Antonio Conte’s future at Chelsea in jeopardy?

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We all know Roman Abramovich has a quick trigger finger. We’ve seen this movie before.

With Chelsea sitting fourth in the Premier League and on a run of five matches with just one win, the Blues looked soundly beaten after falling a man down on the road at 11th placed Watford.

The Blues have struggled with key injuries, which cannot be blamed on the boss, as medical issues with Andreas Christensen and Alvaro Morata have left an already thin squad with serious holes. However, Conte’s decisions could also be questioned over the last few weeks.

Against Watford, many thought Conte would bench struggling Tiemoue Bakayoko in favor of England international Danny Drinkwater alongside Drinkwater’s former Leicester City teammate N'Golo Kante, but the Italian instead kept Bakayoko in the lineup and it backfired badly. Bakayoko was sent off for a second yellow after just 30 minutes, leaving Chelsea with little ferocity the rest of the match.

Conte also chose to leave Olivier Giroud on the bench despite Morata’s injury. Giroud was healthy enough to come on as a 64th minute sub after Pedro was injured. And Conte chose to leave Marcos Alonso out of the squad altogether despite no reported injury for the wing-back.

In an awkward and tense moment after the match, Conte at first admitted mistakes in his player selection before becoming hostile with the post-match reporter. “Maybe I made the mistakes in the starting eleven today,” Conte said. “My choices were very poor, I think.” When pressed on what selections he wishes he could have back, Conte got very defensive, repeating over and over that the starting eleven was incorrect and attacking the reporter for repeating the question. “Maybe the starting eleven was wrong because our start was very poor and it was very difficult to change something tonight.”

Chelsea won the title in Conte’s first season, but with the prospect of Champions League play next season in serious doubt and reports swirling that a loss to Watford would doom the Italian, Arlo White and Robbie Mustoe discuss Conte’s fortunes, and it’s not ideal for the Italian.

Transfer rumors: Willian, Alderweireld to Manchester United

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The transfer rumor mill is picking up steam this Monday, including some persistent whispers regarding two Premier League players with possible futures at Old Trafford.

Both of these make a lot of sense.

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A day after Nemanja Matic stressed the need for experienced players at United, two good fits hit the rumor mill (again).

Matic’s old Chelsea pal Willian has interest from United if he seeks a way out of London — which seems likely — where he’s said to be ready to go if Antonio Conte remains as manager.

Then there’s Toby Alderweireld, whose been very strong at Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur but reportedly fallen out with current Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

During a rut, the Tottenham manager claimed that Alderweireld was held out of Spurs’ lineup due to the form of the players in front of him.

Also from Sky, we’ll leave this quote from PSG chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi on the idea of possibly selling Kylian Mbappe.

Al-Khelaifi told Canal+: “You want me to give you a number? More than €1bn! Yes, I said one billion! And even if you gave me a billion, I wouldn’t sell him.”

Pogba: Mourinho “made me progress in leadership”

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Paul Pogba says “we are never sure of anything but contractually, it’s sure” that he’ll remain at Manchester United.

That’s not exactly a ringing endorsement from United’s most expensive transfer purchase, as many have linked him with a move away from Old Trafford.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

He also said he’s not worried about his relationship with United boss Jose Mourinho, and pointed out that his problems and growth in Manchester are a natural part of a player’s progression. From Sky Sports:

“There were times where I wasn’t playing, I was on the bench. There was a lot of talk, people thought it wasn’t working out,” Pogba added.

“But a coach and a player don’t have to be best friends, we don’t have to go to restaurants together. I had a few little problems too… football is sometimes all about the mental side. He put me on the bench and I gave my response on the pitch. I always give everything I’ve got.

“He made me progress in leadership. I had the armband with Mourinho, it was the first time in a club, it’s important for me, it makes me grow to be also a leader in the France team.”

In a candid talk, the 25-year-old Pogba was asked about Paris Saint-Germain and told French television that he’d be open to representing the club in the future despite the fact that his parents are Marseille supporters.

Moore takes hold of West Brom’s promotion bid

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Darren Moore‘s spell as West Brom caretaker manager couldn’t quite pull off a miraculous run to Premier League safety, but the promise it contained has helped him to the first chance at earning promotion back to the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion announced Moore as its new manager on Monday, with the boss promising his Baggies would play attractive football while also being a side “that’s willing to fight and scrap for every ball.”

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

Moore is also happy to carry a flame for minority coaches — called BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) — in England.

“If it does inspire others, I would be extremely proud,” he said. “I don’t just speak on behalf of BAME coaches but the young, aspiring British coaches across the board.”

Moore, 44, only lost one of his six PL matches as WBA boss, winning three times and inspiring many to wonder what would’ve happened had the Baggies’ pulled the plug on Alan Pardew — and Tony Pulis before him — earlier.

A center back in his playing career, Moore spent 18 seasons between a number of clubs including West Brom, Derby County, and Doncaster Rovers. He won promotion as a player twice with West Brom, and again with Derby.

Belgium goes to World Cup without Nainggolan

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BRUSSELS (AP) Belgium left midfielder Radja Nainggolan out of its World Cup squad despite a standout season with Champions League semifinalist Roma.

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has long had a difficult relationship with the stormy midfielder. But after being called up for a warm-up game in March against Saudi Arabia, expectations had been that he would be on the 28-man roster announced Monday.

[ MORE: No World Cup for Chelsea trio ]

On top of the troubled relationship, Nainggolan was also the victim of the unparalleled wealth of talent the small nation has produced over the past few years.

Thibaut Courtois, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were all named in the squad, which will be cut to 23 before the World Cup.