Antonio Conte took charge of a sub-standard Chelsea squad in the summer and has failed to bring the most out of his players this season.
Chelsea have not enjoyed the best possible start under the reign of new manager Antonio Conte. The campaign began on a positive note when the Blues raced to three wins in three matches. But once they came up against the bigger sides, Conte’s side’s frailties began to show.
A number of players have been putting woeful performances match in, match out for the Italian, but due to the lack of adept replacements, they’re continuing to feature for the Londoners. But, if Conte is to implement his philosophy and build a revolution at Stamford Bridge, here are five players that should be shown the door by the Italian:
Chelsea’s number one Thibaut Courtois has come under the microscope for his shambolic displays in goal. In his first full season as Chelsea’s first-choice stopper, the Belgian looked like a ferocious behemoth in goal for Jose Mourinho’s side. But, just two seasons down the line, he’s already looking like a shadow of his old self, and one who Chelsea can well do without.
He ceases to inspire confidence in goal and seems to lack the coordination with his central defenders. Often he is seen pointing fingers at other members in his team and seldom takes the blame for his undoings.
It seems Conte must get rid of the goalkeeper without any further ado and move for someone younger. Jamal Blackman has shown plenty of promise, but is arguably not competent enough to break into the playing eleven at Stamford Bridge. Reserve keeper Asmer Begovic can be used as temporary option if Courtois’s shambolic displays continue.
Touted as one of the best right-backs not so long ago, Ivanovic has considerably slowed down in the last couple of seasons. At 32, he isn’t expected to gallop back and forth for the entire course of the game, but that is probably why he deserves to be left out of the starting lineup.
His game seemed to be on the decline since last season and it was a huge surprise that Conte opted against signing a right-back in the summer. Cesar Azpilicueta clearly is a better fit on the right for Chelsea, and with Conte possibly moving to a 3-4-3, the Spaniard could be fielded as a a wing-back.
The much maligned centre-back has not enjoyed life under Antonio Conte and could be part of the massive squad overhaul that seems to be on the cards at Stamford Bridge. Having served as a vital cog in defense along with Terry for a number of seasons, Cahill looks to have lost the plot this season.
In fact, in the absence of Terry, Cahill looks clueless on the field of play. He is getting caught out of position time and again, and moving to a back three may relieve him to a certain extent. But, Conte will definitely look to buy a better centre-back and possibly let Cahill leave for a considerable amount of money.
A number of fingers have been pointed towards the Serbian midfielder this season and doubts continue to loom whether the player is robust enough to fit into Conte’s way of playing. He lacks the versatility to play in a number of positions and is definitely not suited to play in a relatively advanced position.
Juventus and PSG were reportedly interested in the Serbian destroyer recently, and their interest could rekindle once Conte deems him as an unwanted commodity at Stamford Bridge. What Conte really needs is a player who can pull the strings in the middle of the park, and Matic is failing to buy into the manager’s demands.
There was jubilation among the Chelsea faithful when they snatched Spanish winger Pedro from under the noses of Premier League rivals Manchester United. A staggering fee of 32 million looked as a reasonable bid at the time, but in hindsight it seems the board overpaid for Pedro.
He hit the ground running by scoring on debut, but was quiet the entire season. In fact, he managed to get himself involved in just eight more goals the entire campaign (2 assists), and really struggled to cope with the hard and fast paced nature of England’s top tier.
This season, he has been usurped by Brazilian attacker Willian who is doing a reasonably better job than Pedro. In fact, the former Barcelona man has played just 114 minutes this season and has done absolutely nothing to justify his first-team credentials.