Conte Still to Leave Despite Cup Win

Conte Still to Leave Despite Cup Win?

The 2017/18 FA Cup final between Manchester United and Chelsea was seen as the opportunity for managers of both clubs to save what has been a poor season. Despite finishing second in the Premier League, many onlookers feel Manchester United have underachieved this season and Jose Mourinho has taken much of the blame.  The Portuguese will point to the fact the Red Devils have finished higher in the league and with more points than at any other time since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson.

However, the FA Cup would be a great way to end the season and send the fans away happy and looking ahead to the next campaign. It wasn’t to be and another man who has been under pressure this season, Antonio Conte, walked away from Wembley with the FA Cup in his grasp.

Disappointing Title Defence

There is no doubting it has been a very disappointing title defence from Chelsea this season and the Italian must take much of the blame.  The Blues have not come close to Manchester City and have fallen out of the Champions League qualifying places, which could make attracting big-names players very difficult in the summer.

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Conte at Stamford Bridge and he has come across as a man who knows his time is up in many of the interviews following matches this season.

Lifting the FA Cup means Conte has led Chelsea to the Premier League title and FA Cup success in his two seasons in charge of the club.  Considering the former Juventus midfielder has never played or managed in England prior to taking the Chelsea job, it’s a fantastic achievement but does not appear to be enough to keep him in the job next season.

Serial Winner

Speaking after the 1-0 win over Manchester United, Conte said, “In this season, in a difficult season like this, I showed I am a serial winner. This is the truth. To win in this way, this season, gives me more satisfaction than my wins in the past,” before continuing, “The club knows me very well. If they want to continue to work with me, they know me. I can’t change. I can’t change. I think my past is very clear as a player and manager. You can tell what you want – but I’m a serial winner.”

These comments are not quite an ultimatum to the Chelsea board but it is clear what Conte is trying to say.  He knows how to win trophies and to do it, he needs to work in a certain way and that has not always been easy for him this season.

If Conte is not allowed to work in the way he would like, there is clearly no future for him at Chelsea.  The fans sung his name following the final whistle in the FA Cup final but its not the first time the fans have got behind a manager before he left the club.

There are not many managers who can claim they have won the Premier League title and FA Cup in two seasons and Conte will not be short of offers if he leaves Chelsea this summer.

Jamie BartonMagazine, Premier League