Antonio Conte has admitted that he is worried about his future at Chelsea. The Italian, who won the league title in his first season in charge at Stamford Bridge, looks set to miss out on the top four this season unless results go Chelsea’s way on Sunday.
There is still a chance that they can win the FA Cup, as they play Man Utd in the final on May 19, but it’s unlikely that a cup win would be enough for him to keep his job.
There has been speculation all season that Conte won’t last long in London, which he didn’t help as he criticised the club’s transfer policy.
“I’ve been living with this speculation since the start of this season,” Conte said.
“I always say my only thought is to do my job in the best possible way, that I work very hard with my players.
“Since the start of the first game, at that time I don’t listen to the speculation around me and this is the right moment I start to be worried.”
For Chelsea to finish in the top four, they must beat Newcastle on Sunday at St. James’ Park, while Brighton also have to pull off a shock and beat Liverpool at Anfield. It’s an unlikely scenario, but it’s still possible.
Conte says that missing out on the top four is something that all of the Premier League’s top clubs must be ready for because the competition is so strong.
“You must know there is this possibility because you play in a strong league,” he said.
“You have to prepare because there are six top teams at the start of the season ready to fight for a place in the Champions League.
“It can happen. In the past it happened. Don’t forget two years ago Chelsea ended the season 10th and not in the final of the FA Cup, not in the semi-final of Carabao Cup.”
I think it would be a surprise if he kept his job because we have seen Chelsea be ruthless with their managers before. They have absolutely no problem sacking somebody they feel is underperforming, which I think is quite harsh. They have had quite a lot of success in recent years though, so it does work for them.
If they can pull off an upset and finish in the top four, while beating Man Utd in the FA Cup final, I think he would have a case to stay on, but I’m not convinced that’s going to happen.