FA Cup win won’t be enough to save Conte’s job
Chelsea got their hands on the FA Cup for the eighth time when beating bitter rivals Manchester United at Wembley in May. With a tight match expected the decider lived up to the billing with The Blues nicking a 1-0 thanks to an Eden Hazard penalty early in the contest.
That was the club’s first competition winner’s medal since 2012 but it’s unlikely to be enough to paper over the cracks of what was a terrible season for the London side. Starting the Premier League campaign as defending champions they ended down in fifth, missing out on Champions League football with Liverpool and the top-four five points better off.
Manager Antonio Conte was the darling of fans and pundits just 12 months previously, but 10 defeats and seven draws has many suggesting his time at the club is up and bookmakers have wasted no time pricing a market on the man most likely to replace him.
Here’s three of the main names in the frame…..
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Luis looks the value here
Favourite with all major firms the 5/2 currently being offered by Bet Victor is the best you’ll find at the time of going to publish. The 59-year-old has bossed at a number of levels in Italy and was last seen leading Napoli to a runners-up spot behind Juventus in Serie A last season. A fantastic effort, The Little Donkeys pushed the eventual champions all the way and led the pack for long periods of the campaign.
He has dropped hints in the press recently that a move away from the Stadio San Paolo and indeed Italian football could be in the pipeline as he looks to challenge himself outside of his comfort zone. Newspaper reports would have you believe negotiations between Sarri and Napoli over a new contract have hit a brick wall and traders have jumped on that uncertainty.
Would he miss out on the Champions League to come to London? Would Chelsea take a chance on a boss with no experience of English football? There are too many questions hanging over Sarri at the price.
Best known as the former Barcelona player who also served as the club’s manager between 2014 and 2017. The 48-year-old attacking midfielder had a 76% win rate when in the hot-seat at the Camp Nou and won a host of tiles including La Liga, Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup. Chelsea fans certainly couldn’t grumble if the board appointed a man of that calibre.
Enrique let his contract at Barcelona expire in June of last year and hasn’t been involved in competitive football since. Is now the time to step back into the limelight? Bookies reckon so and they have him as second favourite although there is quite a spread of prices available. Some firms make the Spaniard a 2/1 shot but Betfair are willing to be a little more generous and offer up a market best price of 3/1. He’s our pick.
The Celtic man was heavily linked to the Arsenal job for a while before missing out and it’s little wonder after dominating Scottish football. He took over a Celtic side who had been knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Old Firm rivals Rangers and completely turned around their fortunes.
The Hoops have since won each of the six domestic trophies, securing a historic double-treble. The Northern Irishman has warned incoming Gers boss Steven Gerrard they’ll only get stronger too. True, but perhaps he won’t be around to see it.
Despite Rodgers’ good work in Glasgow let’s not get carried away, it is Scottish football and he was a bit of a failure during his time in charge of Liverpool. Celtic have dominated a Scottish top-flight that has never been weaker with main rivals Rangers only back in the Premiership for two seasons and still finding their feet.
Without taking anything away from Rodgers he has been handed domestic success on a plate and has made no impact in the Champions League despite a decent budget. Enough to win over Chelsea? Of course not. 11/1 isn’t enough of a price either.