He hadn’t even got his feet under the Stamford Bridge managerial desk and yet Antonio Conte’s plans were unravelling.
Similarly it’s the way it was at Euro 2016 when Italy crashed out in one of the worst penalty shoot-outs in memory against Germany. Penalties and ultimate defeat wasn’t bargained for.
However, at least with the Italy national team he was actually in the job when it all collapsed around the 46-year-old. At Chelsea, he’s hadn’t even pulled up in the car park and seemingly key players were becoming exceedingly difficult to coerce into joining his blue revolution.
He may be able to charm some Italians and Roman Abramovich, but there are others less persuaded by either his rhetoric or the immediate future of the Blues, particularly as European competition is minus one West London club this coming season.
Here are five disappointments already for ex-Italy boss…
Everton were in the mix for the Italian centre forward, who made a few teams sit up with his performance at the Euros.
Conte chose Pelle up front for Italy and then made it known that he wanted him in the blue of Chelsea aswell.
With all these blue shirts in front of him to choose from, Pelle has signed for Chinese club Shandong Luneng for a mere £12m, who don’t wear blue.
More a case of stay for six-months, take the money and go. A real Chinese takeaway that won’t leave you wanting more.
The Belgian has made it quite plain now that he wants to remain with Roma and has turned his back on the Premier League and Antonio Conte.
Nainggolan was one of Conte’s major targets and now that chase looks to be over. Time to move on. The 28-year-old was a top target for Chelsea, with Antonio Conte looking to add to his midfield and willing to test Roma’s resilience for a fourth time.
Talks had been ongoing and Chelsea had a third bid of £33million rejected for the Belgium international in June, but they still see him as their No1 target. Conte can’t let go.
Must be the hairstyle.
The Juventus man is well known to Conte. Initially, Conte, or rather Chelsea, bid just over £30m for the Italy defender, but their approach was rebuffed by Juventus – only for Manchester City to make a bigger offer.
Conte is matching City’s ambition by offering £51m for the man that he sees as restoring order and leadership at the back.
However, Guardiola has already suggested that Bonucci is one of his favourite players ever. Let the battle commence.
The 22-year-old was wanted by Mourinho at Chelsea and equally, Conte has expressed an interest. However, the player has expressly said that his choice is Manchester City and Conte’s rival, Pep Guardiola.
Yet again, Chelsea have been snubbed by the same player, two years in a row.
The England international will reportedly sign for City soon and for a fee of around £45m, possibly too much this year for the London club who don’t have the benefit of the Champions League income.
As Conte walks in through the Stamford Bridge front door, imagine his delight at having to face the behind the scenes politics of who stays as backroom staff and who goes and the reasons. For instance, it has been rumoured that there will be a change of goalkeeping coach.
Christophe Lollichon was Petr Cech’s coach and a close advisor for Abramovich. Should the Frenchman leave, is that a victory for Thibault Courtois over his employers and the strength of the player at the club?
Following that how many of the backroom names will be Conte’s choice or the clubs? Who would have thought it would be this difficult?
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