Chris Sutton: Why I feel sorry for Chelsea FC manager Antonio Conte

The Chelsea FC legend defends Antonio Conte amid increased speculation surrounding the Italian's future at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Photo: Screen grab

Chris Sutton admits he does have sympathy for Antonio Conte after a difficult second season at Chelsea FC.

The Blues manager’s position at Stamford Bridge is coming under scrutiny following a disappointing start to 2018.

Chelsea FC lost 3-0 to Bournemouth in west London last week before a 4-1 defeat at London rivals Watford on Monday night.

The defending champions have only managed to win one of their last five games in the Premier League.

The west London outfit lost 2-1 to Arsenal in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final at The Emirates last month.

Chelsea FC have signed nine players since winning the Premier League title but Conte has missed out on some of his top targets.

Indeed, the Blues lost out to Manchester United in the race to sign Romelu Lukaku and the title holders couldn’t agree to a deal to sign Juventus defender Alex Sandro.

Former Chelsea FC striker Sutton expressed his sympathy for Conte given the west London side’s questionable investment over the past eight months or so since winning the title.

“When Chelsea managers take on Roman Abramovich, there is only one winner,” Sutton told the Daily Mail.

“Antonio Conte has been baiting Chelsea’s owner by questioning the club’s recruitment and demanding backing from the board.

“Conte is a clever man who knows exactly what he is doing. He is trying to put pressure on Abramovich but is pushing all the wrong buttons. At some point, the Russian’s patience will run out.

“I have sympathy for Conte. He is an excellent coach and will feel he earned the right to strengthen his squad after winning the Premier League.”

Chelsea FC signed Everton midfielder Ross Barkley, AS Roma defender Emerson Palmieri and Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud in the January transfer window.

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