Dealing with exs

Seeing it is World Cup month, let’s discuss some football news. Fortunately for Brighton, nothing much is going on in terms of managerial changes. Not so much for Chelsea though.

If you follow football, and are a Chelsea fan, you will know that manager Antonio Conte has now a new title. Ex-manager. The most prolonged divorce in Chelsea football possibly has been settled, and both parties have worked out the pre-nup.

Why did Conte get the boot? After a season in which he won the League title in his first try, relations between the manager, team, and hierarchy soured so much that the only way after a poor second season, despite the FA Cup win, meant that Conte had to leave no matter what. It really wasn’t so much a case of would it happen or not, but when it would – and it has now.

Team owner Roman Abramovich has made no fact that he is out for success, and Chelsea have a reputation of not being patient when it comes to winning. Conte is only the latest casualty in a line that have included Jose Mourinho. It is almost as if Abramovich keeps changing managers before the public have a chance to get attached to the managers, just so that everyone knows who the boss is.

It is really a game of egos. In the Chelsea team, the owner wants to be loved by the public. Yet having spent large sums of money on players in the past decade, he must be miffed that the public is more in love with the manager than the owner.

Conte himself got rid of a few big egos, the most notable being Diego Costa. The attacking centre forward, famous for getting under the skin of opposing players was dumped by text despite a stellar season and being a part of the team that won the Premier League. Some say that the management of the whole affair was poor; Chelsea’s arguably best player spent three months of the campaign holidaying in Conte’s second season and the protracted affair was too much of a distraction. Bosses also queried the sale of Nemanja Matic to Manchester United, where he emerged as a solid prospect protecting United’s back four. The treatment of Brazilian Willian was also strange, seeing as he was one of the better players but spent most of the time coming off the bench.

Where does that leave Chelsea now? Nobody knows, although Maurricio Sarri was touted to come in and his compensation package was being worked on. (EDIT: He has been confirmed.)

But how will the new Chelsea play under a new manager?

Just like in music, where the sonata form bridged the two eras of the Baroque and Romantic, would the counterattacking play of this season be the link between Conte and Sarri? Or will be it a complete break with the past, and will Sarri institute a new style of play? It remains to be seen. (If it so happens that you are interested in sonata form, though, you can read it from the Muswell Hill piano teacher blog.)