Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea had a ten-point lead at the top of the Premier League table this time last season. Where has it all gone so drastically wrong?
Manchester City ran away with the title months ago but, on the surface, Chelsea still seemingly have reasons to be cheerful. They are still in the Champions League and remain firmly in the mix to qualify for next season’s competition.
However, all is not well behind the scenes at Stamford Bridge and Conte’s days at the club appear numbered following a humiliating 4-1 thumping at Watford.
The former Juventus boss has cut a frustrated figure for months now but January will have hit the Italian particularly hard. Results on the pitch have been atrocious and the club’s performance in the transfer market has been heavily criticised.
Conte himself has been trading blows with Chelsea’s board all season and the odds on him still being in London next term are rapidly dropping.
While the likes of Victor Moses, Pedro and Thibaut Courtois have vastly improved since Conte’s arrival, many Chelsea players will be delighted should Roman Abramovich wield the axe.
David Luiz was among Conte’s most trusted players last term, making 37 appearances in all competitions, but a training ground bust-up with the Italian in November looked to have ended his Chelsea career.
The Brazilian made his first league start since the incident on Monday night but a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Watford will have rocked his confidence further still.
While Luiz has not yet been frozen out by Conte – as Diego Costa was before his move to Atletico Madrid – the centre-back’s lack of minutes since the bust-up suggests their working relationship is effectively over.
The fourth most expensive defender on the planet will be desperate for a new manager to start afresh and get his Chelsea career back on track.
Andreas Christensen, though, has proved himself to be a top-class defender in his absence this term. Sadly for Luiz, the talented Dane won’t be leaving the club anytime soon…