Chelsea staff are reportedly calling manager Antonio Conte a “dead man walking” amid claims he is heading for the Stamford Bridge exit.
The Italian is understood to be at loggerheads with a “key executive” at the club – director Marina Granovskaia – and now his players are kicking up a fuss about his tough training regime, says Yahoo Sport.
After winning the Premier League title in his first season at the club, the second campaign has not started well for Conte. Following successive league defeats against Manchester City and Crystal Palace, the Blues also had to settle for a 3-3 draw against Roma in the Champions League this week, despite having claimed a two-goal lead.
Yahoo’s Duncan Castles reports that the 48-year-old manager has already decided to leave the Bridge at the end of the season – assuming he isn’t sacked first. If he is fired, Conte will be the fourth Premier League title-winning boss to be let go by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) October 20, 2017
According to the The Times, Conte has been upsetting his players as well as the club’s board. There are fears that his intense training sessions, and the heavy workloads he inflicts, are “hampering their title defence” and “exacerbating the club’s injury problems”.
Last season’s successful training schedule has continued this campaign, but the difference is that Chelsea are also playing European football again this year.
With a huge “emphasis on physically demanding sessions, lots of tactical meetings and very few days off”, says The Times, several players have “privately complained of fatigue”.
Chelsea are currently fifth in the Premier League, nine points behind leaders Man City, and host Watford tomorrow in the early kick-off. The Hornets are two points ahead of Chelsea in fourth place, and another bad result would pile even more pressure on Conte.
Premier League fixtures
- West Ham United vs. Brighton and Hove Albion (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Tomorrow’s fixtures (3pm unless stated)
- Chelsea vs. Watford (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Huddersfield Town vs. Manchester United
- Manchester City vs. Burnley
- Newcastle United vs. Crystal Palace
- Stoke City vs. AFC Bournemouth
- Swansea City vs. Leicester City
- Southampton vs. West Bromwich Albion (5.30pm, live on BT Sport)
- Everton vs. Arsenal (1.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Liverpool (4pm, live on Sky Sports)