AGGRESSIVE, cussed, single-minded to the acute and downright awkward.
These have been the qualities Chelsea used to satisfaction themselves on throughout they heyday of Jose Mourinho once they swept all of English soccer earlier than them.
However the membership has modified to such an extent that Antonio Conte has been sacked for having exactly the identical character traits that made the staff a formidable preventing unit of years passed by.
Conte may have stayed within the job which pays him in extra of £10million-a-year. Even lacking out on the Champions League final season was not thought-about a deal breaker.
Imagine it or not, Chelsea proprietor Roman Abramovich and his cohorts within the prime corridors of Stamford Bridge are reluctant sackers nowadays.
However the newest combative supervisor to occupy the most popular seat in English soccer has the uncommon knack of having the ability to choose a battle with anyone on any topic.
Conte’s yr of discontent
Could 2017 – Chelsea win the Premier League
Aug 2017 – Lose to Burnley within the first recreation of 2017-18
Jan 2018 – Diego Costa bought to Atletico Madrid
Could 2018 – Willian blots Conte out with emojis after FA Cup win
He will get extra pulses racing than fellow Italian Sophia Loren though sadly in not fairly the identical approach.
Conte received’t be coming again to Chelsea. And now with each managerial sacking the total inquest into his turbulent two yr reign begin to emerge from behind the scenes.
Chelsea’s 12th everlasting supervisor of Abramovich’s reign in cost was solely to happy to painting himself as a workaholic, exuding the sense of reassurance that he is aware of greatest.
But the gamers have been usually baffled at his coaching strategies which at instances appeared off the cuff, as if preparations have been simply thrown collectively final minute.
A starkly totally different actuality to the general public notion.
A membership insider stated: “It appeared from the surface as if Antonio was at all times supremely in management. That he had this unimaginable work ethic and that every thing was meticulously deliberate.
“It didn’t at all times work like that for the gamers. There have been instances when coaching appeared prefer it had simply been thought up that very morning.
“Someone like Jose would have a two week coaching schedule all drawn up and set in stone. However equally he would hearken to others if want be.
“Particulars like days off which don’t sound like a lot to millionaire footballers however it issues.
“If the coaching schedule was revealed and the rota didn’t actually work, Jose would take recommendation from the captain or different senior gamers and tackle board what they felt.
“Beneath Antonio it was his approach or the excessive approach. He may abruptly change a time without work at quick discover and there was no approach he would budge.
“The gamers may need household coming over from overseas or have flights booked themselves however it didn’t matter.
“Mourinho may make a mistake however most different issues have been lined off and other people had lots of religion in him.
“He was open to options, issues like not going to a resort at 2pm the day earlier than a night dwelling recreation.
“The gamers may ask to reach later as a result of they spend a lot time in resorts and he would take it on board. Not this man.
“Put it this manner, for those who can flip Willian towards you, the nicest man in soccer, then you possibly can flip anybody towards you.”
Small issues tackle seismic significance when administration loses the belief of employees and the gradual, irreversible breakdown in industrial relations begins.
One other supply added: “It’s been just about a yr of distress beneath Antonio.”
Considered uncommunicative, Conte was a posh character.
Typically he would shut himself away, but on Worldwide Girls’s Day this yr he trekked across the complete coaching floor kissing each feminine worker on the cheek and wishing them properly.
It was his thought to take journalists to the pub each Christmas for a beer on Chelsea – but he made it clear from day one he had no favourites within the media.
Which makes it all of the extra stunning that it’s his tongue that has received him the boot having received a serious trophy in every of his two seasons in cost – the Premier League then the FA Cup.
However the fixed sniping at Chelsea’s board over transfers, the incessant pot pictures on the membership’s shopping for coverage has lastly caught up with him.