Premier League champions Chelsea are currently in a familiar, although unwanted, situation.
The Blues have seen their title defense unfold rather anticlimactically as they are out of the title and have been, for quite a while now.
This is the second time in 3 seasons that a title defense at Stamford Bridge has not gone according to plan.
The first saw the sacking of Jose Mourinho barely 6 months after lifting the title and while the situation now is much improved, the signs seem to point to a similar ending for their current boss, Antonio Conte.
The Italian manager won the league at the first time of asking and was the toast of English football. His second season, however, right from the start has not followed the same script.
Reports suggest that his public criticisms of the club’s transfer business have infuriated the owner, Roman Abramovich, who is now said to be keen on cutting ties with the former Italy international.
Replacements are already being linked with the club in the press with former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique, the name repeatedly being brought up.
Conte himself has looked a very frustrated figure at times this season, a far cry from the energetic and passionate demeanour of last season, which some belief indicates his heart his no longer at the club.
New reports now hint at possible problems with his players, with reports suggesting he is losing his locker room as players begin to doubt him especially as bad results keep rolling in.
At this rate, it would take a very dramatic and unexpected turn of events for the former Juventus manager to still be in charge come next season with some reports saying he might face the axe even before this campaign ends.