Here’s looking at the back of Willian. (The kid on the right is Chucky Lozano; incidentally, he’d be an excellent replacement.)
That picture was taken during Brazil’s somewhat convincing 2-0 win over Mexico yesterday, in which Willian probably had his best game of the World Cup so far (though the plaudits, as usual, were taken by Neymar instead). Perhaps buoyed by that adrenaline high, Willian got a bit carried away in his post-match interview with an Italian journalist and forgot to deflect an unnecessary question in a professional manner.
Conte may only be Chelsea coach by the thinnest of technical margins at this point, but there’s really no need for that sort of response.
Much like when he covered up Conte in the celebratory photo after the FA Cup final, Willian’s response here is unnecessarily petty and not only is it ensuring that he won’t be playing for Conte next season, it once again points to his likely exit from Chelsea this summer.
It’s a bit of a silly ending to a 5-year career at the Bridge, especially on the heels of a season where he set not only career highs in goals (13) and appearances (55), but actually led the team in the latter category despite the apparent falling out with the head coach (who is most likely is on his way out anyway).
Linked with big money moves to Manchester United and Barcelona, the near 30-year-old Willian could provide one final benefit to the club however, financing his own replacement (whoever* that may be).
* Obviously I’m hoping for Pulisic or Lozano (or why not both!), players who are willing to work off the ball while still providing attacking impetus, much like Willian on his good days.