With the recent reports pointing towards Chelsea missing out on yet another target — a rather typical development in recent seasons — as Maurizio Sarri is set to stay at Napoli; there might be a modicum of chance that Antonio Conte continues his job as a Chelsea head coach into the 2018-19 season (ed.note: and saves the club several million along the way — win, win!). With PSG confirming Tuchel as their manager, Mancini becoming the new Italy boss, Allegri set to stay at Juventus, and talk of others not forthcoming as yet, there may not be a lot of options left for Conte or the club at the moment.
That said, there’s no way around the fact that this season was an abject failure in terms of Premier League success, as Chelsea are going to be without Champions League football for the second time in three years. However, we can at least end the season on a good note by winning the FA Cup final. There’s never a bad time for beating Manchester United, whether it be for personal pride, future employment, bragging rights or for the trophy itself and the prestige it holds.
For Cesc Fabregas, the mission is simpe: win at all cost.
“We want to win. In football, when you win you are the best and when you lose they doubt you, it’s as simple as that. As much as we talk about the beautiful game, which I love, nowadays it’s about winning on the day. People then forget if you did it in a good way, a lucky way, a defensive way, people forget about that unfortunately.
“We just have to play how we’ve been playing in the last few games, obviously not the last two games, even though against Huddersfield we were very unlucky, and try to do what we’ve been doing.
“In the last two years we’ve been working on the same things with Antonio so we know exactly what we want to do because we repeat it every single day, what he wants from us, so it should always be in our head. We need to take that onto the pitch on Saturday and let’s hope we can get the victory.”
As the greatest man to ever live, Ricky Bobby’s father, once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last”.
Of course nobody knows this better than us since this isn’t Conte’s first FA Cup final rodeo. Unfortunately, Chelsea, who arrived favourites and Premier League champions at last year’s final, could not translate that success into, losing to ... Wenger’s Arsenal?
“All I know is that last year we didn’t play well in the cup final. I was on the bench and I remember the coach telling me to warm up after six minutes, so when a coach does that it means he’s seen something from the start is not right.
“We have to make sure that from the beginning this year we are on top of our game, because it’s one game that can decide if you are a champion or not. It’s been a difficult season for us so finishing on a high is good for the club, the fans and ourselves.”
-Cesc Fabregas; source: Chelsea FC
This time around, the situation couldn’t be more different. Chelsea are no longer the favourites either on the pitch or in terms of finances, as we go up against Mourinho’s Manchester United. We will have to dig deep if we are to get anything out of this game.
The stage is set, the lights are on and people are watching. Unlike last season, where the failure in the FA Cup final could be attributed to the lack of motivation due to the club having already wrapped the Premier League title, this season there are no acceptable excuses.
Manchester United are giants who can never be taken lightly, their season has been better, their squad is filled with expensive signings, this is the last game of the season and the Blues have nothing to show for this season, not even a top four finish. There can be no excuse for not being motivated for this game and let’s hope that all the players can put in a better performance than they did against Newcastle United.