Rebuild bridges, retain Chelsea’s best players and 3 more challenges Sarri will face at Stamford Bridge
West London Sport editors write on the point
"Conte was on-message and delivered during his first season with Chelsea. Then, from a position of strength, the Italian challenged Roman Abramovich’s autocratic regime. It was only going to end one way. For sustained success at Chelsea, it will require patience from both the head coach and the Chelsea hierarchy. Diplomacy will be necessary."
"The whingeing of Conte will have alienated players, staff and board members. The absence of a technical director since Michael Emenalo’s November departure will not have helped. Conte’s replacement must have good relationships in both directions of Chelsea’s pyramid and a new technical director would be welcome. The players need to trust the new head coach."
Foster leadership and unity
"The departures of assistant Steve Holland, to England, and long-serving captain John Terry, to Aston Villa, last summer created a void which has not been adequately filled. Gary Cahill has grown into the role of club captain, but Chelsea need more who lead by example in words and deed. There were too many lacklustre performances last season."
Retain Chelsea’s best players
"This is largely a club issue, given Chelsea managers, or head coaches, have decreasing influence on transfer strategy. But it is clear Chelsea must make a swift decision on goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has one year remaining on his contract and could be sold if he does not extend his deal, and Eden Hazard. Hazard is hesitating over an offer to renew his contract, which expires in 2020, and wants 'good' players to come in. Young talent, like Ruben Loftus-Cheek, should also be incorporated into the first team."
Gianfranco Zola as Maurizio Sarri's assistant helps to nullify the fear of him failing to adapt to the club and English football. Two Napoli guys working together at Chelsea, Zola would be a likeable go-between with the players. He's also very knowledgeable tactically #CFC— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) July 13, 2018
Win, win again and win well
"The Blues are serial winners. Anything less than trophies is a disappointment – and a sackable offence. Even claiming two pieces of silverware could not spare Conte. Abramovich has become accustomed to winning, and the Russian would settle for nothing less than a trophy and a Champions League return in 2018-19."