Ever since Jose Mourinho was first told to give up his once untouchable status down in the Stamford Bridge dug-out, Chelsea have seemingly enjoyed a more harmonious atmosphere under the calm leadership style of the temporarily-placed Guus Hiddink, with the overall league form produced by the Blues of late improving tenfold as a result.
The composed Dutch tactician therefore seems an ideal managerial choice for Roman Abramovich to turn to ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, but as Chelsea seemingly haven’t been operating within an ideal world in light of everything that has taken place at their club this season, Hiddink nonetheless looks set to depart the West London outfit once again this summer, almost as quickly as a first entered the fray before the turn of the year.
Yet former Juventus manager and current boss of the Italian national side, Antonio Conte, has reportedly been singled out as the candidate to take command of Chelsea’s expensively assembled squad next season. Will the Blues subsequently push on under the 46-year-old’s possible leadership in 2016/17, or is this latest proposed move just another step in the wrong direction?
Well, even though Conte has admittedly thrived in club management in seasons past, whilst also commanding a rather strong reputation on the international scene with his native Italy, perhaps Chelsea have nonetheless sentenced themselves to a further tenure of unpredictability and drama with their potential new tactician.
Whilst the current Azzurri boss would certainly bring valuable links from the Italian game should he eventually end up at Stamford Bridge, as all the recent reports seemingly suggest, it remains particularly hard to imagine Abramovich staying patient with Conte when push invariably turns to shove.
We have already seen the likes of Avram Grant, Phil Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto Di Matteo, Rafa Benitez and of course a certain Jose Mourinho each parachuted in at Stamford Bridge under the same sense of sensation and fanfare that will likely come Conte’s way after his duties with Italy at Euro 2016 come to a natural conclusion. But as not one of the aforementioned names have managed to stay in their chairman’s good books for long, the 46-year-old will certainly have his work cut out with the Blues.
The idea of Chelsea’s latest managerial target developing his own long-term legacy with the current Premier League title holders therefore remains something of an ill-fated notion, especially as Conte’s notoriously passionate nature could serve to disrupt ties between the manager and chairman down at Stamford Bridge sooner rather than later…
The Blues will likely continue in the same vein as they always have done under their wealthy Russian ownership with the former Atlanta, Siena and Juventus boss on board, leaving the concepts of youth development and long-term stability painfully undervalued.
Can you really imagine the likes of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Isaiah Brown or Dominic Solanke ever breaking into the starting XI under Conte, when the fiery Italian tactician is also trying to juggle the need to spend big with every passing transfer window, as well as fend off the subsequent pressure from Abramovich should any high stakes gamble eventually fail to come good?
As the likes of Pep Guardiola, Massimiliano Allegri and Diego Simeone have nonetheless distanced themselves with the current post down at Stamford Bridge throughout the course of the 2015/16 campaign, perhaps Antonio Conte must simply go down as the best remaining candidate to step in at Chelsea next season then, even if he’ll likely amount to little more than a well-paid stop gap for the Blues within the grand scheme of things…