothing but mediocre in these positions.
Sarri plays with the 4-3-3 formation which may well favour Chelsea’s talented forwards. Whilst Hazard may enjoy the cheeky dribbles here and there, quick short touch passes is what gets Sarri the results. The Tikitaka regime may well be what puts Chelsea back on the map as serious contenders for trophy glory next season. The swift passes ignite a burst of pace when attacking. Once the opposition loses the ball, before they can recover, Sarri’s boys are bossing the midfield taking the ball forward with quickness. It almost emulates a Barcelona-esque way of football; with that being said, could Chelsea’s current players handle it? If the front trio of Napoli, Mertens, Insigne, and Callejon are able to handle such intense play, there’s no reason as to why “world class” Eden Hazard, Willian and possible Michy Batshuyi can’t link up in the same formation as they have proven once before. Take a look at Willian’s Goal vs Brighton (Link Here), now take a look at Jose Callejon’s goal at 4 minutes and 25 seconds into the next link (Link Here). Almost similar actions leading to the same result, only difference is this exciting style of play was consistent at Napoli, something Conte failed to maintain.
Considering Sarri’s stance on sexism, homophobia and health, it seems that Chelsea FC have lost interest in bringing him on board. The extent to which this is true, is currently unclear as a deal has yet to be made but the Club is said to remain in contact. So, who’s next on the List?
Whilst some are in awe of his success at Barcelona, I for one do not buy it. Let’s face it, he was pretty much given a golden team to merely polish and he almost messed it up. His style of play is similar to Sarri’s 4-3-3, quick, tactical passing however, it’s easy to implement this when you have Messi, Suarez and Neymar as your attacking front. During his time at Barcelona he was critiqued for not developing players. The likes of Christensen, Batshuyi and most definitely Bakayoko all need a manager who can push them to reach their full potential.
Enrique’s first two seasons were arguably the best seasons Barcelona has seen, however his last was full of ups and downs. It was clear that Enrique had lost the dressing room following his alleged bust up with the G.O.A.T Lionel Messi. This initiated the beginning of the end of his reign. Putting this in perspective, we all know what happens when you lose the blue’s dressing room; an embarrassing 10th place position. Like it or not, star players such as Eden Hazard are not ones to be crossed.
We take a retrospective glance to the tragedy of the 2015/16 season that rendered Jose Mourinho’s golden team to 10th place. Unsure of the specifics, the footballing society knew that Hazard and Diego Costa, Chelsea’s key players at the time were unhappy with the manager and it showed via the results. If Luis Enrique can piss off Messi, who’s to say he won’t do the same for Chelsea’s star boy?
Still not convinced that he could possibly ruin the club? Probably because he bought 17th place Celta Vigo up to 9th place in his only season and dismantled Real Madrid’s league title hopes in the process; however, let’s look back at his time in Roma my young Kings and Queens.
“There were clear issues. He stuck to a 4-3-3, often using Francesco Totti as a false nine.”
Change the formation to 3-4-3… Sound familiar? Conte saw a formation that worked for a period and refused to amend it despite the blatant squad struggles, same thing Enrique did with Roma and they finished the season in 7th. Star player at the time Francessco Totti was knowingly frustrated playing the role of a false 9 whist the manager put his trust in Bojan. Yes. The guy from Stoke. Upside? He prioritized the youth I guess. Considering 3 / 4 of Chelsea’s academy has been loaned out this could be used as a selling point.
The fans do not need a manager that will bring success for a year and fall off the next. They need reassurance and consistency, all the qualities that Sarri has proven to have as a manager. A manager with a substantial amount of experience and that can handle players as well as bring a new versatile style of football.
So, who should they hunt down next?
It will be interesting to find out who the blues choose as their next manager. They need someone who can respect the players, help them grow, give the team a formation that allows them to show their creativity and still get results after results. How does Mauricio Pochettino sound?
Absolutely no chance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG4ZtAzPRDQ (Willian Vs Brighton)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKm4XRI5mZ4 (Mertens, Insigne & Callejon link up play)