Champions League: Deco speaks on Conte being sacked if Chelsea lose to Barcelona


A former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder, Deco, has said that the outcome of the Blues Champions League round-of-16 clash with the Catalan giants will not have a decisive impact on head coach Antonio Conte’s uncertain position at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea has suffered disappointing defence of their Premier League title and is fourth in the table, 19 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

They face a demanding European encounter with La Liga frontrunners Barca at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday and will face Manchester United, Manchester City and Crystal Palace in the league before the return fixture at Camp Nou next month.

Conte has been widely tipped to leave the West London outfit at the end of the campaign after just two seasons in charge.

Deco, a former Portugal international, does not expect club owner Roman Abramovich to dispense with the coach based on the two legs of the Barca showdown.

“I’m not in the daily routine of Chelsea; Chelsea nowadays is a big club and all big clubs have the pressure of [needing] victories, even being in England, where managers tend to stay longer.

“But Chelsea’s history is not the same of other English teams, of course this will be a challenge. To be defeated by Barcelona won’t be a disaster.

“Of course, Chelsea wants to get through, but I don’t think their manager’s work will be evaluated by this. That’s a problem [for] them and they know what to do.

“To lose Diego Costa and [Nemanja] Matic, they were two important players to Chelsea, even though [Alvaro] Morata had a very good beginning, he’s not a substitute for Diego yet,” he said.

“The way Chelsea played… [They haven’t] found yet the same football they had last year.

“But problems are normal, when you don’t win and don’t achieve the goals of such a big club like Chelsea, it’s always difficult.”


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