Antonio Conte is shuffling about Chelsea looking like a dead man walking, with last night's 4-1 capitulation away to Watford seemingly confirming his swift fall from grace at Stamford Bridge. Having already been hammered at home to Bournemouth after a deadline day that sowed rankle between Conte and his bosses, Chelsea's ten men barely broke into a trot as they were carved open by the Hornets.
It had been anticipated that Conte would today become the latest manager to endure Roman Abramovich's notorious short-termism and be sacked today, but the club statement featuring a stock image of the corner flag confirming the news has yet to be published.
Instead, the word is that Conte will limp forth. The BBC cite the fact that Chelsea are still in the top four, FA Cup, and Champions League as reasons not to fire him. The fact that they are still the champions of England doesn't seem to be worth a whole lot, however.
For how long Conte clings on, however, is open to debate as next Monday he faces a visit from the ghost of Chelsea managers past. West Brom come to Stamford Bridge on Monday night, and for some of his predecessors, they have worked as a kind of harbinger for doom.
Both Andre-Villas Boas and his (FA Cup and European Cup-winning) successor Roberto Di Matteo were both fired by Abramovich after defeats to West Brom.
After a run of three wins in 12, Villas-Boas was fired after a 1-0 defeat to West Brom. He had only been in the job for nine months. Di Matteo was then appointed, and he improbably won the Champions League against Bayern Munich along with the FA Cup. In spite of all of that, he too was fired just months into the following season. While he got the bullet after a Champions League loss to Juventus, his final domestic game was a defeat to West Brom.
A host of other managers left their jobs after facing West Brom, including Mick McCarthy (Wolves), Roberto Mancini (Man City), Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland), Chris Hughton (Norwich), Craig Shakespeare (Leicester), and Alex Ferguson. Although Fergie left on considerably different terms.