How Chelsea fell from champions to a rabble at Roma in less than six months

Recruitment, injuries and the sale of Nemanja Matic are among the reasons why Antonio Conte’s side have fallen away so spectacularly. At board level there is some sympathy for the manager but patience is finiteA few of the locals called out to Antonio Conte as he trudged up the ramp towards the Chelsea team bus post-match, head bowed to avoid eye contact and hands sunk deep in his pockets, but most had sensed it was no time to bid a fond farewell. The Italian had that thunderous look about him, the kind that sets in when his team have been beaten. Except this had been a humiliation, and an occasion which had left him publicly questioning the most basic qualities expected of his players: hunger, desire and commitment to compete.The second-half surrender at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday betrayed a team who had lost hope, their conviction eroded by a mixture of defensive chaos and attacking profligacy which had left them playing catch-up to Roma. The reaction, Conte was quick to point out, was unacceptable. Although some may cling to the belief the emphatic loss can prompt a similar reaction to the infamous thrashing endured at Arsenal less than two months into last season, the particular quirks of Chelsea’s campaign feel very different this time round. Continue reading…

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2017/nov/01/chelsea-roma-recruitment-injuries-nemanja-matic-antonio-conte-board

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