Monday waffle about Chelsea, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and Luis Enrique

Hello there, welcome to Monday. We’re here once again. Where does the weekend go? This one seemed to go particularly fast for some reason. I thought last week was quite slow, but the weekend never seems to go slowly like during the week does. It’s terrible that I wish my life away waiting for the weekend to come around all the time.

I thought I was going to write about how Antonio Conte has done at Chelsea, and where they’re going to go now. But then I decided it would be better to wait and see what it is they do first. He is odds on to be sacked, and all signs point at a departure for the Italian. It seems to be just a matter of time until they let him go. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if they let him go.

One of the managers linked with the job is Napoli’s Maurizio Sarri. Napoli had a really good season under his guidance, and were quite close to overthrowing Juventus and winning the league. They finished four points behind the Old Lady in the end, but they were right in the battle for most of the season and with just a few games to go it looked like it could go either way.

Sarri hasn’t exactly committed himself to the club, and has really added to rumours that he’ll be off to Chelsea with his recent comments. He said: “In life, everything comes to an end. When I arrived, the team had finished 24 points off the top. Now, we are four points behind.

“We have not reached the target, but the journey has been fantastic. Tomorrow I will talk to my family before anyone else. The [club] president needs a response quickly.

“I don’t think I could go to another Italian team immediately. The memory of Napoli would be too strong.”

Napoli’s president, Aurelio De Laurentiis, then said: “Will Sarri remain? I don’t know, time has run out.”

Going by those comments, you could be almost sure that he will leave. Maybe his family will decide that they want to stay where they are and he’ll stay at Napoli, but that seems unlikely at this stage. I don’t think you come out talking like that if you’re going to stay at the club.

I wonder if he has heard anything from Chelsea. If he hasn’t heard anything, it would be a bold move to leave Napoli. There’s a chance Chelsea won’t even go for him, of course, and then where does he go? I’m sure he would have other offers, but if this is all based on getting the Chelsea job, he’s taking a bit of a risk.

Luis Enrique has also been linked with the Chelsea job. That’s something I can see happening too. He wants to get back into management and the links between him and the Arsenal job have all gone quiet because Mikel Arteta looks nailed on to get that. If it came to a straight choice between Enrique and Sarri, I really have no idea which way they would go. I don’t know enough about either to go into real detail, but I know Enrique won quite a lot at Barcelona. You know if you go with Enrique you’ll be playing good football, but I’m not sure that’s something the Chelsea board will be concerned with.

They want immediate success, and I’m not sure they’re concerned with how they play once they win trophies. I’m sure Chelsea fans would like to see some good football being played there though, because it’s not like they have been the most exciting team in the world in recent years. They did play some brilliant stuff at times under Antonio Conte, particularly last season, but it wasn’t the silky, fluid attacking football that you’d see Barcelona playing under Enrique. Maybe that’s something they’ll consider.

I do think it would be a bit harsh to sack Conte, but that’s how Chelsea roll. They don’t have any connection to their managers and they’ll sack them at the drop of a hat. If they’re not happy with how their season has gone, you’ll lose your job without question. A Premier League title and an FA Cup in two seasons is hardly complete failure though, is it? Definitely not, but I think Conte burned his bridges when he came out criticising the club’s transfer policy. He almost seemed to be pushing the board to sack him at times, but that didn’t happen in the middle of the season.

It has to be remembered that he turned a team that finished 10th in the table into Premier League champions. He may not have been able to keep that up this season, but you can’t expect it every year. There’s always going to be disappointment when it comes to finishing in the top four, because there’s six teams all battling for four places. There’s no way they’re going to finish in it every year, and that’s something they’ll have to take on board.

I think it would be surprising if Conte stayed at the club at this stage. He said he has a contract and he’s committed to it, as you would expect, but there haven’t been any comments from the board about his future recently. They would be out saying he has their full support and confirming he will take them into next season if that was their plan, because they would want to clear up all the speculation. We could see an announcement soon.

If and when that announcement comes, I’ll more than likely have a closer look at the Italian and the candidates for the job. We’ll see how that goes.

That’s about it for this morning anyway. There isn’t too much else going on, to be completely honest. It would be scraping the bottom of the barrel stuff if I was going to go into more detail about something else. News will be in the usual place throughout the day, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more. Have a good Monday.

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