EPL: Jamie Redknapp speaks on Conte’s greatest mistake at Chelsea

Former England player, Jamie Redknapp has said that Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte’s decision to axe Diego Costa from his team is the biggest mistake he made at the club.

The Italian coach presently finds himself under extreme pressure following a difficult run for his side.

Chelsea have lost a League Cup semi-final, drawn their first five games of 2018 and lost their two most recent games.

Redknapp, a former Liverpool player, believes Conte was wrong to force last season’s top scorer Costa out of the club.

He told Daily Mail, UK, “The biggest mistake Antonio Conte made was getting rid of Diego Costa.

“With the Spain striker, Chelsea were a horrible, aggressive team to play against. They would use every trick in the book to win matches.
“You could not bully Costa but without him, this Chelsea team are too nice.

“They have lost not only their edge but also their ruthlessness in front of goal. After a bright start, striker Alvaro Morata has struggled and Chelsea have scored nine fewer goals than at the same stage last season.

“Think back to that string of stalemates at the turn of the year. Those could have been avoided with a forward like Costa, who specialised in grabbing those crucial goals in tight games.

“I understand Conte’s reasoning [for sending Costa text message]. He may have found the striker awkward and difficult to deal with but part of being a great manager is being able to handle those egos.

“By jettisoning Costa, he cut off his nose to spite his face.”