Joey Barton has branded Chelsea boss Antonio Conte a “dead man walking”.
The Blues won the title last year during Conte’s maiden season in England, but his side are fourth in the table and 19 points adrift of runaway leaders Manchester City – with Tottenham just a point behind them and ready to pounce on the final Champions League places.
Conte has asked for a public vote of confidence from Roman Abramovich: “I’d like to have a statement of support against this speculation. The challenge is that, in the past, this never happened.
“So it’s a big challenge to change the approach now. But, for sure, I’d be glad. You only have one person to speak (to make this happen).”
Former Burnley and Newcastle midfielder Barton thinks the times is quickly coming when Abramovich finally gives Conte the chop.
Barton told Talksport: “He’s been a dead man walking for a while.
“I don’t know what has gone on in the off-season there, but they never had a good summer.
“He has been yelping since August that he hasn’t had the right bodies in.
“At Chelsea, they don’t have dynastic managers. They don’t last ten, 15 years. Roman replaces them pretty quickly.”