Chelsea are not known for their patience, so it is little surprise there is so much talk about the future of Antonio Conte amid a run of poor form.
The Premier League champions have been beaten heavily at home by Bournemouth and at Watford in the last week, leading to strong rumours Conte’s days at Stamford Bridge are numbered.
The Italian would not be the first Chelsea manager to be fired the season after winning the title, with the same fate befalling both Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.
But how does Conte’s 18-month spell at the club compare with some of his most notable predecessors, as well as other leading Premier League bosses?
With the help of Opta numbers, we take a look.
Despite horror shows against the Cherries and the Hornets, Conte’s Chelsea win ratio stands at a very healthy 70.3 per cent in the Premier League since he was appointed by the club for the start of the 2016-17 season.
That compares extremely favourably with all of Chelsea’s managers – and there have been a lot of them – since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich completed his takeover of the club in 2003.
Mourinho is the only permanent Chelsea boss who can best Conte in this regard, with the Portuguese coach boasting a 70.8 per cent win record in the top flight.
Guus Hiddink – who some have speculated could return as a temporary replacement for Conte should he be sacked – is at the top of the tree, though.
We also say happy birthday to Guus Hiddink! pic.twitter.com/eipeJve01Z
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) November 8, 2016
The amiable Dutchman, who led Chelsea to the FA Cup title in his first spell, won 11 out of 13 Premier League games at the end of the 2008-09 season for a win ratio of 84.6 per cent.
Hiddink did not fare quite as well on his return at the end of 2015, however. In that spell he won just seven out of 21 Premier League games, giving him the worst win ratio of the Abramovich era, as well as the best.
Although regarded by some as something of a figure of fun, Avram Grant won 68.8 per cent of his Premier League matches in charge of Chelsea – the Israeli coach a John Terry slip away from claiming the Champions League, too.
Points per game
Chelsea’s stunning Premier League triumph in Conte’s first season in English football contributes to a highly impressive 2.23 points per game in the Premier League for the Italian.
That is the second best score in Premier League history, perhaps suggesting the Blues should be patient and give the 48-year-old a chance to lead the club out of their sticky spell.
Unsurprisingly, the only man who can beat Conte in terms of points per game is Pep Guardiola, who is leading Manchester City to what looks like the most dominant season in the Premier League era, certainly comparable to Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003-04.
ICYMI: Record-breaking Pep Guardiola wins fourth Barclays Manager of the Month award in a row
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 12, 2018
Guardiola has recorded 2.30 points per game at City in the Premier League, losing only seven out of his 64 matches in charge. City have also recently overtaken Chelsea in a combined Premier League table made up of the last two seasons.
In those standings City lead the way with 147 points compared to Chelsea’s 143 – those defeats against Bournemouth and Watford proving costly – with Tottenham and Liverpool making up the rest of the top four, ahead of Manchester United and Arsenal.
2016-17 v 2017-18
It does not take a statistician to note Chelsea are not performing anything like as well as they were under Conte last season – but what can the data tells us here?
Their 30 Premier League wins broke the club’s own record – set in both 2004-05 and 2005-06 under Mourinho in his first spell at Stamford Bridge.
And the numbers do not shed much light on why Chelsea’s form is so poor compared to their fine performances throughout last season – apart from in goals scored.
Chelsea hit a average of 2.24 goals per game in the league last season and this time out they are only scoring 1.77, with Diego Costa a big miss for the Blues, particularly as Alvaro Morata has been injury-prone and lost form after a strong start.
Diego Costa has today agreed terms for his transfer to Atletico Madrid, which will take effect on 1 January 2018… https://t.co/2FJY5PXiUa
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 26, 2017
Their expected goals per game is only slightly down, though, falling from 1.49 to 1.44, while goals conceded has only risen marginally – up to 0.88 from 0.87 per game.
Chelsea are facing more shots, though. They have seen an average of 10.2 against them in the Premier League this season, compared to 8.5 last term.
That perhaps indicates Costa is not the only player Chelsea are missing – with Nemanja Matic’s sale to Manchester United likely a factor in the champions’ struggles under Conte this time out.
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