It can be a hard job getting rival football fans to agree on almost anything. However, one idea accepted by pretty much every Premier League supporter is that Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of this season.
Despite experiencing a difficult season on and off the pitch at Stamford Bridge this season, the 48-year-old is still regarded as one of the best coaches in Europe, and for that reason it has been reported today that French Champions PSG are set to meet with his representatives about taking over as manager at the Parc De Princes from Unai Emery next season.
In many ways this looks like a good fit. PSG want a coach of a higher calibre than their current incumbent, and Conte wants to manage a club that will back him fully in the transfer market, having fallen out with Chelsea and before that at Juventus for what he perceived as lack of funding for player recruitment.
However, when you scratch beneath the surface a little bit, this marriage between coach and club does not look like a good match.
Conte proved what a top class coach he is last season when he took a Chelsea side that had finished 10th the previous season, to the Premier League title.
Before arriving in England Conte had also won Serie A on three successive occasions, meaning that only Pep Guardiola can claim to be his peer in terms of delivering league championships over the Italian’s last five seasons in club management.
Interestingly however, when it comes to cup competitions, Conte’s record is far from impressive. He has never won a cup competition in his entire career as a club manager.
Even when his Juventus side were head and shoulders above every other team in Italy, he failed to win the Coppa Italia, and Chelsea’s surprise loss to Arsenal in last seasons FA Cup final continued Conte’s curse in cup competitions.
His record in the Champions League is also nothing to shout about, having only reached the quarter-finals once in 2013 with Juventus, when his side were beaten by Bayern Munich.
Ever since PSG’s Qatari takeover in 2011 they have been Europes richest club, and have demonstrated this wealth by buying up scores of world-class players.
Therefore, the quality of their squad is so far above the general level of football in France that winning Ligue Un and the domestic cups has become nothing more than a procession for the Parisian club.
In fact, PSG’s Qatari owners have been quite open about the fact that there main goal in to win the UEFA Champions League, due to their obvious spending power making domestic domination a given.
In all honesty, most peoples grandmothers could win Ligue Un with this PSG squad, so success in Europe has become their holy grail.
This is why they hired Emery a couple of seasons ago, although he has never won Europes most prestigious club competition, he had just won a record-breaking three successive Europa Leagues with Sevilla. He was seen by PSG’s owners as the cup specialist they required to win the trophy they desire the most.
However, despite huge investment in even more top class talent this summer, including a world record transfer deal to bring Neymar – the heir to Ronaldo and Messi’s throne as the best player in the world – to Paris from Barcelona, PSG have disappointingly exited the Champions League at the last 16 stage in the last two seasons.
Whilst it is true that they have been handed difficult ties against Spanish heavyweights Barcelona and Real Madrid on both occasions, with the huge financial outlay they have made the clubs owners are entitled to expect more.
PSG reached the stage a few seasons ago where by it became the Champions League or nothing, so their recruitment of a new coach should surely centre around their chosen candidates proven ability to deliver Europes biggest prize.
This is why deciding to appoint Conte looks like such a wrong move, as the Italian coach actually has the worst record in both the Champions League and domestic cup competitions of all Europes elite coaches. In many ways, it’s like calling in a carpenter to fix your shower.