Martin Keown believes Antonio Conte is on “borrowed time” at Chelsea FC.
The Italian coach is facing an uncertain future at the defending Premier League champions following a disappointing start to 2018.
Chelsea FC have only managed to win one of their last five league games to drop down to fourth place in the Premier League table.
The Blues lost 3-0 to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge last week before a 4-1 defeat at London rivals Watford on Monday night.
The west London side will have a reprieve over the next week or so ahead of a home clash against 20th-placed West Brom before a FA Cup fifth-round tie against Hull City.
Chelsea FC will take on La Liga leaders Barcelona in the Champions League round of 16 later this month as Conte looks to win Europe’s top competition for the first time as a manager.
Former Arsenal defender Keown believes Conte has lost the dressing room at Stamford Bridge, partly due to his incessant bickering with the Chelsea FC hierarchy.
“It looks like Antonio Conte has lost the dressing room,” Keown told the Daily Mail.
“Against Watford, I saw none of the intensity or game management that you would associate with this Chelsea team. You wonder if the players have thrown in the towel.
“There is a feeling coming from the manager that the new signings are not his own. He was very non-commital when talking about Emerson Palmieri, the left back Chelsea signed from Roma last week.”
Keown added: “When a manager does not appear to have confidence in his recruits, it becomes difficult for the existing players to respect him.
“Chelsea supporters love Conte, particularly for the way he has tried to take on the club.
“But his public bickering and jostling for power have clearly affected the players on the pitch.
“It seems the players can sense Conte is on borrowed time. They know there is a more powerful person than their manager who is willing to make a change.”
Chelsea FC finished seven points clear of their closest title challengers Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League last week.
The Blues haven’t won the Champions League since 2012 when the west London side beat Bayern Munich on penalties.
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