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Conte hopes to convince Chelsea and stay for a very long time

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Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Antonio Conte’s former teammate and former Chelsea player and manager Gianluca Vialli has recently declared his wish to see Conte stay at Chelsea for a quarter century, emulating Sir Alex Ferguson’s legendary feat at Manchester United.

“I think Antonio loves the club and wants to play in the Champions League. There was a rumour about him going to Inter Milan, rather than Juventus, but if I was him then I would be staying a bit longer, fall in love with London, Premier League football and Chelsea and stay for 25 years like Alex Ferguson did.”

-Gianluca Vialli; source: Sky via Mail

It’s easy to fall into this sort of thinking on the back of a title-winning season. Two years ago we did the same with José Mourinho. And we all know how that turned out not six months later.

"It would be great to do this, but in modern football it is very difficult to stay for a long time in the same club. But if you have the opportunity to stay for many years and improve your work, for a coach it is the best solution to stay at a club and to build something important.”

“Modern football is dangerous and our job depends a lot on the result. The only way that I know is to try to convince the club to stay for a long time is to work. Work very hard with my players, for sure it is my hope.”

-Antonio Conte; source: Football.London

Of the 92 teams in the top four tiers of English football, only 12 have had the same manager for longer than the last three seasons. Arsene Wenger, going on 21 seasons is a major exception, as is Paul Tisdale completing his 11th season as League Two Exeter City. Eddie Howe and Sean Dyche have both been in charge for five seasons, overseeing unlikely successes at Bournemouth and Burnley, respectively. Mark Hughes is also on this list, surprisingly, as he finishes his fourth season at Stoke. But that’s about it.

As Carlo Ancelotti put it, getting sacked is part of the job definition of a football manager and that’s becoming more and more true in modern football. That’s not say that the stars won’t align for Conte and Chelsea for the next two decades, but let’s not worry too much about that. It’s a great hope to have, but the focus should on the FA Cup final, then the offseason of a new contract and new signings, and then next season we start the challenge anew.

A nice sign of confidence however is that Conte’s new contract looks set to be for four years instead of three, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.