Chelsea FC: Is Luis Enrique the right man to replace Conte?

With the managerial roundabout at full swing at Chelsea, numerous names have been called out on who should replace Antonio Conte at Chelsea.

Although, neither the Chelsea board or Conte have indicated that he will be stepping down at the end of the season, the odds are slashed for the Italian to be sacked come May.

One of his possible replacements, Luis Enrique has been touted to be the frontrunner for the hot seat at Stamford Bridge. Here, we examine whether the former Barcelona man is the perfect candidate for the Chelsea job.

 

Managerial record to date

Enrique has had a mixed managerial career to date.

Although, his merits at Barcelona are impressive, his positions before that were not so glamorous.

For starters, his ill fated stint with Roma was not a chapter Enrique would look back with fondness. The Spaniard lasted one season in the Italian capital before departing due to an underwhelming season.

Enrique eventually joined Celta Vigo in 2013, where he established himself as a solid manager and led the club to 9th place in the league, including a famous 2-0 victory over Real Madrid.

This brought Enrique to Barcelona, where he masterminded a treble in his first season before gathering another league and two domestic cup successes for the Catalans.

His success in Europe in particular, is something the Chelsea hierarchy crave as they desire continental success at Stamford Bridge.

 

Philosophy

Enrique is seen as both an offensive and defensive coach when looking at his time at Barcelona.

In the 14/15 season, Barcelona scored 110 league goals (only Real Madrid scored more with 118) and conceded just 21 in 38 matches.

The following season, the Catalans scored the most goals with 112 and had the second best defence with 29 goals conceded. His final season in charge, Barcelona recorded 116 goals scored, while conceding 37.

Although, one can argue that Barcelona’s high scoring stats were down to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar and not Enrique, the fact that the Spaniard molded the trio into a strong unit indicates that he can formulate a successful partnership, while also keeping the individual player satisfied.

 

What would Enrique bring to Chelsea, if appointed?

In terms of what Chelsea want from a manager, Enrique seems to fit the bill.

As mentioned above, Enrique plays offensive, “tiki taka” football, something Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich craves.

Additionally, Enrique has had European success and knows how to deliver a silverware from a continental level. By bringing the Spaniard to London, Chelsea can adopt the Barcelona approach, something the club always wanted to adapt in the past from the continuous and failed pursuit of Pep Guardiola.

However, one negative aspect from Enrique was his relationship with his players during his time at Barcelona.

Although never officially confirmed, Enrique had a frosty relationship with key players at Barcelona. One example was a reported bust up with Lionel Messi during his first season in charge. The relationship was tense that rumours circulated that Messi wanted out if Enrique stayed at the helm.

Although both parties came to an agreement, Enrique would leave two years later due to the fatigue and stress of handling big stars at the club.

This suggest that Enrique may struggle with the Chelsea squad if appointed, as the Chelsea players have a history of unrest when issues occur between coaching and playing staff.

 

Conclusion

Overall, Luis Enrique is seen as a good fit for the London outfit.

With domestic and European success from his time at Barcelona, along with a attractive style of play, Enrique would be a big hit, if Chelsea decide to axe Conte for the Spaniard.

However, with reports emerging that PSG are interested in Enrique, Chelsea will have to move quickly if they do not want to miss out on their man.

 

Written by James Reidy

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