Antonio Conte may or may not have been sacked yesterday (UPDATE: sacking is official), but Chelsea’s pre-season is definitely rolling on without him.
Conte took Thursday training in the morning but the afternoon session was cancelled, which apparently was when news of his sacking was relayed to him and his staff (and the rest of that drama had thus begun).
No afternoon training session for the first team players, they've got the afternoon off #CFC— CarefreeYouth (@CarefreeYouth) July 12, 2018
But pre-season itself isn’t canceled, and the players are expected back at Cobham today to continue preparations.
With Maurizio Sarri still not confirmed either, the job of actually training the players falls to Eddie Newton, whose official remit is to liaise with the loanees. He led training fro the loanee group, for example, two weeks ago, when they reported back ahead of the rest of the first-team squad.
Newton, one of Chelsea’s classic heroes from the ‘90s, came back to the club in 2012, to serve as fellow legend Roberto Di Matteo’s assistant manager. After Robbie was sacked, Newton moved into his current position, taking a brief break in 2015-16 to see out the season as interim manager Guus Hiddink’s assistant.
Eddie will probably be assisted by most of the fitness and sports science staff (who led the training last weekend in pre-pre-season), as well as Carlo Cudicini, who’s the lone confirmed survivor of the Conte cull. Fitness coach Paolo Bertelli and goalkeeping coach Gianluca Spinelli may also be staying on, as per the Telegraph’s report.