Chelsea manager Antonio Conte’s decision to rest his two most inform attackers Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud for his sides disappointing 1-1 draw against Huddersfield in midweek has drawn plenty of criticism from fans and the media.
The Stamford Bridge outfits inability to pick up all three points against David Wagner’s Terriers has left their hopes of finishing in the top four hanging by a thread, and it seems that the Blues players were also left dismayed by their managers decision to rotate his squad for such a crucial fixture.
According to Matt Law of the Telegraph the Chelsea squad were left bewildered by their coaches team selection last Wednesday night.
“Chelsea players were left bemused by head coach Antonio Conte’s decision to make six changes for their must-win game against Huddersfield Town. And the feeling in the squad is that Conte blew any remote chance of forcing Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich into keeping him at Stamford Bridge,” Law wrote.
“Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Huddersfield, which secured the Terriers’ Premier League status, left the Blues needing a final-day miracle to climb above Liverpool into the top four. They are now on course for a first-ever full Europa League campaign.
“While there was an acceptance Chelsea were unfortunate not to win after dominating the game, there were also questions raised over Conte’s selection. The Italian started with Chelsea’s in-form players, Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard, on the substitutes’ bench, with Victor Moses, captain Gary Cahill and Tiemoue Bakayoko also stepping down.
“Conte blamed the omission of Thibuat Courtois on a minor back injury, but it is understood the Belgian was unlikely to play in any case. Willy Caballero took over and was partly at fault for Laurent Depoitre’s goal for the visitors.”
Even if Chelsea win their final Premier League fixture against Newcastle this weekend they are reliant on Liverpool losing at Anfield to Brighton if they are to finish in the top four and qualify for next seasons Champions League.