Leading 1-0, at home, against Tottenham in the Premier League thanks to an Alvaro Morata header, Chelsea had the start they wanted at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
However, an incredible Christian Eriksen strike followed by two Dele Alli goals meant Antonio Conte’s side were all but knocked out of the top four race, and the club now faces their second year in three away from the Champions League.
With the Italian manager expected to leave come the end of the season, someone else will be charged with turning things around, much like the former Juventus coach did post José Mourinho, but, right now, Chelsea are a bit of a mess.
This is what one of their former defenders, Frank Leboeuf, explained on Sunday after the game on SFR Sport, annoyed at what he was seeing from his old club.
He said: “It’s a lack of respect for the fans and the club, both on the manager’s part, because he’s already packed his bags, but also from the players. We saw it with Mourinho, it seemed like some of the players were almost losing on purpose so the manager can get sacked as quickly as possible.
“I knew a team that was hungry for trophies, wanted to win. Now, it doesn’t seem that way. One year you win the league, the next it’s a mess.”
Also on the show was Emmanuel Petit, who also spent some time at Stamford Bridge, and, for him, it all stems down to Antonio Conte.
He explained: “Last year, they weren’t playing the Champions League. This year, it was far more complicated with having to deal with a game every three days, knowing that he got into conflicts with key members of the team.
“It started with Diego Costa, then David Luiz, now Gary Cahill. I can’t count the number of players from last year’s starting team who got angry with Conte during the season”.
It seems that problem will soon be out of the way, then.