experiencing somewhat of a crisis – with manager Antonio Conte under serious
pressure following back-to-back heavy defeats to both Bournemouth and Watford.
Impending fixtures will do little to ease the
decreasing sense of optimism at Stamford Bridge -with the Blues set to face
both Manchester clubs as well as a two-legged tie with Barcelona in the UEFA
Champions League in the coming weeks.
A former club captain has spoken out on the
ongoing dilemmas at the club and has pinpointed a reason as to why it is all
going wrong for Antonio Conte’s side. Dennis Wise, who made 332 appearances
over an 11-year spell for the Londoners, has put their slump down to a lack of
leadership, particularly notable given the summer departure of club captain
John Terry after 17 years at Stamford Bridge.
Terry – who now plies his
trade with Championship side Aston Villa, was the most successful captain in
Chelsea’s history, leading the club to five Premier League titles as well as
the Champions League crown in 2012.
Wise believes that the ongoing
problems at the clubs are not the fault of Antonio Conte – but due to a lack of
character and leadership, as well as players struggling to adapt to the Premier
“I look at some of the
personnel who have come in and they’ve found it very difficult to adapt at
times to the way of the English Premier League.
“I look at a certain
person who went out the door called John Terry, he was a leader of that group
and I don’t think at the moment they have someone like that who is in there and
can sort these problems out.
“I look at Cahill, and
I’d like to think he would be a leader, but at the moment he’s been struggling
“The players going in,
they’re not quite sure what they’ve got to do. You look at Bakayoko the other
day, is he going to break forward, is he going to hold? – I don’t really know
what he does. The manager can lay out everything for everyone, show them what
they’ve got to do, work them hard and give them the ideas he wants to portray
but then it’s people on the pitch who actually have to make that happen.”
Chelsea still occupy the Champions
League places but face an uphill battle to secure European football next
campaign with some tough upcoming fixtures and an ongoing crisis of confidence
in those at the club – but Wise has retained faith in Conte and believes he is
still the man to keep the champions moving in the right direction.
“His persona at the
moment is on a down and I think to myself, ‘come on Antonio’, this is the time
where we need the inspiration from you as the manager and the leader of the
football team. You need him to pick them up.”
Terry has had an instant
impact at Aston Villa – with the club just off the automatic promotion places to
the Premier League, and Wise’s point has seemed to become all the more evident
in recent weeks with Chelsea having lost the desire and passion that they are
so often associated with.
Jordan Norris, Pundit Arena.