At the start of the season, Maurizio Sarri warned us repeatedly that it will take at least 2-3 months to get the team to truly begin to understand and execute his tactical ideas. We’re now at the 2-month mark, not counting a suboptimal preseason that featured a ton of travel and lots of missing players due to World Cup commitments and holidays, and we’ve yet to lose a competitive match. That’s certainly better than most of us might have imagined, even if Chelsea have gotten lucky at times.
Sarri knows this and is constantly striving for improvement, as any good coach should, but in a massive “grand exclusive” interview with Corriere dello Sport’s Alfredo “The Sarri Oracle” Pedullà, he reveals that he thinks we’re now in the fun phase — “fun” being the operative word of Sarrismo.
“Now we’re having some fun. We needed a few more weeks at Napoli, but Serie A is different. Here I said to myself: ‘Watch out Maurizio, you dreamed for a lifetime to make this step, so now try to be yourself.’ I saw the tactical mechanisms worked straight away, the results then pushed us on further.”
Sarri thinks a big part of why those mechanisms worked straight away is Chelsea’s core of Spanish players, who apparently were instrumental in picking up what he was putting down and, presumably, leading by example. The likes of Cesc Fàbregas, Pedro, and Álvaro Morata would’ve certainly been quite familiar with tactics built on short-passing already, and it probably helped that they were available for training immediately as well thanks to not getting picked for Spain’s ultimately disappointing journey in Russia.
“I’ve been here for three months and at the start it was difficult. I arrived in mid-July, those players coming off the World Cup in August and we immediately had a tour in Australia, so there wasn’t much time. I had planned for a longer apprenticeship. I was helped by the Spanish players at Chelsea, those who already speak our football language.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: CdS via Football Italia
So now that we all speak Sarri’s language, more or less, we can, in turn, teach him one as well, winning.