Just like last week, when a bombshell dropped by dubious sources in Italy resulted in a shockwave of news across Europe of some growing discord between Conte and Chelsea, a bombshell dropped yesterday by the same sources in Italy has resulted in yet another shockwave of news, but this time a fair bit more positive.
The “storm” has calmed and the waters are back to “serene”, said Sky Italia, and suddenly it was all good.
Unless you’re the Telegraph, and your Chelsea sources are still redrawing that hard line in the sand even while acknowledging the return of good vibes and the impending £9.6m-per-year contract, the richest ever at Chelsea. The contrasting tone is just as noticeable as it was last time, and it continues to lend credence to the theory that despite everything (probably) working out just fine, there was and perhaps still is some lingering ... something ... behind the scenes.
Consider phrases such as “fighting a losing battle if”, “barring any unreasonable demands”, and “shape how smoothly he and the club progress forward together”. These are not exactly indicative of a honeymoon. They’re more indicative of a truce. Though I suppose negotiations are exactly that, a means to a peaceful resolution.
And that peaceful resolution is coming in the form of this new contract that’s been rumored for some time but as yet remains unsigned. Perhaps it needed some concessions from both sides to reach a new compromise or reassert the already existing arrangement. I suppose it’s better to clear up any lingering issues about control and power and who can text whom and when and about what at this early stage, right? Better set the ground rules now, though they really should’ve been clear and set last summer.
But as long as we can figure out how to get along — stop, collaborate, and listen! — we should be fine for a long time to come. Conte has proven that he’s a tremendous coach, Chelsea seem ambitious enough in the market, and the squad has a strong core that can be built around.