The results from the last few Chelsea games have left Antonio Conte on the verge of dismissal, but the immediate presence of Barcelona on the horizon has become the lifeline for a coach looking to knock out one of the favourites of the European competition.
At present, the relationship between the team and their coach is practically non-existent.
His line-ups, with constant changes, have not been understood by the players.
Constant modifications of something that according to them worked well, and which has seen the Blues about to be replaced in the Champions League positions of the Premier League table.
Conte lost Roman Abramovich's confidence last summer, but the group and the absence of alternatives saved the Italian.
The Russian didn't like the noise surrounding Diego Costa's move and stopped talking to the Italian, just as he had previously done with other coaches, presumably because he no longer wanted him to be on the bench.
After a slight hiatus, the owner went looking for a replacement from October, a movement that could be precipitated given the deterioration of the relationship with the squad.
It's a relationship full of ups and downs.
They understand his special character and in fact some helped to bring back the 'peace' in the relationship between the coach and Costa, but the passage of time and the continuous and different episodes have distanced the group from Conte.
From objects flying in the dressing room, shouting on the pitch, going through three-hour training sessions...
The truth is that the players themselves believe that he has lost control and his decisions baffle everyone.
Conte stated that he isn't thinking about resigning, something he has told the players and the club, but not Abramovich.