Antonio Conte faces a race against time to save his Chelsea career following what has been a disastrous couple of weeks for the club.
Successive defeats to Bournemouth (3-0) and Watford (4-1) finds the Blues outside of the top four and Conte fighting for his job.
For now the Italian is safe somewhat, but anything could happen should his side not secure all three points at home to West Brom on Monday night.
Everyone has their own theory on why exactly Conte is currently struggling at Chelsea, such as his tactics, team selection and man-management.
But according to the man himself, his downfall is his inability to convince Chelsea’s hierarchy to sign the players he wants.
“Usually in my experience, I think I reached the best results possible with the players that I have to work with,” said Conte when asked if anyone could do a better job than him.
“I think that I’m the type of coach who, if I have a player who is six, I bring him to an eight. If I have a player who is eight, I take him to 10. I’m this type of coach. For this, I’m very good.
“I think I’m a bit of a disaster to convince the club to buy the players [laughs]. I think in this aspect I can improve a lot. I have to learn a lot from the other coaches, the other managers.”
Chelsea Training and Press Conference
Conte clearly has a high opinion of himself, yet there are suggestions his style of management on the training pitch isn’t helping matters at Chelsea.
Since taking over at Stamford Bridge, the 48-year-old has imposed various bans – like ketchup in the players’ canteen – to maintain a strict regime.
And according to The Sun, he’s just introduced a new ban and it’s without a doubt the most ridiculous yet: smiling in training.
That’s right, Conte believes smiling is a sign his players aren’t working hard enough, so he doesn’t want them to do it anymore. He’s well and truly lost his head.
“I think that usually when you work you don’t smile,” he said recently. “Especially if you work hard. It’s very difficult to smile.
“Only through work can you reach a fantastic target like last season. Last season, our work allowed us to reach an incredible target.”
Wow. Change is certainly needed amidst Chelsea’s poor run of form, but taking the happiness out of playing football is a risky move and one that could do more harm than good.