Former Italy and Chelsea goalkeeper Marco Amelia has defended Antonio Conte, stating that few other coaches in Europe can match his record.
Having won the Premier League in style during his first season at Stamford Bridge, Conte has come back down to earth in a tough second campaign.
The Blues currently lie fifth, five points shy of Tottenham, while their Champions League dreams ended in the last 16 with defeat to Barcelona.
Those negative results have seen Conte come under pressure, but Amelia believes maintaining a place at the top of the Premier League is a thankless task.
"The Premier League is a very competitive championship, the level of the top teams is very high," Amelia explained to Goal.
"Antonio won the league in the first year, which is not easy, and to try to do that again was really a challenge because the two Manchester teams have invested a lot.
"The value of Conte as a coach is not in question, it is not a coincidence that he has many admirers around Europe.
"Chelsea are an extremely ambitious club and [owner Roman] Abramovich has always shown a lot of trust in his closest collaborators. I think it's still too early to guess what will happen next season."
Amelia spent a single season at Chelsea in 2015-16, deputising for Asmir Begovic and failing to make a single appearance before he left at the end of his contract.
Nevertheless, he has fond memories of his short time in west London.
"It was one of my most beautiful football experiences. It was a fantastic life experience, the stadium is incredible, the atmosphere is always festive, people get to the stadium at the last minute," he added.
"Having worked with Mourinho, Hiddink and their staff has enriched me in every way. I shared the dressing room with champions like John Terry, Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Asmir Begovic, Pedro, Willian, Diego Costa, John Obi Mikel, Gary Cahill, all fantastic guys who immediately made me feel one of them, always showing great respect because I had played for Milan and the Italian national team.
"I found a club of the highest level, organised in an extraordinary way, with a beautiful stadium. English football left an important mark on me and, in the future, the experience of managing an English club would be a dream come true."