Chelsea’s disappointing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace yesterday revealed quite a lot and after Antonio Conte had a sleepless night he no doubt dwelt on what went wrong in South London. First consideration should have been his team selection. With injuries depleting what was already a squad light on numbers, and the games coming thick and fast, squad rotation is everything.
As has been noted many times recently on this site, Gary Cahill and Willian, in particular, are struggling for any sort of form. But it wasn`t just them. In truth, after this loss, it`s more a collective failure of form that triggered this sad demise. As a defender, our captain, probably gets off lighter than Willian, who is on the field to score or create.
The good times are returning to Stamford Bridge, unbeaten in all competitions since the first game blip against Burnley, and with wantaway striker Diego Costa finally leaving. Antonio Conte, it could be argued, got his team selection and tactics wrong in the Arsenal game, but in a busy month of football there`s not much time to dwell upon it.
Saturday afternoon, Chelsea travel to the Bet365 stadium to take on Stoke City, who have had a mixed start to the season. An home win against Arsenal and a draw with Manchester United prove it will not be a walkover for Antonio Conte`s side.
Just three weeks ago, Chelsea supporters (I’m one by the way) were whinging about how poor the transfer window had been so far. Nobody had been signed, apart from the obligatory second-choice goalkeeper.
There was press speculation that Antonio Conte was also unhappy with the lack of new players and that he was refusing to sign a contract extension, even though he was on an Italian beach. The players were becoming disillusioned, particularly the ‘kids’ because they were not getting enough first-team action. And then there was Diego Costa, ahhh, Diego, who apparently, according to himself, had been told he was surplus to requirements in a text message sent by his manager, presumably whilst lying there, on that beach, in his budgie smugglers.
My blog looking at Antonio Conte dumping Diego Costa by Text. First Published on Vital Chelsea on 14th June 2017