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What began as hush whispers, are now turning into loud murmurs of dissent over the future of Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge. The future of the Italian has been cast in doubt after Chelsea sustained their second defeat in as many games in the Premier League.
It wasn’t so much that Chelsea lost- since defeat is an ineluctable element of the game- but rather the manner in which they lost. The Blues suffered bruising back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford, losing 3-0 and 4-1 respectively.
The defeats however are but a mere undertone of what has been an inept campaign for the Londoners, one that has the Italian manager precariously poised to face the axe.
Unsuccessful title defense
If Antonio Conte’s distress call over the acquisition of his preferred signings last summer wasn’t evident at the time, then it would become significantly so as the season progressed.
The selling of Nemanja Matic to title rivals Manchester United has proven to be an unforgiving mistake for Chelsea, but it is a country mile apart compared to replacing the Serbian with Tiemoue Bakayoko.
The French midfielder was culpable for the drubbing against Watford having been sent off after half an hour, an eventuality that saw Chelsea drop to 19 points away from League leaders Manchester City- unequivocally ending their title defense.
Poor run of form
Chelsea have been on a deplorable run of form since the turn of the calendar year, winning only three of their last ten games in all competitions.
The Blues have had stale draws against Norwich, Arsenal and Leicester City, one that has bruised their confidence heading into a pivot point of the season.
Furthermore, the increasing talk of a rebellion within the dressing room adds little to Conte’s confidence of keeping his job at the Bridge.
Could go trophyless
Dethroned of their Premier League crown, out of the Carabao Cup and with Barcelona to face in the round of 16 of the Champions League, Chelsea could potentially go the course of the season without a single trophy.
Conte could still have the FA Cup to play for, but I doubt he will be in the job that long.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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