Not had much to criticise him about since his floundering on the touchline against Liverpool last season which he bounced back from in a big way thereafter. However, he bent the knee to City yesterday and virtually admitted that he was scared of them. That's not pragmatism, that's a lack of courage and it was plain to see in their performance that Fabregas and Hazard weren't happy about it. The set up of the team, the tactics employed and the demeanour of the players smacked of cowardice installed by the manager.
Watching the pre match in the tunnel last week, he deliberately hid from Mourinho, even looking around the corner and ducking back out of view so he didn't get seen which was ridiculous given there was cameras everywhere. I didn't like what I saw then and hoped it was a one off.
He basically avoided a confrontation again yesterday that did not have to be avoided. I do not accept that if we would have got mauled by City it would affect the confidence of the players ahead of playing Barcelona as we got mauled by Bournemouth & Watford and it didn't make a difference.
Most fans can forgive their teams failings as you just don't have no choice, but yesterday was plain and simple cowardice from our Manager and both the fans and players know it.
The writing has been on the wall since the opening day.
Bollocks to Mourinho. He called him out in a disgraceful way (imo) and he had to respond. I thought he handled it ok, though many disagree.
We all have our own perspectives, but it was losing to Watford and Bournemouth that did this, not the Manchester games. We still have time to turn it around to clinch 4th, but maybe there's nothing left in the tank.
I used to criticise Mourinho for going to other top 4 teams and playing for a draw, I went to Manchester yesterday and saw a manager happy to accept a one nil defeat.
The tactics employed worked to some degree against Barcelona so wasn't that dismissive of the starting line up when it was announced but the game needed changing and he was far too slow to change it.
The only thing that was the same was the side, because he very obviously told them to stand off and play it backwards - had we done half of what we did against Barcelona, we’d have been in with a chance of a result, but this was admitting defeat before a ball was kicked, dreadful.
I agree that him not changing things that aren’t working is a valid criticism of Conte IMHO, yesterday certainly wasn’t the first time he’s not used his subs well.
But to suggest he didn’t want to win or is a coward/shows cowardice, is just wrong I think, and unfair
As I’ve said elsewhere to others on here, I’m ignoring everything else (which doesn’t mean I don’t agree with criticism of the owner, players and other staff) and am judging him purely on what I think is in his job remit, namely: preparing the team during the week, picking a side and a shape for them to play in and making changes as he sees fit during the game.
In my eyes he failed at all of those (not for the first time this season).
Spot on. We are not some League 2 Minnie trying to force a replay, we’re the defending champions who whilst a long way off the pace this season, are no mugs.
We rolled over yesterday. I get that we were 1 error away from frustrating them or one shot away from a draw but the reality is they would have just upped it.
We allowed them to stay firmly in first gear.
I’ve not seen Chelsea bottle a fight in a long while.
Frustrating and something I hope to never see repeated.
Surely rolling over would be getting tonked like they hammered Arsenal, Spurs, Liverpool etc.
I don’t think trying to defend well (which we did for the most part) is rolling over whatsoever
This City side are like the Barca of old and they own the ball. The fact they had us playing like we did is because we're a million miles from their standard. We may be champions but we're not great champions.
Indeed mate, I get people are annoyed at the result and performance going forward yesterday but I don’t get why people are slagging off Conte for not beating his chest and going out there saying “we’re the champions, come and beat the mighty Chelsea” whilst ignoring the fact the club have been buying the likes of a crocked Ross Barkley and Danny Drinkwater, with all due respect to them. Hardly a battlecry from our board that we’re about to take on the giants of Europe. Sorry but you can’t divide the two, the attitude of the club is so intrinsically linked with what goes on on the pitch and in the dugout.
Counter attacking, cautious football is one thing, turning up being happy with a narrow defeat is another.
That was diabolical from the manager.
I used to hear this about Jose and I said the same back then as I say now - that’s down to the players not executing the manager’s plan properly, why don’t they get more criticism for not being able to do what plenty of other players have managed to do over the years. They managed to do it against Barca the other day, for the most part.
Conte should have changed things sooner, that’s fair criticism, I’m just shocked how harsh and OTT some of this reaction has been towards him. I don’t get it
It’s because he has gone out of his way to talk the players down all season, now he’s reaping the rewards of that.
You don’t think they’re playing for him? I see players following his instructions pretty much to the letter.
You could dress up the city performance if it was an outlier, but it’s just not. You seen our record in 2018?
This goes back to what I keep saying that looking at what he does in isolation isn’t fair IMHO. If the club gave him all he wanted and he failed, at least he’d be failing all on his own merits completely instead of the current mess where all parties have to accept their shares of responsibility
As I said I’m not directing this solely at him, but he can (but doesn’t) change things during games.
He shares a conviction in his ideas with JM that borders on insanity - great when it all works, not so great when it doesn’t.
Hmm, I’m not having that it was cowardice. We were an error away from a clean sheet and a decent shot on goal away from nicking a goal against a very good side who just don’t lose at home.
I think it’s also not fair people are choosing to ignore his emotional state after a player he picked for the Italian team a few times a couple of years ago died suddenly and tragically. I’m not blaming yesterday on that by any means, but it’s bound to have had an effect, you could just tell.
They didn't get out of first gear and didn't need to.....
Which you could suggest was a good game plan from Conte, if you were to play devils advocate...
I dunno, I think the reaction has been completely OTT personally. It’s not like we always play like that, it was a one-off game against a top side who are simply better than us because the whole club has set itself up to give a great manager everything he needs to succeed, which our club hasn’t done for well over a decade now.
The game plan didn’t work, it’s always a risk playing that way and as much as they didn’t really cause us many problems which is testament to how well we defended at times, we were so poor on the ball when we did get it that the players have to accept responsibility for making the plan look even worse. I’d take losing like that than “giving it a go” and potentially getting hammered, but that’s just personal preference.
I spent 8 hours in a car yesterday and £80 if you include the fuel to get there..... it was shite.
Did you go up there expecting to win? Would you have preferred to have been beaten five or six? Which this lot are capable of doing to us, because they’re better than us, they spend more than us and actually buy players the manager wants. I’m envious of how they’ve been going about things to be honest and I reckon Conte is too.
They were better than us last season and we beat them home and away.