Antonio Conte should be set to depart Chelsea after leading them to the FA Cup and a fifth place league finish which will see them miss out on Champions League football. The Italian’s second season in charge of the Blues has at times been overshadowed by his complains of lack of funds given to him by the club’s hierarchy. Especially after claiming that the lack of funds provided to him don’t match the great ambitions he had for the English side. It was also evident that Conte became increasingly envious of Manchester City claiming that the club’s success was down to having a good manager and an endless flow of cash.
Maybe the Italian needs to manage a club in Singapore to truly understand what lack of funds is but that should be no excuse for a top manager like him who has top footballing talents in his squad. His departure could see former Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri replace him. From one Italian to another but apparently that is where the similarity ends. Sarri should he take over as Chelsea boss could fit in like hand in glove. This is because the maverick manager is accustomed to managing with limited resources having worked his way up through the coaching ranks at smaller clubs in Italy.
To illustrate better, in 2013, Sarri was famously known for taking Empoli; a modest club in Tuscany from Serie B to Serie A. The remarkable part about his achievement was that the squad included inexperienced youngsters and a number of veteran journeymen. No one gave them a chance but the chain smoking manager managed to pull it off and in the process of doing so stamped his soon to be famous attacking philosophy on the club and its players.
Fast forward to the recently concluded Serie A season and many will agree that Sarri’s Napoli threw away the Scudetto themselves by slipping up against Fiorentina. But to finish second and push the Juventus juggernaut all the way to the end is still a commendable feat. Especially when one takes into account that the southern Italian club’s budget is half that of Juventus. Furthermore the Azzurri also did not have the squad depth of the Italian champions’ squad. Sarri’s footballing philosophy during his time in Naples had Europe sit up and take notice compared to the safety first football practiced by other Italian sides.
Roman Abramovich is a demanding owner and stipulates that managers work by his way or they risk him putting his hire and fire policy to work. TheRussian oligarch had always dreamt of Chelsea emulating the beautiful football played by refined sides like Barcelona. Roberto Di Matteo despite delivering the Holy Grail that was the Champions League was ultimately sacked for a combination of bad results and defensive football. As of now it seems destined that Chelsea and Sarri are made for each other.