It would appear that Chelsea’s pre-season is about to finally get interesting after what has seemed like a long drawn-out wait for news on the managerial situation to get resolved. The BBC confirmed on Friday morning that Antonio Conte has been sacked as manager of the Blues after two seasons in-charge.
Conte arguably oversaw one of the club’s more memorable seasons in recent years for the 2016/17 season – charging to the Premier League title after a rocky start. While Champions League football fell out of reach of the Blues towards the end of last season, Conte wrapped up his tenure at the club with an FA Cup win over Manchester United.
Now the wait is on for the expected appointment of ex-Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri to succeed Conte at Stamford Bridge – and fans are certainly expecting to see a host of incomings and outgoings as result.
Interestingly as Antonio Conte is paid off a reported £9 million (according to the Mail) for his two year service to the club, owner Roman Abramovich will soon be working with his fifth Italian manager since taking over the club back in 2003.
It all started with Claudio Ranieri who led an initial spending spree to take Chelsea on to a new level of competition in the Premier League. Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Di Matteo followed, with the latter leading the Blues to their first Champions League title. Antonio Conte who is set to receive a lucrative pay-off is now set to be followed by the club’s fifth Italian of this era.
Maurizio Sarri may have come agonizingly close to winning the Serie A title for Napoli this past season, but he will certainly be expected to follow in the tradition that Italian managers have set at Stamford Bridge. Six of the 14 trophies won under the Roman Abramovich era have been lifted by Italian bosses and Sarri will be expected to deliver during his two-year contract, or find himself possibly being succeeded by a sixth fellow countryman.
Ranieri, Ancelotti, Di Matteo and Conte have a combined winning percentage of 62.05% in 515 matches played. That in comparison is a slightly better average to all 10 managers that have worked with Abramovic (including the Italians) with 61.25% winning percentage (stats compiled by bettingexpert).
With reports that Maurizio Sarri will opt to live at Chelsea’s Cobham training base for the foreseeable future in order to whip his new team into title winning shape the chances of the Italians furthering their impressive stats at the Blues looks set to continue.