Date: 30th July 2017 at 12:58am
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Everyone here on Vital has different opinions to what to take from the results of our preseason campaign that is now over. I wont argue the point one way or the other.

Some points are facts though; we are one week away from the community shield..it is a trophy ..yes you may call it a Mickey Mouse trophy but that is usually the appellation the losers of the game give while those who win count it in their trophy count. The issue is no blues fan will be telling the truth if they say that they could care less about us losing to the Gunners after losing the FA cup final to them. In other words it does matter. We ought to be trying to win that game and I know Conte wont be sending his team out for the community shield just to make up the numbers.

The second fact is that the actual season (when every game and every result counts) is just 2 weeks away and however we look at the preseason the honest truth is we don`t have any great momentum going in..it may mean nothing but that is where my next point comes and this is important;

Conte is skittish..maybe it is his nature ..he is after all a type A hyper active passionate workaholic but i think there is more to some of his recent pronouncements and I will leave it to others to take a listen to his comments before and after each of our preseason games ( especially the latter two) but one thing he said after our loss to Inter really caught my ear.

I quote him verbatim below;
” We know the difficulty of the next season and for sure we want to avoid the Mourinho season with Chelsea.”
“Personally, I want to try to avoid the last two seasons. Because two coaches were sacked, from Chelsea and then from Leicester after they won the league. For sure I want to avoid that.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Sky

One thing I pride myself in is being a student a history. There is a saying from a wise man that goes something like this ;” Those who don`t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”

Conte clearly has history on his mind but the guy may have even underestimated how much history is stacked against him. The BPL is arguably the most competitive club footie league in the world and so there are no gimmie games. Every season begins with 4-6 teams all having a true and legitimate chance at the title and the depth of the league is such that any top 6 team can be taken down by a bottom dweller if they don`t bring their A game to the table. It is worse for us because as defending BPL champs this season we will have a big target on our backs..every single team in the BPL will bring it against us seeking to take their pound of flesh from the champs. The BPL is no Bundesliga, Ligue A, Serie A or La Liga and that has implications and consequences for managers.

Even though Conte clearly has the thought of history on his mind I would argue that the odds are even worse against him than he states above.

I list below the 7 + years of BPL champs and their respective managers;

2016-17; Chelsea with Antonio Conte
2015-16; Leicester city with Claudio Ranieri
2014-15; Chelsea with Jose Mourinhio
2013-14; Man City with Manuel Pellegrini
2012-13; Manu with SAF
2011-12; City with Roberto Mancini
2010- 11; ManU with SAF
2009-10; Chelsea with Ancelloti

Now you don`t need to have a profiler’s mind to see a pattern here. Not only is retaining the BPL title incredibly difficult ( it has not happened since the SAF era with ManU) but when you look closely at the managers who have won the title in the last 7 years other than SAF who has retired there are none who survived long into the following season. Really the only exceptions are Carlo who got canned after his second season ended (though he finished second) and Pellegrini who was essentially a dead man walking in his second year just warming the bench for Pep to come take over.

As Skittish as Conte`s quote above suggests he is I wonder if he would be even more skittish if he had this panoramic view of history. For those who are so concerned about our board giving Conte a squad with adequate depth and quality to actually stand a fighters chance for what promises to be much more difficult and trying season than the last one..well this is one of the reasons. Conte is going to be fighting against history when he starts this new season..he needs all the help he can get. KTBFFH.

 
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