With each passing day, the doubt surrounding Antonio Conte’s future seems to grow. Conte has overseen a weak start to their title defence which has left the Blues nine points off City with only 11 games played. With the hops of retaining the Premier League trophy all but gone before the start of winter, one can begin to believe that Abramovich may begin getting a bit testy. If he were to push the button on Conte’s time at Chelsea, is there a case for the second coming of Carlo Ancelotti?
When Abramovich gave Ancelotti his marching orders in the spring of 2011 it was due to underperforming with a final statement from the club reading “this season’s performances have fallen short of expectations”. It could be argued that was a touch harsh as the Italian guided Chelsea to a second-place finish but the lack of trophies during his second season would ultimately be his demise. His first season was one of Chelsea’s finest as he made the Blues the pride of England by delivering the double.
That is why there is already a section of fans calling for Conte to be replaced by him. There is a feeling around West London that should Conte go it will only be at the end of the season but with the current run of fixtures to come and Abramovich’s lack of patience, the end could be nigh. Conte could vacate his position as soon as late November when Chelsea travel away to Liverpool in what will be a defining game with the latest Premier League betting suggesting it will be far from easy for Conte’s men with them backed at 21/10 to win at Anfield. A slip-up here and Abramovich may decide he has seen enough with a view to bringing in fan favourite Ancelotti.
Ancelotti’s popularity in SW6 is not in question, but what of his stock as one of the game’s best managers at present? The Italian left Bayern Munich at the end of September after Ancelotti‘s side went down 3-0 to Paris Saint-Germain which led to him being sacked. It wasn’t a case of Ancelotti being a complete failure at Bayern as he had led them to the Bundesliga title the season before.
The official line from Bayern after Ancelotti’s sacking was “the performance of our team since the start of the season did not meet the expectations we put on them”. It all sounds quite familiar to what Chelsea issued after sacking Ancelotti in 2011. The trend seems to be that Ancelotti knows how to win trophies but since leaving AC Milan can’t keep his team’s level of performance up over a sustained period of time.
He may well be a victim of the changing times in football where it is purely a results business, but does it make sense for him to return to Stamford Bridge? He is an extremely effective short-term appointee as he hits the ground running superbly well. If he could win back the Premier League during the 2018/2019 campaign, would anyone mind if he wasn’t there the following season?
Ancelotti is almost guaranteed to produce silverware but not deliver a long-lasting legacy. Abramovich ruthless nature is well-known but the Chelsea owner wouldn’t have been put off by Ancelotti’s latest sacking and if anything identifies and admires the way the Italian operates. Ancelotti can give Abramovich exactly what he wants: instant results.