Terrace Talk - Liverpool: Would it make more sense to keep Conte?

Tottenham’s surprise - and hilarious loss - to West Brom re-ignited the possibility of a fourth-place finish.

Rumour has it that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will be taking flight to Napoli in a swap with Maurizio Sarri. Picture: Dominic Lipinski

Yes, it’s still a long shot but it could be on.

We were also hoping Liverpool’s European exploits would have taken their toll.

As it was, I didn’t think they looked particularly fatigued – especially against some of our more senior players. I also think we were well worth the points, having kept Salah quiet and giving them very few opportunities.

Huge credit must go to Giroud and the manner in which he has changed the way we play.

With him leading the line we look more dangerous and he proved his importance once more yesterday.

I know its pointless wondering about ifs and buts but had we turned up at just a couple of those woeful games — West Ham, Bournemouth and Watford come instantly to mind — then Champions League football would have been easily secured weeks ago.

Instead, we are hoping against hope in terms of our European ambitions - and looking for a new manager.

The frontrunner for the hot seat seems to be Maurizio Sarri — the Napoli manager — with Conte rumoured to be going the other way. Should this happen, we could see a very interesting season.

Sarri is known for speaking his mind and is something of an aggressive, and controversial figure, in Serie A.

So should the club fail to deliver in terms of the players he wants then we will no doubt hear about his displeasure. Like many of his Italian counterparts his training sessions are allegedly intensive and hard, something which the current squad complained about bitterly with Conte.

Sarri apparently wants to bring three of his current Napoli squad with him. Should we not qualify for Champions League then I imagine Chelsea would have to dig very deep to persuade these players to come and play Europa League football.

We have a number of players approaching, or on, the wrong side of 30, while we also have quite a few others who in real terms should not be first-teamers, so how far will the club go in terms of rebuilding and rooting out the deadwood?

Of course, should the unthinkable happen and we do somehow manage to qualify for the Champions League – will Conte even go? Especially if he delivers the FA Cup as well. I doubt he will walk in such circumstances and could the club, despite their record in the sacking manager stakes, really force him out after finishing in such a fashion?

Yes they could - but would it be the right decision?

I’d like to think that both the Chelsea board and the manager have learned some valuable lessons this season and that both parties are mature enough to recognise the mistakes they have made and move on.

I still think that Chelsea/Conte could be a successful combination going forward. Not many would agree I guess but I’m sure that last season wasn’t just a fluke.

Anyway, I should just stop pondering and enjoy the moment as the relentless Liverpool rhetoric was halted — even if it was just for an afternoon and we did that.

Now, I just need to find a recipe for a seafood lasagna…


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