Antonio Conte could face Chelsea sack for David Luiz snub

By: Snehanjan Banerjee
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte

Bengaluru, November 6: The decision to axe David Luiz could cost Chelsea manager Antonio Conte his job according to Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.

Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville said recent Stamford Bridge history suggests there will only be one winner after the huge call to leave out Luiz on Sunday (November 5) following a training-ground bust-up.

Neville said: “Every manager who has taken on the players here has gone pretty quickly. It is a big call because if you take on these players in that dressing room, where David Luiz is a big influence, a big character, you can lose at this club. This is not the end of this — this is the start.

“Conte has won today, but in two or three weeks’ time if David Luiz is still sat on that bench, every time they concede a goal, the cameras will flip to David Luiz. It was the same with John Terry.”

Terry was infamously subbed at half-time by Jose Mourinho against Manchester City in 2015 and things did not go well for the manager after that as he eventually was sacked by the club.

Conte’s bust-up with Luiz is the latest falling-out between the manager and a star player at Chelsea. He has previously fallen out with Diego Costa and Nemanja Matic and both of them left the club.

Neville’s fellow pundit Graeme Souness said it was a big call from Conte and he managed to get away with it. However, it will have big consequence.

He said: “You can do it if you are in a position of strength. To do what he has done is an extremely big call. The only other defender on the bench was (Ethan) Ampadu, who is 17.

“It’s a hell of a big call and he got away with it. They’ve won and that is a reminder to everyone in that dressing room who the boss is.

“How many allies does David Luiz have in that dressing room? Maybe three or four who would side with him, and that is what makes the manager vulnerable.

“You’re not just falling out with one player, you’re falling out with four, five, six — those six could be worth £200 million.”

Story first published: Monday, November 6, 2017, 11:26 [IST]
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