A man who guided us to 3 Premier League titles, 1 FA Cup, 3 League Cups, and most importantly, 1 Community Shield. It is easy to see why the response from Chelsea fans about the news of José’s sacking has not been particularly positive.
The increasingly more likely prospect of our Special one joining Manchester United has not helped with the sour taste in the mouth of many Blues fans.
It is agreed by all that our next manager must be a good call.
No more poor decisions from above; the tenures of the likes of Luis Felipe Scolari, Andre Villas-Boas and Avram Grant spring to mind as warning signs to the board about the importance of selecting the right man.
Michael Emenalo, Chelsea’s technical director, and Abramovich’s most trusted right hand man, has come in for much criticism.
The decision to sack Mourinho was apparently his decision, and the rumours that later circulated about a possible move for soon to be ex Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, were again apparently his desires.
Yet, in a certain Italian Manager, a winner of 8 Italian league titles, both as a player and manager, he may have begun to redeem some confidence in the mind’s of Stamford Bridge faithful everywhere.
His next managerial candidate appears to be Antonio Conte, a once well regarded Central Midfielder for both Lecce and Juventus in Italy, with a career consisting of 367 appearances.
Winning 5 Serie A, 5 domestic cups and 1 European Cup in the process.
Retiring in 2004, Conte took up his first managerial post in 2006 with Arezzo, after a season as assistant manager of Serie B side Siena.
Sacked after 6 months in charge, before being reinstated in March 2007, helping them avoid relegation to the third league of Italian football.
The following December, he was appointed manager of fellow Serie B club, Bari.
Here he showed his managerial prowess, helping them avoid relegation initially, before guiding them to the title the following year.
A disappointing tenure followed at Atlanta, sacked after only 4 months in charge, a result of a hostile relationship with the fans.
A job quickly followed at Siena, a club he had been assistant manager for throughout the 2005-06 season.
A successful season ensued, guiding Siena to promotion in his only year at the helm.
His first big job came at Juventus, with 3 more Serie A titles and 2 Supercoppa Italiana collected.
It was here he gained praise from Italian legend, Andrea Pirlo. ‘When Conte speaks, his words assault you,’ wrote Pirlo in his book I Think Therefore I Play. ‘They crash through the doors of your mind, often quite violently and settle deep within you. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve found myself saying, ‘Hell, Conte said something really spot-on again today’.’
Conte’s time at Juve finished in August 2014, after the then Italian Coach, Cesare Prandelli resigned from his post – and Conte took up the reigns.
Conte has gone on to lose only one game, and help his country qualify for the upcoming European Championships in France.
With an impressive CV both as a player, and more importantly, as a Manager, Conte looks like an impressive young managerial prospect.
A big fan of obscure formations, such as 3-5-2, and keen on Serie A midfielders, Radja Nainggolan and Paul Pogba, he certainly has the potential to be the Mr Right for the men on Kings’ Road.
A passionate character, known to chuck plates in the dressing room, as well as being a tactical genius, pondering different formations for hours long into the early hours of the morning.
Antonio Conte certainly has the feel of a Portuguese manager us Chelsea fans used to know.