How best can we describe the month of January for Chelsea and Antonio Conte. A month of false dawns, too many draws, piercing defeats and kill-joy injury casualties. It’s so hard to believe that Chelsea were second in the league, 12 points behind Manchester City and 7 points from fifth position at the start of last month. But we now find ourselves 18 points behind City and sit fourth in the league table with just two points above fifth position. Scary statistics as competition for Champions league places is more challenging. ‘The Bournemouth spanking’ brought us back to reality that we must find a way out of our mess and up our game to achieve something worthwhile this season.
Here are 2 questions for Chelsea and Conte:
WILL CHELSEA FLOUNDER OR FLOURISH:
A review of the game against Bournemouth brought a stinging feeling to mind: Conte’s desire for Chelsea to avoid a Mourinho season. Noteworthy, one of Chelsea’s two best performances of the season was against Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in November last year. Aside beating Brighton, Huddersfield, West Brom and Stoke City, Chelsea have looked like floundering defending Champions often struggling for form and fitness. We’ve actually been gone since November. This weekend should have us back in league action against Watford on Monday Night football. Can we regroup and flourish to save our season from failure or flounder into crisis? Let’s find out.
DID CONTE GET WHAT HE WANTED IN THE TRANSFER MARKET?
“As I said before and I repeat I would be very happy to continue to work with my players, I will be very happy if there are some new players.”
These were Conte’s words on Chelsea signing new players. The Italian has always been assumed to be unhappy with the club’s transfer policy. He clearly feels he’s not given the players he wants, but from the statement he didn’t make any pretenses on signings to be made. Are the January acquisitions of Ross Barkley, Emerson Palmieri and Olivier Giroud the manager’s choices? Just like having a disgruntled player seeking for a new bumper contract or transfer, Conte’s demeanor appears like that of coach who feels alienated by the club. For sure the results and the performances he gets out from his players could tell the whole story.
Let’s hope for the best. Cheers!