Following the “disaster” of the 3-1 defeat at Spurs, Maurizio Sarri held ten-minute individual meetings with the players to help him try to figure what exactly went wrong. A month later, he’s still searching for answers, especially in the wake of yet another mental collapse (in his view, anyway) in the 1-0 home defeat to Leicester City on Saturday.
Chelsea dominated possession and came close to scoring several times, only to completely lose control of the match once Jamie Vardy scored in the 51st minute. In an instant the team went from pinging the ball around to having no discernible tactics or ability to keep the ball, becoming, as Sarri said, like eleven individuals.
The Spurs loss was Sarri’s first competitive loss as Chelsea manager. The Leicester City loss was his first home loss as Chelsea manager. Maybe a few more individual meetings will avoid further firsts?
“Of course, we will prepare a video about the match. For every match, we prepare a video after the match. We will prepare individual videos, the individual mistakes.
”I want to speak with the group first of all, then I want to speak with three, four, five players. I don’t know how many at the moment.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Sky Sports
The emphasis on individual meetings is a bit incongruous with Sarri’s criticism of Chelsea resorting to playing as individuals rather than as a team, but perhaps such meetings serve to ensure that certain players are receiving the key messages they are meant to be receiving.
Whether it’s about leadership or composure or some other, presumably mental aspect, Sarri does not have much time to fix the things that may be broken. Chelsea go to Watford on Wednesday, who are sitting just outside the top six in seventh place. Chelsea will need a response just as a strong as after the Spurs and Wolves losses.