But, despite winning the FA Cup last season - beating Manchester United in the final, Chelsea have ditched Conte ahead of the new campaign. If Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink's second spells are included, it is the 14th managerial change in only 15 years for Chelsea under the Russian oligarch. He had been waiting since winning the FA Cup in May to resolve his future at Stamford Bridge, but difficulty in securing Sarri delayed the process.
Alvaro Morata flopped at Chelsea last season following his move to the club from Real Madrid. Only the pay was improved, though, with Conte's contract still running for just another two seasons - hardly a show of commitment by either the club or its manager. They eventually stuttered to a fifth-placed finish in the league, which has led to Conte's departure even though he did clinch the FA Cup title.
The chain smoking coach made his name at Empoli where he guided the un-fancied Tuscan team to Serie A before establishing them as one of the most attractive sides in the top flight of Italian football.
The question after Antonio Conte's departure from Chelsea on Friday was not 'where did it all go wrong?' but rather 'why did it take so long?'.
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