Chelsea: Sarri seems to be the hardest word...

REUTERS/Toby Melville

There is a different feel around Stamford Bridge than we have grown accustomed to. 

A topsy-turvy season culminated in an FA Cup trophy for Antonio Conte's Blues. However, with his uninspired side sliding to a fifth-placed finish in the league - subsequently missing out on Champions League football for the second time in three seasons - Conte's end-of-season departure has been the worst kept secret in football.


His days looked number from as early as January. A poor run of goalless games were underlined by back-to-back thrashings at the hands of Bournemouth and Watford in the league, with Conte displaying the characteristics of a man who knew his days were numbered. The passion had gone, with the Italian looking a shadow of the man who lifted aloft the Premier League title eight months previous.

So, the season ends on a high and the media await the news of Antonio Conte's departure. One day passes after another with no announcement coming from the powers that be at Chelsea. 

Most peculiar.

Peculiar in the sense that Chelsea have always been a side keen to make quick, snappy, often cutthroat decisions. Keen to move from manager to manager in order to climb the next mountain. 

So what is different this summer?