In a battle of competing narratives — for about the third time in his tenure at Chelsea because nothing is ever not sensationalist in football — Antonio Conte either retains the backing of the Chelsea hierarchy above him, or he’s a “dead man walking” thanks to a non-existent relationship with the Chelsea hierarchy above him.
The latter bits come from Marca, who seem like a random entrant into this arena — part of their claim is based on “tensions” at half-time against Watford and Roma, when, wait for it, Chelsea weren’t winning (imagine that; tension when you’re not winning whaaa?!) — as well as self-confessed journalist-troll Duncan Castles, who literally had the latest edition of his “dead man walking” piece queued up for the final whistle at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, the Mirror’s Darren Lewis claims that Conte “has the backing” of Chelsea, that his “stock at Stamford Bridge remains high” and those above him are sympathetic of all the injuries and other unspecified “setbacks” that have impacted the campaign so far. There’s also talk of January reinforcements, with that old nugget Alex Sandro name-dropped again, but that seems a bit too good to be true.
Neither of these sources are exactly reliable. Marca are frequently wrong and push their own narratives; Castles has been on the Conte-exit trail for most of the year to no avail, and the Mirror’s the Mirror. Though it should be noted that the Mirror were one of the voices of reason — I know! — when the summer exit nonsense was at its peak, so who knows what we can and can’t believe in this era of fake, faker, and fakest news.
My money is on the sources that have so far been proved correct and will hopefully continue down that path here as well.