Chelsea: International tournament precedent invites Conte concerns

Luiz Felipe Scolari struggled at Chelsea when being hired immediately after his Portugal contract expired
Hands up if you think hiring a coach direct from an international tournament is a mistake?

Antonio Conte beware: no manager has ever excelled when taking charge of a Premier League club after a tournament...


Jacques Santini blamed personal reasons for his hasty Tottenham exit, before later admitting that the main issue was his uncomfortable relationship with sporting director Frank Arnesen. Yet this was his most telling statement: “My only regret is having signed too early. I should have waited until after Euro 2004.”

Chelsea appear to have found their next permanent manager, with Antonio Conte 1/14 to be in the dugout on the opening day of the 2016/17 Premier League campaign.

As explained elsewhere on Betting.Betfair, there are several reasons to rate the Italy boss as one of the best tacticians on the market, but he is a risky pick as history teaches that hiring a coach straight after an international tournament hasn't worked out well for Premier League sides in the past...


Louis van Gaal (World Cup 2014)

Though Manchester United confirmed Van Gaal's appointment in May, he couldn't assume office until the Netherlands were dumped out of the World Cup. Many projected a group-stage exit given their pairing with Spain and Chile, yet instead they went on and on and on, finishing third ahead of hosts Brazil.

It meant that he wasn't able to get started at Old Trafford until mid-July, with no time off either, and the lack of time to implement his ideas showed as the 20-time English champions won none of their first three league games and just three of the opening ten. They closed the season in fourth, which met the minimum requirement, but with their second lowest ever Premier League point haul.


Luiz Felipe Scolari (Euro 2008)

Chelsea's previous attempt at recruiting a coach direct from an international tournament came eight years ago when they chose Scolari as Avram Grant's successor. It seemed to derail his summer because, having triumphed in their initial two fixtures, his Portugal team lost the next two to be sent home, with Portuguese Football Federation chief Gilberto Madail citing Chelsea's timing as a factor.

The Brazilian was in position by July 1 and enjoyed the strongest start of our international hangover victims, winning ten and drawing two of his first 13 Premier League matches to lead the Blues to the top. However, in his first club job in seven years, he struggled to sustain momentum and manage his squad. The next 12 games yielded only four victories, causing a fall to fourth and a February firing.


Jacques Santini (Euro 2004)

It was a coup for Tottenham to reveal the appointment of Santini, boss of European Championship holders and favourites France, on June 3 given that they had placed 14th in the recently concluded Premier League campaign. The excitement dimmed a little when Les Bleus were eliminated by Greece in the quarter-finals, but a six-match unbeaten Premier League initiation augured well.

Things soured rapidly, with the Frenchman resigning in November following four defeats in the next five top-flight outings. He blamed personal reasons, before later admitting that the main issue was his uncomfortable relationship with sporting director Frank Arnesen. Yet this was his most telling statement: "My only regret is having signed too early. I should have waited until after Euro 2004."


Will Antonio Conte have the same regret? Share your thoughts with a comment below or a tweet @Betfair.

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