In this modern era of short contracts and even shorter tenures, there is almost constant never-ending speculation about the futures of football managers.
That’s hardly surprising in the general sense, since a ‘CRISIS’ can spring up out of nowhere at just about any club and managers are getting replaced at the rate of about one per week in the four top divisions of the English football pyramid — 8 of the 92 clubs have already made a change at head coach since the start of September, including Crystal Palace and Leicester City (plus Birmingham, Oldham, Northampton, Gillingham, Chesterfield, and Port Vale).
That Conte made it to a second year at Chelsea is almost cause for celebration, too, having already exceeded the average tenure of a non-interim Chelsea head coach (especially one not named Jose Mourinho) in the Abramovich era.
Given those conditions and the general environment, speculation about Conte’s future isn’t going to be going away anytime soon. He could win both the Premier League and the Champions League this season and they wouldn’t go away — in fact, they might even increase, taking the angle of his job being done here and him moving on to the next challenge, or some such.
So what can we do? Ignoring this constant din of mostly nonsense is a good idea, but not always feasible. Denying them is also possible, but then that’s something that requires upkeep. Using a bit of common sense may be the best way to go about it, as long as we recognize that sometimes (often?) senseless decisions are made in various departments of a football club.
For now, here’s Conte taking the middle route, talking to Premium Sport after the recently denied AC Milan rumors were put to him again.
“My future? It’s better to think about the present, which is called Chelsea. I have two-year contract and and I want to live this incredible experience here. I’m learning another culture, another language and another football. I want to give the opportunity for my family and my daughter to learn English. My present is very important.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Premium Sport via Calciomercato
You never know in football, as the cliche goes, where everything can change from one moment to the next. Conte may be gone at the end of the season, as multiple rumors claim. He may be sacked next week, next month ... or next decade. He might sign a new contract in the summer and stay for another season — and we might repeat this process year after year.
For now, the important part is getting the win tonight, then getting the win on Saturday, and so on.