Andre Villas Boas was sacked after a league defeat against West Bromwich Albion. Roberto di Matteo’s last league game in charge of Chelsea was a loss to West Bromwich Albion. And the Blues’ opponents this weekend are also Albion- could the Baggies make it a trio of CFC managerial sackings after this weekend?
Rumours continue to grow strong that the Blues are looking to part ways with their Italian manager. Conte has been reasonably successful with them, but this season looks like a relative failure- they’re off the pace in the Premiership and were upset 4-1 by Watford on Monday (the first time in 23 years that they’ve suffered consecutive defeats by a margin of 3 goals) and their Champions League round of 16 opponents are mighty Barcelona, who are trampling everyone in their path in Spain
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The potential list of candidates to replace Conte is led by Luis Enrique, as rumours all around the media have announced. The first scoop of the replacement come from the Spanish media who know him well, suggesting there was a meeting between him and the Chelsea bosses. Luis Enrique has never coached in England before but has had previous managerial stints with the likes of Celta Vigo, Roma and Barcelona. He has taken a break since leaving the Barca job in 2017.
On the other hand Chelsea’s official comments insist Conte will finish the remaining season before any decision is made. But we all know how little patience Premier League clubs have against adversity. There just isn’t enough room to lose points when a Champions League ticket is at stake. Chelsea aren’t assured of finishing top four in the Premier League, which could seriously jeopardise their European hopes. Whichever new manager arrives has no time to step the gear and discipline the squad to its recent history status.
Carlo Ancelotti is the second top candidate to replace Conte. Ancelotti won 67 of 109 games at Stamford when he was Blues manager, but that was back between 2009 and 2013 before his move to PSG. After managing Bayern Munich for just one season he is currently on a sabbatical.
Maurizio Sarri from Napoli is the third best option. Sarri’s contract will soon end and he is likely to pen an extension with the Partenopei, but if Chelsea come calling, it could be a hard offer to resist.
Guus Hiddink’s has been taken this role twice in the past and was very popular in his last presence at Stamford with the players. The Dutchman is ready for the taking and could be a replacement till the end of the season were the club owners can decide for another coach or to keep Hiddink.
Marco Silva is the last possible option since his departure from Watford, but looks unlikely. The other name being taken are that of Joachim Low, but the German gaffer could be in line for the Real Madrid job should the board lose patience with Zinedine Zidane.
Chelsea v West Brom is at Stamford Bridge on 12 February, 2018.