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Chelsea FC – Two Questions That Need Answering

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Chelsea have failed to deliver on too many occasions this season. On Sunday, West Ham are the visitors to Stamford Bridge as Chelsea look, to once again, pull a rabbit out of the hat.

Antonio Conte`s team played well in the first half against Tottenham up until Christian Eriksen`s goal on the stroke of halftime. Conte`s job as a manager is to pick a team good enough to win. Chelsea clearly lack confidence at the moment, when it`s going wrong the manager has to act.

Does Conte still want to be at Chelsea?

After last week`s showing, you have to say no. Maybe, Gianluca Vialli`s strong words on Italian television will have knocked some sense into his friend. He was certainly angry at the sleight during yesterday`s pre-match presser. When asked about Vialli`s comments Conte had this to say,

‘Those who know me very well, know that in this moment I am very angry, I am very sad for this situation.”

‘Those who know me very well know I am trying to put all of myself to change this situation because I have great responsibility. I feel great responsibility for my work, for my family, for everything.”

‘When I go to my house, it is not that I am relaxed but I know that I gave everything and I am giving everything for this club — 120 percent, every day. Sometimes it is very difficult to sleep with these types of problems.’

Conte didn`t make a substitution until the 81st minute last Sunday, that despite being 3-1 down. He had the look of man disinterested in his work. Vialli saw it and he called it. Conte is chalk to last season`s cheese, having not received the backing from the Chelsea board he believes he should have.

Of course, the players are culpable too. Some of this current squad are serial slackers, having downed tools in 2015-16 under Jose Mourinho. Under the reign of Roman Abramovich, Chelsea have had a will to win, even in the most difficult of circumstances. It`s a mentality that ran throughout the club. Even the tea-lady (person) probably thinks they make the best tea of any football club.

Can Chelsea regain that lost attitude?

With seven league games left, if Chelsea are to push Tottenham for that fourth Champions League spot, that has all but gone, they`ll need 21 points. A bit of pressure on the North Londoners could see them crack. We`ve seen it before.

With the untimely death of Ray Wilkins this week, maybe that will motivate the manager and players to push hard for the last knockings of the season.

As a player, and as a person Wilkins had a positive attitude in everything he did. If Chelsea`s current squad can take just a little of his mental strength and carry it forward, then there is hope in a week that has been hopeless.

Throughout this campaign Chelsea have failed, and not just against the big teams. Defeats against Burnley, Watford and Bournemouth have been unheard of in recent years. From the top to the bottom, there have been failings, well documented throughout the season.

However, Chelsea`s youth academy and the ladies team seem to have gone about their business in a constructive, positive way. It`s just the senior team that have been affected, and the buck stops much lower than Bruce.

Conte and his players owe it to the supporters to fight for the badge and for fourth spot, even if they/we believe it`s gone. Butch Wilkins would have as a player, it`s the least he`d have expected as a supporter.

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